Bipartisan Calls: Senators, Representatives Urge PTC Extension

The push for a Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension continued on Capitol Hill with bipartisan contingents in both the House and Senate recently calling for action.

U.S. Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and 10 colleagues from both parties wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Wednesday urging swift action on extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC).

Also, recently four U.S. Representatives from the Illinois congressional delegation signed a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate calling for “a short-term Production Tax Credit extension for wind energy at the earliest opportunity in the first quarter of 2012.”

In addition to Udall and Moran, the Senate letter was signed by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

“An extension of the wind production tax credit should provide for some long-term stability while setting forth a path for how the wind industry can move towards a market-based system. While it is clear that the wind industry currently requires tax incentives like the production tax credit to compete, Congress needs to provide the wind industry with the stability and predictability to plan for the future,” wrote the Senators.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 70 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans. This legislation has received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.

Last week, an extension of the PTC was not included in the high-profile payroll tax legislation. (No business tax extensions of any kind were included in the final package.) Wind power advocates are urging extension as soon as possible because, while the PTC expires at the end of the year, members of the industry supply chain are already being affected due to the uncertainty, particularly given that turbine orders are placed many months in advance.

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.

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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 worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans teaching as well as working with homeless youth.

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