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

The Opera House is seen with smoke haze which enveloped Sydney Harbor on Dec. 10 in Sydney, Australia. Smoke haze hangs over the city as the New South Wales fire danger risk is raised from 'very high' to 'severe'. James D. Morgan / Getty Images

The brushfires raging through New South Wales have shrouded Australia's largest city in a blanket of smoke that pushed the air quality index 12 times worse than the hazardous threshold, according to the Australia Broadcast Corporation (ABC).

Read More Show Less
People walk across the bridge near Little Raven Court in downtown Denver. Younger Americans increasingly prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post via Getty Images

By David B. Goldstein

Energy efficiency is the cornerstone of any country's plan to fight the climate crisis. It is the cheapest option available, and one that as often as not comes along with other benefits, such as job creation, comfort and compatibility with other key solutions such as renewable energy. This has been recognized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for at least a decade.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Activists from Extinction Rebellion New York City engaged in nonviolent direct action to confront climate change outside City Hall on April 17, 2019. Erik McGregor / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Over 500 groups on Monday rolled out an an action plan for the next president's first days of office to address the climate emergency and set the nation on a transformative path towards zero emissions and a just transition in their first days in office.

Read More Show Less
The Ladakh region of India, pictured above, is a part of the Himalayan mountain region of the upper Indus Valley which is the most vulnerable water tower, according to researchers. Suttipong Sutiratanachai / Moment / Getty Images

The drinking water of 1.9 billion people is at risk from the climate crisis and the demand for water is rising, a study published Monday in Nature has found.

Read More Show Less
Jet stream triggered heat waves could threaten food production in several important breadbaskets, including central North America. Carl Wycoff / CC BY 2.0

Researchers have pinpointed a previously underexamined threat to global food production, and they warn it will only get worse as the climate crisis intensifies.

Read More Show Less