Quantcast

50,000 Wind Energy Supporters Call on Incoming Senate Committee Leader to Extend Tax Credit

Business

As Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden takes leadership of the Senate Finance Committee, his inbox is filling up with requests to prioritize the renewal of the wind production tax credit (PTC).

Rob Hogg, an Iowa state senator, created a Climate Parents petition to send to Wyden, encouraging him to do what he can to obtain a PTC renewal. According to North American WindPower, the petition has about 50,000 signatures.

“We must support wind power and renewable energy,” Hogg said. “Our children and our grandchildren are counting on Congress to act.”

Ron Wyden, the income Senate Finance Committee chairman, is the subject of a petition to help renew the production tax credit. Photo credit: Wyden.senate.gov

The PTC expired Dec. 31 and left companies scrambling at the end of 2013 to the meet its requirements. Additionally, 24 U.S. senators sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance in December with hopes of preserving the jobs and investments that come along with the tax credit. Siemens sold 448 turbines to MidAmerican Energy in December in what was the world’s largest order for onshore wind projects. MidAmerican is using the turbines for five different projects in Iowa.

"The decision on whether to extend the wind PTC is a crucial test for Congress that will impact the type of world our children inherit," The Climate Parents petition reads. "Will Congress continue to favor industries that increase carbon pollution, fueling climate-related disasters?

"Or, will Congress take action to promote safe, clean energy that will allow us to stabilize the climate?"

The wind PTC provided about 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of produced energy. 

Wyden is slated to replace former Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who left the Senate last week to become the U.S. ambassador to China. Baucus closed out the year by proposing a consolidation of the nation's energy incentives from 42 to two. Many of the current incentives would not have been retained under his plan, but the values of the wind PTC would have remained in place through 2016.

Meanwhile, the billionaire Koch brothers and their allies have continued waging war against the PTC and renewable energy as a whole. The Institute for Energy Research, which is funded by Koch Industries, and the American Energy Alliance promoted a study last month deeming the tax credit, "wind welfare."

"Your leadership as the new Senate Finance Committee chair in prioritizing and championing renewal of the renewable energy PTC can have a major impact on getting past the partisan gridlock that is jeopardizing this vital support for wind energy," the Climate Parents petition to Wyden reads.

"There is growing momentum across the country for an extension of the wind tax credit."

Of course, his response remains to be seen. At a forum in Portland last month, Wyden touted the country's supply of natural gas, but also said the U.S. needed more green energy.

"We need cleaner, more renewable energy for the environment and the economy," the senator said.

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Artist's conception of solar islands in the open ocean. PNAS

Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks, according to new research from Norway and Switzerland and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, PNAS, as NBC News reported. The floating islands could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Read More Show Less
Marcos Alves / Moment Open / Getty Images

More than 40 percent of insects could go extinct globally in the next few decades. So why did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week ok the 'emergency' use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on 13.9 million acres?

EcoWatch teamed up with Center for Biological Diversity via EcoWatch Live on Facebook to find out why. Environmental Health Director and Senior Attorney Lori Ann Burd explained how there is a loophole in the The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act under section 18, "that allows for entities and states to request emergency exemptions to spraying pesticides where they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to spray."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
View of downtown Miami, Florida from Hobie Island on Feb. 2, 2019. Michael Muraz / Flickr

The Democratic candidates for president descended upon Miami for a two-night debate on Wednesday and Thursday. Any candidate hoping to carry the state will have to make the climate crisis central to their campaign, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
A pumpjack in the Permian Basin. blake.thornberry / Flickr

By Sharon Kelly

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal featured a profile of Scott Sheffield, CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, whose company is known among investors for its emphasis on drawing oil and gas from the Permian basin in Texas using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Craig K. Chandler

The federal government has available to it, should it choose to use them, a wide range of potential climate change management tools, going well beyond the traditional pollution control regulatory options. And, in some cases (not all), without new legislative authorization.

Read More Show Less
Denis Poroy / Getty Images

By Dan Gray

Processed foods, in their many delicious forms, are an American favorite.

But new research shows that despite increasing evidence on just how unhealthy processed foods are, Americans have continued to eat the products at the same rate.

Read More Show Less

By Sarah Steffen

With a profound understanding of their environmental surroundings, indigenous communities around the world are often cited as being pivotal to tackling climate change.

Read More Show Less