Today, Mark Udall urged Congress to quickly prioritize extending the renewable energy tax credits as part of any upcoming tax policy. The tax credits have played an important role in the development and extension of renewable power in Colorado and other states. In particular, a critical tax credit for wind energy - the production tax credit - is set to expire at the end of 2012.
In Colorado, Vestas Wind Systems is directly affected by the tax credit extension as it fights fierce competition from China as well as a congressional deadlock in Washington.
Vestas cut 2,000 jobs this month outside of the U.S. and announced it will cut up to 1,600 jobs mostly in Colorado if the tax credit isn't extended.
Last week, Udall met with workers and employers at Vestas's manufacturing facility in Brighton, one of four in Colorado.
"During my time in Congress, I've pushed the federal government to tighten its budget belt while finding smart ways to invest in our country that will help create jobs and move us ahead of our competitors. Extending the production tax credit is a smart investment that costs us pennies now, but will pay back in pounds later," Udall said.
"Congress's inaction is preventing Vestas and other American companies from planning ahead. It is jeopardizing our jobs, the wind industry and Colorado's lead as a renewable energy producer," Udall said. "I urge my colleagues to get to work and extend this tax credit before hundreds of jobs are lost in Colorado."
Udall has been a strong advocate for these key tax credits for renewable energy. Late last year, he joined his colleagues in urging leaders in Congress to renew the credits and support renewable energy jobs in Colorado and across the country.
"We can't afford to step back and let other countries take the lead - especially in an industry that will help determine who wins in the global economic race," he said.