By Peter Kelley
At the end of last year, we fought hard to extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) as part of the payroll tax extension bill. Our federal legislators heard us loud and clear—and we were included on the short list of provisions to be extended through that bill. In the end, Congress only negotiated a narrow two-month extension of the payroll tax provision, so our legislators are back to the drawing board, and they have a new deadline for passing tax legislation—Feb. 29.
As an advocate for American wind power, I ask you to make a renewed effort to reach out to your legislators and emphasize this key message—“It is urgent that you act to extend the PTC in any tax legislation that moves forward this month.”
The PTC is the primary policy tool to promote wind energy development and manufacturing in the U.S. While it is set to expire at the end of 2012, the wind industry’s long lead times to develop projects and order wind turbines from manufacturers means that the credit has already effectively expired for the industry. Congress has a choice to make—extend the PTC this month, and keep the wind industry on track to employ 500,000 people, or halve the work force, including tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs that will not return to this country.
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American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is a national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry—one of the world's fastest growing energy industries. In addition, AWEA represents hundreds of wind energy advocates from around the world.