The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
50,000 Wind Energy Supporters Call on Incoming Senate Committee Leader to Extend Tax Credit
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.”
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
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.