WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American wind industry's efforts to extend its key federal tax incentive received several promising bits of news last week. A bipartisan group of Colorado's congressional delegation, including Republican Representatives Scott Tipton and Cory Gardner, called on a congressional conference committee to extend the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) as part of the payroll tax extension.
Colorado Senators Mark Udall (and Michael Bennet and Representatives Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis, Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton delivered a letter of support of the PTC to the chairmen of the conference committee negotiating the extension of the payroll tax credit. The letter was delivered ahead of a meeting the committee held on Tuesday.
The entire bipartisan Iowa delegation also sent a letter last Thursday calling on the conference committee to extend the PTC.
The letters came as wind industry leaders from across the country went to Washington last week to press for a PTC extension with their Members of Congress. As a part of these efforts, wind energy manufacturers including Steve Lockard of TPI Composites, Terry Royer of Winergy Drive Systems and John Purcell of Leeco Steel participated in a Wednesday morning breakfast briefing with reporters. The manufacturers stressed how vital a stable PTC is to jobs in wind power’s growing manufacturing sector.
“Our ask on the Hill today and this week is a one-year, full-value extension of the production tax credit,” said Steve Lockard, president and CEO of TPI Composites. “That’s the priority today, and tying it to the payroll tax bill is the immediate vehicle to get it through.”
“There’s an emergency around what we’re doing,” he added.
Meanwhile, veteran bipartisan Senate dealmaker and Energy Committee Chairman, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, published a piece in The Hill newspaper on Thursday calling for an extension of the PTC as part of any payroll tax credit extension deal. States the piece:
“This group of lawmakers should not consider its job done until it has found a way to extend the job-creating credits that expired at the end of 2011, and to proactively extend the credits that will expire at the end of 2012.
“We must act quickly. If we do not extend the production tax credit for wind by the end of the first quarter of this year, we will start to see lost jobs, slowed momentum and idled U.S. factories.”
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.