The Sierra Club has launched a national ad campaign calling on Congress to reauthorize the production tax credit (PTC) for wind power. The environmental group says its effort, which includes substantial online and television ad buys, focuses on members of Congress with wind manufacturing jobs in their districts and states that are at risk if the PTC is not renewed.
The first wave of ads targets 21 U.S. House of Representatives members who the Sierra Club says have been silent as the incentive expired. The group has released a television ad targeting Rep. Tim Walberg, MI-07, as well as extensive online ad buys in 20 other districts across the U.S.
The ad targeting Walberg, which can be viewed HERE, will air more than 5,000 times throughout June on broadcast and cable channels in Michigan's 7th district. Geo-targeted online ads calling out the 20 other representatives will run at least through June on local and national news sites.
"The wind production tax credit is arguably one of the best bets we've made on clean, domestic energy," says Dave Hamilton, director of clean energy for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. "It encourages huge investments, creates good American jobs, helps our country become more energy independent, and cuts air and water pollution. But many in Congress are failing to act, leaving thousands of American workers and communities across the country blowing in the wind."
According to the Sierra Club, the wind industry employs more than 80,000 U.S. workers and produces enough clean energy to power 15 million homes. The sector also saves more than 30 billion gallons of fresh water each year compared with other energy sources, the group adds.
Until 2012, the Sierra Club says the U.S. wind industry averaged more than $15 billion in new investment annually, and the cost of wind energy dropped 43% from 2008 to 2012. Wind was the U.S.' fastest-growing source of new electrical capacity in 2012; however, uncertainty created by the PTC's expiration slowed new investment and growth for the industry since 2012.
In April, the Senate Finance Committee approved a tax extenders package that included the PTC. Movement has since stalled in the full Senate, likely until after the November elections, and the House Ways and Means Committee failed to include an extension of the wind PTC in a similar package in May.
The Sierra Club says forthcoming online, television and print ads are planned as the group continues to pressure members of Congress to act to protect clean energy jobs in their own communities.
The first wave of online ad targets will include the following representatives: Doug Collins, GA-08; Todd Rokita, IN-04; Larry Buchson, IN-08; Thomas Massie, KY-04; Dan Benishek, MI-01; Tim Walberg, MI-07; John Kline, MN-02; Steve Daines, MT-AL; Steve Pearce, NM-02; Patrick McHenry, NC-09; Robert Pittenger, NC-10; Joe Heck, NV-03; Jim Jordan, OH-04; Mike Turner, OH-10; Greg Walden, OR-02; Pat Meehan, PA-07; Randy Neugebauer, TX-19; Scott Rigell, VA-02; Robert Hurt; VA-05; Jaime Herrera Beutler, WA-03; Reid Ribble, WI-08.