Today, Mark Udall released a statement vowing to pass the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) and protect thousands of clean energy jobs across Colorado. His latest attempt to pass the PTC was part of the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act that would have paid for this and other key renewable energy incentives by closing tax loopholes and ending subsidies for the five largest oil companies.
"I am disappointed that the Senate has failed again to extend this crucial wind energy tax credit that has led to thousands of Colorado jobs being created and helped launch the state as a leader of clean energy production in the country. Colorado energy producers simply can't afford for the Senate to allow this credit to expire, and I will keep fighting to get this passed," Udall said. "The production tax credit is a common-sense investment that has brought employers like the Vestas manufacturing facilities to Pueblo and Windsor, and helped create nearly 6,000 jobs in the state. The bill also contains critical tax credits for energy efficiency, biofuels and other renewable energy resources. It's vital that we invest in our state so that it continues to be a renewable energy leader."
The PTC is currently set to expire at the end of this year, but employers in the wind industry cannot make hiring or capital investment decisions without the confidence that this tax incentive will be in place for the next two years. If it is not extended, at least 37,000 jobs across the country are in jeopardy, and 6,000 stand to be lost in Colorado alone. Employers within some industries have already started considering layoffs this quarter.
Udall has made numerous attempts in recent months to extend the PTC. On March 15, he partnered with Senators Michael Bennet and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to introduce the American Energy and Job Promotion Act (S.2201), bipartisan legislation that would extend the tax credit and provide needed certainty to the wind industry for the next two years. In February, Udall also worked with Senators Bennet and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) to introduce an amendment that would extend the PTC, in addition to sending a letter urging Senate leadership in both parties to make the PTC a priority.
The wind industry currently supports 75,000 American jobs and it accounts for 35 percent of new electricity generation in the United States over the past five years. Wind is the second-fastest growing energy market in the country, next to natural gas, and the industry's growth has played a key role in driving and diversifying the Colorado energy economy.