The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Bipartisan Congressional Leaders to Ways and Means: Act Now on PTC

Leaders of a bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill last week joined the U.S. wind power industry to sound an urgent call for the House Ways and Means Committee to find a vehicle as soon as possible for extending the successful Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy — and avert thousands of layoffs already beginning in factories across America.

Discussing the urgent situation were U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Steve King (R-Iowa) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). They spoke with reporters about the bipartisan support for the PTC in Congress and the need for swift passage of the measure. The Congressmen were joined by Steve Lockard, CEO of TPI Composites, a U.S. company that manufactures wind blades at a factory in Newton, Iowa—a town previously devastated by the loss of a Maytag factory, he noted in the press conference.

The press conference came a day before a hearing in the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Entitled “Hearing on Certain Expiring Tax Provisions,” the hearing covered various tax extenders, as they are known, including the PTC. The PTC by far was the most discussed topic and received the greatest level of support.

“Our company has created more than 700 new jobs in Newton, and a second wind energy company there now employs over 100 people,” Lockard said. “Our industry can do the same in hard-hit towns all across the U.S., if Congress will let us and doesn’t increase taxes on wind power next year.”

AWEA CEO Denise Bode, asked House members to insist on swift action on the tax credit. Bode also released new AWEA graphics illustrating the quarter-by-quarter falloff in U.S. wind energy employment from the 75,000 jobs at the start of the year, as wind turbine orders peak around mid-year amid uncertainty over the tax credit. A full 37,000 American wind industry workers could be laid off over the course of this year if Congress does not take action.

“Timing is everything,” she said. “Our situation is urgent because we’re already seeing the loss of over $15 billion a year in private investment in America, and 37,000 U.S. jobs that depend on early extension of the Production Tax Credit.”  

“Energy is an economic and national security priority and a bipartisan issue,” said Congressman Reichert. “The certainty that extending the PTC provides can and will spur growth and development, reduce electricity costs and create jobs. The PTC makes American workers competitive with their counterparts overseas so that American households can look forward to a future of affordable energy.”

“It is vital that the U.S. continue its support for wind energy, which supports manufacturing jobs, drives innovation, protects our environment, and improves our energy security,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “Extending the production tax credit is an important step that Congress can take now to preserve these benefits for the future.”

Blumenauer, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, said he’s heard straight from the citizens of the state he represents the impact the policy uncertainty is having. “People are making investment decisions right this minute,” he said, noting that wind projects involve investments of “tens of millions of dollars, sometimes more.” But those investments are on hold. “I’ve heard from people back home saying, ‘We’ve got to pull back,’” he said.

King called his home state of Iowa a wind energy success story and proof positive that wind power generates economic rewards. “Iowa was the first state to generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind,” he said. “Now, wind supports as many as 5,000 Iowa jobs, and $11 million in annual land lease payments to Iowa farmers. This success story is spreading across the country because wind industry leaders know how to expand this business and provide more U.S. jobs. They just need Washington to provide stable, low tax rates. The Production Tax Credit means keeping investment dollars in the market place — not in the hands of government. Now is the time for stability in the wind industry, and the PTC offers just that."

With Iowa’s high wind power penetrations and the resulting jobs, Kind said in the press conference, Iowans today truly “understand what it does economically, and they understand how clean of a power it is.”

King was scheduled to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee the next day.

American wind power has generated $15 billion to $20 billion a year in private investment over the past five years, in the process becoming one of the fastest growing U.S. manufacturing industries. But with the tax credit that is wind power’s primary policy driver set to expire at the end of the year, the supply chain is already feeling the uncertainty, and layoffs have now begun.

A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the PTC will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

Wind power fosters economic development and job creation while providing affordable energy. Nearly nine out of 10 voters — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — agree that increasing the amount of energy the nation gets from wind power is a wise choice.

In the press conference, Blumenauer underscored the bipartisan nature of wind power. Referring to previous extensions of the PTC, he said, “We’ve done this seven times before since 1992 under both Republican and Democrat administrations, and Republican and Democrat Congresses.”

Carl Levesque is the communications editor at AWEA. This article first appeared in the AWEA Windletter and was reprinted with permission from the American Wind Energy Association.

Image: Ryan Rodrick Beiler via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



Minnesota Commission Revokes Permit for Comfrey Wind Project

Barry Cassell The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued an Oct. 6 order revoking a site permit, first issued in 2008, for th...

EIB Links Green Bonds to Projects in Second Push for Climate

Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg The European Investment Bank is the first issuer to link its individual green bonds to the projects they finance in a...

BOEM Greenlights Offshore Wind for North Carolina

Renewable Energy World Editors BOEM has released a finding of no significant impact for commercial wind lease issuance on the Atlantic OCS offshore ...

Nordex Buys Acciona Wind Unit for $880 Million to Expand Abroad

Brian Parkin and Lydia Mulvany, Bloomberg Germany’s biggest wind-turbine maker agreed to purchase its counterpart in Spain in a transaction that will create th...


US Solar Hosts Sierra Club Solar Meeting

This past Monday, US Solar welcomed a new group to its solar training classroom – The S...

US Solar Invited to Speak at Intersolar North America

Intersolar, the largest solar conference and expo in North America is right around the ...

Yaskawa – Solectria Solar Provides Inverters for One of the Largest Professional Sport Stadium PV Systems in North America

Yaskawa - Solectria Solar, a leading U.S. PV inverter manufacturer, announced today tha...

$100 Discount on 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience Workhop

Upcoming 5-day Workshops: Nov. 7 - 11 Feb. 6 - 10


ENER-G CHP technology selected for major London housing scheme

ENER-G has been selected to supply combined heat and power (CHP) technology for phase two of the Leopold Estate housi...

What's On The Card?

Think back to the last networking event you attended. You probably walked out with at least a couple dozen business c...

Georgia Legislature Approves PPA’s, Florida Hoping to Follow

Ah, the sunny south, the land of peaches, oranges and solar potential. I’m talking about Georgia and Florida he...


Necessity is the mother of innovation. Our planet is going through major changes in climate. This of course will affe...


Carl is Editor & Publications Manager at the American Wind Energy Association, where has worked since 2006. At AWEA he oversees AWEA's online and print publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, Windpower Update, and other products. He has wor...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Certified Renewable Energy Project Developer - online training

In this online training, participants learn about the most critical para...

CRGM - Online Training on Grid Integration of Renewable Energy

The training is useful for persons who would like to learn more about me...

Applying Renewable Energy - Online Training

RENAC Online offers a selection of courses on a wide variety of renewabl...


What's On The Card?

Think back to the last networking event you attended. You probably walke...

Sales Attitude

There’s a significant correlation between positive attitude and sa...

Investor Relations Research

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while or have taken a...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now