West Fargo, North Dakota [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Congressman Earl Pomeroy announced the introduction of H.R. 197, a bill to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) for an additional five years, until 2014. An extension of this tax credit is necessary to provide the long-term stability that is needed for the development of major wind projects.“The Production Tax Credit is vital for the further development of the wind industry in North Dakota. We have seen how critical this credit has been during the three periods in which the credit was allowed to expire. Local jobs were furloughed, economic activity was halted, and, of course, less energy was produced in-state,” Congressman Pomeroy said. “A long-term extension of this tax credit will put North Dakota much farther down the road toward energy independence.” North Dakota is the sixth-largest energy producing and exporting state in the nation; it currently has a capacity of 128 megawatts (MW) of wind production with another 50.6 MW under construction. But the state is only using less than one-tenth of one percent of its wind power potential. North Dakota has the potential for 138,400 MW of production, ranking it first in the nation. For every megawatt (MW) of wind energy produced, $1 million in economic development is generated, which includes revenue from planning, construction, etc. Wind energy development depends on the Production Tax Credit, a 1.5-cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit that was created by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. (The credit is adjusted for inflation, so it’s currently 1.9 cents/kWh.) When the wind energy credit expired at the end of 2003, it cost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in states across the country. In North Dakota, DMI Industries in West Fargo, which manufactures wind turbine towers, furloughed over 100 employees in late 2003. LMGlasfiber, a wind turbine blade manufacturer in Grand Forks, furloughed 60 to 70 manufacturing employees and essentially idled all production at the end of 2003 due to the delay in extending the wind tax credit.