Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today expressed disappointment after learning of a round of layoffs in Windsor by Vestas Corporation due to Congress' inaction on extending the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). The credit, which is set to expire at the end of the year, is vital to thousands of Colorado jobs associated with wind energy development projects.
"The continued stream of layoffs of Colorado wind energy workers is especially disappointing because they could have been avoided if Congress had passed the wind PTC," Bennet said. "Congress' inaction is hitting home in Colorado. It's unnecessarily making it harder for families to buy groceries, put gas in their cars and pay their bills. The wind tax credit has bipartisan support and should be extended as soon as soon as possible."
Bennet has led efforts in Congress to extend the wind energy PTC. He led eight of the nine members of the Colorado Congressional delegation in a bipartisan letter calling for extension of the tax credit and has introduced two bipartisan amendments with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), cosponsored by Senator Mark Udall, to extend the PTC. He has also partnered with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Udall to introduce the American Energy and Job Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to extend the PTC for wind and several other renewable energy technologies. In July, he successfully led a bipartisan group of senators urging the Senate Finance Committee to include an extension of the PTC in a tax extenders bill the committee was considering.
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.
Nationally, expiration of the wind production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association.