Western governors urge PTC extension

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2012 - In a letter to House and Senate leaders, the Western Governors Association called on Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy rather than let it expire at the end of the month. Citing annual economic benefits for rural areas in the West from the PTC estimated at $230 million in county tax revenues and $90 million in lease payments, the governors said that extending the credit now is critical to achieving the country's clean energy goals, building the nation's manufacturing base, lowering energy costs, and strengthening domestic energy security. 

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The governors noted that in 2011, the wind industry provided more than 30,000 manufacturing, construction and other jobs in the Western states. They said that any continued policy uncertainty results in developers stopping turbine orders for installation beyond 2012, leading to the loss of American jobs. The bipartisan governors' group did concede the tax credit was a short-term investment tool.

“While the PTC is vital to the near-term future of renewable energy production in the Western United States and across the nation, we agree that the credit should not exist in perpetuity,” said the letter signed by Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert, chairman of the WGA, and Colorado Gov.John Hickenlooper, WGA Vice-Chairman. The governors said the short-term extension should be coupled with a broader conversation about revisiting all energy-related tax credits. “In the long run, we believe repealing all federal energy subsidies (tax or otherwise) is the preferred approach,” the governors wrote.

 “No one energy company, or energy source, should receive preferential treatment from the federal government.”


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