Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

24 Senators Fight to Extend Wind Credit Set to Expire End of Year

Business

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

As the calendar continues ticking on a vital renewable energy tax credit set to expire in two weeks, 24 U.S. senators sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance in hopes of preserving jobs, investments and a path to clean energy.

While the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and its Dec. 31 expiration date is most dire, the senators' letter includes nine other policies related to renewable energy, green building and efficient transportation the group would like to see extended sooner than later.

"If a broader tax code overhaul cannot be achieved by year’s end, it is imperative that these key clean energy tax incentives are renewed as soon as possible," the letter reads. "In recent years, provisions like the production tax credit and the investment tax credit have helped technologies like wind and solar create tens of thousands of American jobs and generate an increasing share of America’s power.

"These tax credits have helped scale up production and drive down the cost of clean energy technologies. They remain critical to addressing the market failures that prevent cost-effective, market-ready technologies from being deployed to their full potential."

The senators who signed the letter represent a variety of states, ranging from those with renewable energy A-grades like Oregon and New Mexico to those with C- and D-ratings like energy like Minnesota and New Hampshire. Here's a rundown on three of the policies they want to see extended, as described in the letter:

  • PTC: Set to expire at the end of the year, the PTC supports investments in wind, biomass, hydropower and more. The credit drove $25 billion in private investment last year in the wind industry alone. It led to the installation of more than 13 gigawatts of new production capacity, which is enough to power more than 3 million American homes. According to the senators, expiration would threaten more than 80,000 jobs in most states.
  • Investment Tax Credit (ITC): This tax credit supports solar energy generation, small wind projects, fuel cells and more. Under current law, an offshore wind project will also be eligible for the ITC if that project commences construction before the end of 2013. There are currently no offshore wind facilities operating in U.S. waters. "A long-term extension of the ITC for offshore wind is needed to jumpstart this industry," the letter reads. "Additionally, changing the applicability of the ITC from projects that are operational by the expiration date to projects that have commenced construction would make the tax credit consistent with the PTC and help drive the deployment of thousands of megawatts of additional new solar capacity. This change would allow the American solar industry, which has grown from 15,000 employees in 2005 to 120,000 today, to continue creating jobs in the U.S."

  • Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. The four-year-old credit drove $5.4 billion in private investments in 183 new, expanded or re-equipped clean energy manufacturing projects throughout the nation. More than 40,000 new manufacturing jobs were created as a result. The program has not garnered any new funding since it was created.

"With continued support, clean energy will help Americans save money on their energy bills and reduce harmful pollution," according to the senators. "Clean energy tax incentives are critical to ensuring that American consumers have access to clean, low-cost energy and critical to keeping American businesses and workers competitive in this key growth sector of the global economy.

"We urge you to include these incentives in any tax extender package that the Senate considers."

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

People relax in Victoria Gardens with the Houses of Parliament in the background in central London, as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celsius on June 25, 2020. NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP via Getty Images

The chance that UK summer days could hit the 40 degree Celsius mark on the thermometer is on the rise, a new study from the country's Met Office Hadley Centre has found.

Read More Show Less
A crowd of people congregate along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on June 26, 2020, amid a surge in coronavirus cases. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / Getty Images

By Melissa Hawkins

After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.

Read More Show Less
A Chesapeake Energy drilling rig is located on farmland near Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, on March 20, 2012. Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor / Getty Images

By Eoin Higgins

Climate advocates pointed to news Sunday that fracking giant Chesapeake Energy was filing for bankruptcy as further evidence that the fossil fuel industry's collapse is being hastened by the coronavirus pandemic and called for the government to stop propping up businesses in the field.

Read More Show Less
Youth participate in the Global Climate Strike in Providence, Rhode Island on September 20, 2019. Gabriel Civita Ramirez / CC by 2.0

By Neil King and Gabriel Borrud

Human beings all over the world agreed to strict limitations to their rights when governments made the decision to enter lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis. Many have done it willingly on behalf of the collective. So why can't this same attitude be seen when tackling climate change?

Read More Show Less
A crowd awaits the evening lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota on June 23, 2012. Mindy / Flickr

Fire experts have already criticized President Trump's planned fireworks event for this Friday at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial as a dangerous idea. Now, it turns out the event may be socially irresponsible too as distancing guidelines and mask wearing will not be enforced at the event, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Mountains of produce, including eggs, milk and onions, are going to waste as the COVID-19 pandemic shutters restaurants, restricts transport, limits what workers are able to do and disrupts supply chains. United States government work

By Emma Charlton

Gluts of food left to rot as a consequence of coronavirus aren't just wasteful – they're also likely to damage the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The gates of the unusually low drought-affected Carraizo Dam are seen closed in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on June 29, 2020. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP via Getty Images)

Puerto Rico's governor declared a state of emergency on Monday after a severe drought on the island left 140,000 people without access to running water, despite the necessary role that hand washing and hygiene plays in stopping the novel coronavirus, as The Independent reported.

Read More Show Less