Local Chambers of Commerce urge Congress: Extend critical wind tax credit
National Chamber network, representing 240 local Chambers nationwide, says tax incentive critical to boosting American wind energy jobs, innovation
Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE), the only national, non-partisan clean energy network and information hub for local chambers of commerce, yesterday issued a letter calling on Congress to extend the nation’s key tax incentive for wind energy, the Production Tax Credit (PTC). With 240 local chambers from 47 states participating in its network, the group said allowing the PTC to expire at the end of 2012 would hurt local economies, send jobs and capital 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 Production Tax Credit for wind enjoys broad and diverse business support, ranging from the U.S Chamber of Commerce to the National Association of Manufacturers and major corporations like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Sprint, Nike, and Starbucks. It now includes support from local chambers of commerce from around the country.
This local chamber support comes as cities and regions nationwide continue to diversify their local economies due to 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. From fasteners and castings to power convertors, sensors, and large turbine blades, American businesses small and large are powering this homegrown energy industry. In fact, with the support of the Production Tax Credit 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. Once turbines are installed in a particular location, wind energy places downward pressure on local electricity prices.
“Wind will always be a free resource, in contrast to the price volatility we often see with more traditional fuels,” said Angelique Espinoza, Public Affairs Manager for the Boulder (CO) Chamber of Commerce. “There are a lot of unknowns in our community’s energy future, but knowing that wind will remain a strong option in the mix means reduced risks for the business and commercial energy users who use and pay for about two thirds of the power consumed in Boulder. Businesses know that wind energy is important for consistently lower and more predictable electricity rates.”
With member chambers located in the nation’s largest wind-producing states, including Texas, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy concluded its letter with:
“Ending the Production Tax Credit for wind… will put us behind in this critical leg of the global race for clean energy innovation… Extending the Production Tax Credit for wind is economically sound policy: it creates jobs, promotes clean energy, keeps electricity prices low for consumers and promotes the vitality of our communities.”
The letter is available here: http://is.gd/Chambers4PTC
Learn more about the Production Tax Credit: http://www.awea.org/issues/federal_policy/upload/PTC-Fact-Sheet.pdf
The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale wind turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.
A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 110 cosponsors, including 25 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Denver Post, the Daily Oklahoman, the Toledo Blade, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times.
Further endorsements of the wind energy production tax credit.
Moms Clean Air Force blogger urges PTC extension, September 20, 2012
Business leaders urge Congress to extend renewable energy tax credit, September 19, 2012
Wind project shows what's at stake with PTC delay, September 18, 2012
Iowa coalition calls on Congress to renew PTC, September 17, 2012
New round of layoffs underscores urgency of action on PTC, September 13, 2012
NRDC: Typical wind farm supports nearly 1,100 jobs: PTC inaction hurts employment, September 12, 2012
'It's the economy, stupid': Why Iowa needs a wind PTC extension, September 11, 2012
NW Power Council member: Wind is 'important economic driver', September 10, 2012
Pa. state legislator: PTC extension will 'create jobs, support communities', September 6, 2012
Colorado mom: Extending PTC 'not a political issue', September 5, 2012
Philadelphia Inquirer backs extension of wind credit, September 4, 2012
Minnesota newspaper on PTC: 'Uncertainty is a killer', August 24, 2012
Opinion: What critics of wind power's incentive miss, August 23, 2012
Bloomberg endorses extension of PTC, August 22, 2012
Iowa newspaper: 'Don't target wind energy', August 21, 2012
Opinion: For many reasons, Congress should extend tax credit, August 20, 2012
Montana leaders continue wind tradition, support PTC, August 17, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times backs PTC extension, August 16, 2012
San Antonio Express-News: 'Keep wind power incentives in place', August 15, 2012
Clarifying the dollars involved in wind energy's tax credit, August 14, 2012
Iowa newspaper: 'Don't end PTC too soon', August 14, 2012
Iowa newspaper endorses extension of PTC, August 13, 2012
Sen. Grassley: PTC has been 'successful,' should be extended, August 10, 2012
Denver Post calls for quick action on PTC extension, August 8, 2012
Rep. Noem to visit technical school, discuss PTC extension, August 7, 2012
Des Moines Register: 'Wind tax credits should be extended', August 7, 2012
Why extending the PTC is good policy, August 6, 2012
Bipartisan group of Senators urges support for PTC extension, August 3, 2012
PTC advances in U.S. Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, August 3, 2012
FERC chair: Letting PTC expire could have 'devastating' impact, August 2, 2012
Udall's 13th PTC speech examines its impact on Idaho, August 1, 2012
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