Governors call for wind tax credit extension

In a letter to Congressional leadership today, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, urged Congressional leadership “…to take swift action to extend the PTC before the end of this congressional session.” The PTC stands for production tax credit which is a tax incentive offered to producers of wind energy that stands on the brink of expiration. If allowed to expire hundreds of jobs may be on the line.

As CivSource reported, wind energy has been steadily growing in the US, supported in large part by this tax credit. Clean energy projects were announced in 30 states in the second quarter and nearly one-third of those announcements were in Midwest states, including Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois – all states with high unemployment and drought conditions, making the need for renewables real and immediate.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, if the credit expires the industry can expect to see a job loss rate of 73-93%. This huge percentage is leading a coalition of governors from 28 states to call on congress to keep the tax credit alive.

In their letter, the governors pointed out that “[w]ithout a PTC extension, it is estimated that the U.S. economy will lose 37,000 wind industry jobs and the opportunity to leverage over $10 billion of private investment. Our states are already seeing these impacts.”

Governor Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) joined Sen. Chuck Grassley on Capitol Hill in Washington for a news conference which Governors John Kitzhaber (D-OR), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) joined by conference call. At the conference, the governors outlined their support for wind energy and the tax credit, expressing optimism that it would not be allowed to expire over the lame duck session.

Branstad is chairman and Kitzhaber is vice chairman of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition. Brownback and Hickenlooper are members of the Coalition.