Two-dozen investors with more than a combined $800 billion in assets under management have called for an immediate extension of the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC).
In a letter delivered to congressional leaders, investors noted that the PTC creates broad economic benefits, both for wind power producers and their suppliers across the nation. Several of these investors will meet with congressional staff this week to discuss their support for the credit, according to Ceres, a nonprofit group that advocates for sustainability leadership.
"Allowing the PTC to expire would severely damage U.S. competitiveness and divert hundreds of billions of investment dollars away from the U.S. to competitors with inferior resources but stronger policies," they wrote. "The wind power industry has been a bright spot for employment and has, despite the recession, created one of America's fastest-growing manufacturing sectors.
"As Congress investigates ways to spur business growth, we urge lawmakers to ensure an extension of the PTC as soon as possible," the letter continued. "Failure to extend the PTC for wind would interrupt one of the most substantive growth and job-creation stories in the U.S. market today. Congress should provide a multiyear extension to provide the market certainty needed for investment in this sector.
The signatories of the letter, many of whom are members of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, include state treasurers and several of the largest pension funds in the country, including the California State Teachers Retirement System, the New York State Comptroller's Office, the New York City Comptroller's Office, and the North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oregon State Treasurers.
"It is not just investors in wind turbine manufacturing or builders of wind farms that care about the production tax credit," notes Matthew Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. "We have long-term positions in a variety of suppliers and diversified firms that can link a portion of their success to the wind power industry. We want to see that progress continue without being bogged down by uncertainty in Washington.’
"As long-term investors, we recognize America's critical need for more sustainable energy sources," adds New York City Comptroller John C. Liu, who oversees the city's $122 billion pension fund. "But given our fiduciary duty to provide a secure retirement for 700,000 hardworking New Yorkers, we need a stable policy on incentives in order to invest in the renewable power industry. This credit pays for performance in the renewable power sector, and it deserves to be extended as soon as possible."
The full letter is available here.