Familiar Foes Behind Latest Effort To Whack The Wind PTC

Posted by NAW Staff on June 18, 2015 No Comments
Categories : Policy Watch

Some familiar opponents have ramped up their efforts to eliminate the production tax credit (PTC), the U.S. wind industry's chief legislative tax incentive.

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, has introduced H.R.1901, the PTC Elimination Act. Among the bill's 20 co-sponsors is Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a frequent sparring partner of the PTC.

According to the bill's text, the legislation seeks ‘to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to phase out and repeal the credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources, to reduce the corporate income tax, and for other purposes.’

To beat back the threat, 85 companies sent a protest letter to the 20 members of Congress pushing the legislation.

The companies each sent a letter saying that if passed, that bill would ‘take away an effective, business tax incentive that creates jobs, drives rural economic development and reduces energy costs for Americans across the country.’

More damning, the companies say the legislation unfairly targets just one industry: wind. Since 2008, the letter points out, the wind industry has invested $100 billion.

‘[R]ecent PTC expirations have led to dramatic job losses and shuttered manufacturing facilities. These recent examples show that taking away the PTC and making retroactive tax policy changes would threaten an important economic opportunity for workers and their families in your states.’

In 2014, the U.S. wind energy industry added 23,000 jobs. But the year before, after the renewable energy PTC was allowed to expire even briefly, installations of new wind farms fell 92%.

With stable policies, a U.S. Department of Energy report says American wind energy can quadruple by 2030 and supply the U.S. with 20% of its total electricity. That will support 380,000 jobs; increase tax payments to communities to $1.8 billion a year; and increase lease payments to farmers and ranchers to $650 million a year.

The letter notes bipartisan support for continuing the renewable energy PTC in Congress and from both Republican and Democratic presidents, as well as a strong majority of Americans.

For example, a March 2015 Gallup poll found 84% of American voters want the U.S. to put more emphasis or the same emphasis on producing domestic energy from wind. Two-thirds of Republicans and Independents wanted more emphasis.

To read the letter, click here.

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