Mark Udall has joined with Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today in filing an amendment to extend a wind energy tax credit that is set to expire at the end of 2012. If the tax credit is not extended soon, thousands of jobs associated with wind energy development projects are at risk.
The amendment, which has been filed to the small business jobs bill, would extend the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) for two years and is paid for.
"Extending the wind Production Tax Credit is a real, tangible way Congress can help move the economy forward and keep good-paying U.S. jobs from being exported overseas to China and other countries," Udall said. "This amendment complements my daily campaign to spur the Senate to renew the wind PTC. Congress must act to keep the United States on the cutting edge of renewable energy technology and on a path to secure our energy independence."
"Colorado is a proven leader in the development of wind energy production and would suffer a huge economic blow if this tax credit expires," Bennet said. "The wind PTC has helped our state attract new companies and create thousands of jobs in a diverse energy sector. This credit has bipartisan support, and it is time for Congress to pass the extension to give companies in Colorado and across the country certainty for the foreseeable future."
The amendment represents the most recent bipartisan efforts by the senators to secure an extension of the credit to provide certainty to wind energy businesses across the country. In February, they filed an amendment to the transportation bill to extend the credit, however it was never brought to a vote. The senators also joined several of their colleagues in sending a letter to Senate leadership urging them to consider legislation that will extend the wind PTC.
"If we expect the wind energy industry to provide for our country's future energy needs and make long-term investments in their businesses, Congress must reauthorize the wind production tax credit (PTC) that expires this year," Moran said. "Rather than make it more difficult for the private sector to develop energy sources, we should lower taxes, reduce overly burdensome regulations, and allow the private sector to succeed in the free market. Our failure to extend this tax credit would destabilize this growing manufacturing industry and cost thousands of American jobs."
Colorado is a wind energy leader, currently generating the third highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. Colorado is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upwards of 6,000 workers statewide.
Kansas is ranked second in the United States in wind resource potential and leads the nation in wind capacity currently under construction. With hundreds of Kansans employed in manufacturing and installing wind farm components, Kansas is a national leader in wind energy production.
Nationally, expiration of the wind production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association.