A group of 19 leading companies has sent a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to immediately extend a key tax credit for wind that is set to expire at the end of the year.
The diverse coalition of firms, which includes Ben & Jerry’s, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, and Yahoo!, says that raising taxes on the wind sector would be bad for businesses that buy large amounts of wind electricity.
These companies join a very large bi-partisan chorus of renewable energy supporters asking Congress to give the wind industry some certainty and put the sector on a level tax playing field with the oil and gas industry, which enjoys billions of dollars in permanent tax benefits.
Over the last year, the National Governor’s Association, County Commissioners, and numerous Republican politicians have all sent separate letters to Congressional leaders in support of extending federal wind tax credits for at least another year. Now this latest group of prominent companies is playing up another theme: Ending support for wind isn’t just bad for the wind industry, it’s bad for downstream non-utility companies that procure energy from wind:
These 19 leading companies are part of the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), a project from the sustainability advocacy group Ceres. They say that failure to extend the wind credit will add new costs to businesses throughout the economy. Interestingly, far-right conservative groups aggressively opposed to raising taxes are the only ones coming out in opposition to the wind tax credit.
Over last five years, wind has brought $20 billion of annual private investment to the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). There are now 75,000 jobs across the country in wind manufacturing, operations, maintenance and education. However, a report from Navigant Consulting prepared for AWEA concludes that failure to extend the wind tax credit could result in up to 37,000 job losses in the coming year.
This article was originally published on Climate Progress and was republished with permission.
Lead image: Wind turbine in clouds via Shutterstock
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