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Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., recently introduced the Wind Energy Development Act of 2007, which would extend the current Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) that is set to expire in 2008 through 2012.

According to the senator's office, extending the PTC would give the wind industry a consistent and reliable economic incentive and encourage manufacturers to invest in and expand facilities in the U.S. It provides a $0.02 per kWh tax credit for renewable electricity production, which makes wind energy a more competitive source compared to coal, hydro and natural gas, Thune's office adds.

In addition, under this legislation, the amount of clean renewable energy bonds would increase to $2.25 billion. Rather than working as a traditional interest-bearing bond, these bonds would provide tax credits in lieu of interest to the bond holder, the governor says. A portion of the bond funding would be set aside for public power entities, Indian tribes and cooperative electric companies.

"To avoid a looming energy crisis, we need to explore every possible source of renewable, home-harnessed energy, such as wind power - an under-utilized resource that has the potential to provide cost-effective energy to millions of Americans," Thune adds.

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