Wind energy production tax credit increasingly in doubt

The wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) expires at the end of 2012 and may not be renewed by the U.S. Congress, despite bipartisan support.

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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA, Washington, D.C.) reported on Feb. 16 that an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) does not appear to have been included in the payroll tax legislation passed by the U.S. Congress. The current PTC will expire on Dec. 31, 2012, and is responsible for incentivizing wind energy development in the U.S.

AWEA CEO Denise Bode released the following statement today concerning the urgency of the issue and next steps in the plan to extend the tax incentive before its year-end expiration: "The stakes here could not be clearer. Economic studies have shown that Congressional inaction on the PTC will kill 37,000 American jobs, shutter plants and cancel billions of dollars in private investment. Congress needs to understand that, with PTC uncertainty, layoffs have already begun and further job losses and even plant closings will accelerate with each month we near expiration in December.

"Support for an extension to wind power's key federal tax incentive is both broad and growing. In just the past 24 hours, leaders as diverse as Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) and Governor John Kitzhaber (D-OR) joined corporate icons like Nike, Campbell Soup, and Yahoo in calling for a speedy extension to wind power's critical federal tax incentive. Legislation extending the PTC now has 70 co-sponsors including 18 Republicans and four Republican members of the powerful Ways and Means committee. The broad base of support for wind energy positions us well to get the PTC extended at the next possible opportunity." 

"Despite this week's outpouring of support, and the earlier endorsements of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau, business leaders, environmental groups, and state officials, neither the PTC — nor any other tax extenders or energy provisions of any sort — appear to have been included in the final version of the payroll tax bill. By all reports, wind champions on both sides of the aisle in both the Senate and House kept the PTC in play up until the very end of the negotiations. They are now working to get the job done by other means."