Mark Udall laid blame for Vestas's decision this week to close its Louisville research and development facility at the feet of Congress for failing to quickly extend the wind Production Tax Credit earlier this year. Congress's failure to extend the PTC and provide the wind industry with the certainty it needs has resulted in hundreds of layoffs in Colorado and across the United States.
"These layoffs are symptomatic of larger problems in Washington, where even bipartisan bills get politicized and stymied," Udall said. "The opponents of extending the PTC are treating our energy security -- and ultimately our national security -- as a political football. These layoffs are on their hands. Our nation needs to follow Colorado's example of pursuing an all-of-the-above energy portfolio that will create jobs and improve the environment. We can't put this off any longer."
Udall, who has decried previous wind energy layoffs, said he remains "cautiously optimistic" that the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will extend the PTC, and will continue his fight to make it happen.
Udall has been a longtime and steadfast advocate for extending the wind Production Tax Credit. Since June, Udall has given regular speeches on the U.S. Senate floor, and has been joined by a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). He also has cheered recent news that wind energy capacity is growing in the United States due to the wind PTC.
Last month, Udall joined with Michael Rucker, CEO of Boulder-based juwi Wind, in calling on Congress to extend the wind Production Tax Credit. He also recently spoke with former Gov. Jennifer Granholm about the importance of the PTC and why Congress needs to extend the PTC as soon as lawmakers return to Washington.