Wind Tax Credit Extension Critical

The Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, an information network for local chambers of commerce, is calling for Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for the wind industry. There are 240 chamber of commerce members from 47 states supporting PTC and in a letter explained that the expiration of the PTC would hurt local economies, send jobs elsewhere and risk ceding America’s clean energy leadership to our global competitors.

“As leaders of our local business communities, we’ve seen firsthand the economic development benefits of wind energy,” said Jim Heeter, President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City (MO) Chamber of Commerce. “From Iowa and Kansas to South Dakota, Indiana, Texas and Ohio, wind energy is helping us attract new clean energy companies and capital, while making our existing businesses in manufacturing, construction and other sectors viable into the future. We need Congress to support our local communities by extending this critical tax incentive.”

The PTC is seeing strong bipartisan support across the county and last week, a diverse coalition of groups from Iowa also called on Congress to extend the tax credit. The program is important as cities and regions across the country work on diversifying their local economies with the aid of renewable energy, including wind energy.

Nearly 500 facilities across 44 states now manufacture for the wind energy industry, creating new opportunities for American businesses up and down the supply chain. The Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy cite that with the support of the PTC for wind, 60 percent of a wind turbine’s value is now produced within the United States, compared to 25 percent prior to 2005.

“Local chambers know that for their local wind energy businesses and suppliers to grow, investors need certainty in the wind market,” said Diane Doucette, Executive Director of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy. “The PTC is the key mechanism creating that certainty. We’re already seeing layoffs throughout the industry as Congress stalls on the PTC. Allowing the PTC to expire would slow wind projects, decrease orders for our manufacturers, and result in even more jobs lost around the country.”

As the chambers’ letter states, the PTC has enabled the wind industry to slash wind energy costs by 90 percent since 1980, making wind energy a viable and cost-effective source of electricity in communities across the nation. Electricity prices are set by the operating costs of power plants, including the cost of fuel inputs. So once turbines are installed in a particular location, wind energy places downward pressure on local electricity prices.

4 thoughts on “Wind Tax Credit Extension Critical

  1. Chanbers of Commerce used to be reliable spokesmen for organiations engaged in commercially viable activities.

    Ms. Shroeder’s article suggests that local Chambers, like the US Chamber, have become panhandlers for special interest groups and organizations that find it more profitable and less risky to “mine” Washington DC for tax breaks and subsidies, rthat than engage in innovative and productive activities in the private, competitive economy.

    If Ms. Schroder will check the facts about wind energy, rather than relying on press releases from the wind industry, she would find that:

    1. Electricity from wind is very high in true cost and low in true value.

    2. Wind energy has significant adverse environmental, economic, electric system reliability, scenic and property value impacts.

    3. There is no evidence that electricity from wind will ever be commercially viable; i.e., with tax breaks and subsidies.

    She would also learn that the 20-year old “temporary” tax break has:

    a. Transferws hundreds of millions of dollars from the pockets of ordinary taxpayers and electric customers to the pockets of heavily subsidized “wind farm” owners and developers and wind turbine suppliers (many from foreign countries).

    b. Misdirected of billions of capital investment dollars to energy projects — wind turbines — that produce little electricity, which electricity is intermittent, volatile, unreliable and low in value because it is produced primarily at night in colder months, not on hot weekday afternoons in July and August when electricity is most in demand.

    c. Contributed to the growing national problem whereby once great companies have found it more profitable and less risky to focus a large share of their human resources on “mining” Washington and state capitals for tax breaks and subsidies rather than engaging those resources in innovative and productive endeavors in the private sector that would make a far greater contribution to economic and job growth.

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