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Funding & Incentives

Wind industry, White House convene on P.T.C. extension


Leaders in the United States wind energy industry met with White House officials, including two cabinet secretaries, to convene on the call to extend the Production Tax Credit before the U.S. Congress recesses for summer.

The program’s extension will prevent the cutting of 75,000 U.S. jobs, create a new U.S. manufacturing sector, and generate over $15 billion a year in private investment, according to the industry.

Late last year, a coalition made up of members of Congress, 23 governors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau, and Edison Electric Institute, called on Congress to make urgent action on the issue.

White House energy adviser Heather Zichal, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese met with executives of 14 wind power companies, including American Wind Energy Association chief Denise Bode.

"With both President Obama and members of Congress covering the whole political spectrum supporting the wind tax credit to keep U.S. manufacturing jobs, it shows there's a real chance of getting it done in time to keep this homegrown industry growing in America," said Ms. Bode.

The Production Tax Credit, an income tax credit of 2.2 cents/kilowatt-hour allowed for the production of not only wind energy but other renewable sources, was created under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. This allowed wind power to be one of the largest providers of new American electric generation with 35 percent of all new power capacity, just behind natural gas.

Unless the tax credit is extended, layoffs of around 10,000 employees could be seen by the year’s end, while 37,000 jobs could be lost within a year, according to predictions by Navigant Consulting. On the other hand, up to 100,000 jobs can be created by 2016.

The U.S. Department of Energy meanwhile predicted in 2007 that the industry could support up to 500,000 jobs by 2030.

"Extending the P.T.C. already has broad bipartisan support, but Congress and President [Barack Obama] need to act," Ms. Bode said. "Let us finish the job of creating this industry." – EcoSeed Staff  



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