Time To Take Off The Gloves: Incoming AWEA Board Chairman Vows No More Mr. Nice Guy

Mark Del Franco
Written by Mark Del Franco
on May 21, 2015 No Comments
Categories : New & Noteworthy

Mike Garland, the newly elected chairman of the board of directors at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), has a message for the membership: Be willing to fight for what you want.

During the opening general session at WINDPOWER 2015 in Orlando, Fla., Garland, who also serves as CEO of San Francisco-based developer Pattern Energy, laid out a three-pronged plan that ensures the U.S. wind industry's near-term viability while garnering high-level support.

In addition to calling for a five-year production tax credit (PTC), Garland told attendees that it's high time the playing field is leveled for all generators, particularly wind power.

‘If others get master limited partnerships, we should too,’ he said, referring to the tax vehicle that combines the funding advantages of a corporation with the tax advantages of partnerships. The investment vehicle currently does not apply to wind power.

Garland also called for a renewed financial commitment from the industry to rebuild its political war chest.

And he plans to begin this renewed advocacy push by starting with the U.S presidential candidates.

Garland noted that Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, has already come out in favor of a multiyear extension of the PTC and that it is the industry's job to force the other candidates to divulge where they stand on wind power.

‘We need industry to flex its muscle,’ he said. ‘We've been very collegial in our requests. We need to begin implementing some accountability.’

For Garland, it's simple: If the industry doesn't ask, politicians don't tell.

‘From the smallest companies to the largest, we have a shared responsibility to make this vision a reality,’ he said. ‘Everyone in this industry needs to demand a five-year PTC.’

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