Senators Mark Udall and Chuck Grassley today underscored to their colleagues in Congress the urgency of extending the wind Production Tax Credit and securing thousands of manufacturing jobs and made-in-America energy. During a press conference with Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), the senators were joined by 40 veterans, many of whom have found post-military careers in the wind energy industry, who were participating in an Operation Free two-day fly-in in which they met with members of Congress from their home states. The congressional members and veterans came together around one message to Congress: Stop delaying the extension of the wind PTC and secure American jobs and energy security now.
"Extending the wind Production Tax Credit is one of the most straightforward ways we can support Made-in-America energy and American manufacturing jobs. We need the PTC to help create more good-paying jobs here at home, including jobs for our veterans who are transitioning from the military into the civilian workforce," Udall said. "These men and women proudly served our country in uniform, and now, they are working to move America toward a cleaner and more secure energy future. The opponents of extending the PTC are treating our energy security - and ultimately our national security - as a political football. The bipartisan and bicameral showing at the press conference today proves that we have the wind at our backs in building a clean energy future - we can't afford to put off the wind PTC extension any longer."
"The production tax credit for wind is working and should be part of the effort in Washington to help get more Americans -- and more veterans -- working," Grassley said. "Certainty about tax policy and affordable energy are factors for economic growth, and as much energy as possible -- both traditional and renewable -- should be produced at home to create jobs and strengthen national security."
The wind PTC is due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress renews it. Without renewal, thousands of good-paying, middle-class jobs and our energy security will be jeopardized. Americans of all stripes, including veterans, have benefited from the job opportunities and growth created by the wind energy industry. The lawmakers' call on the Senate to quickly extend the PTC comes as Environment Colorado highlighted how wind energy is a critical part of our nation's renewable energy portfolio, reduces carbon emissions and strengthens our energy security.
Grassley, the father of the wind PTC, has fought to ensure that the wind industry has the support it needs to power communities. Udall has been a vocal proponent for the wind PTC, speaking almost every day the Senate has been in session to urge his colleagues to extend the PTC and secure made-in-America energy and the jobs it creates.
Operation Free is a campaign of the Truman National Security Project and a national coalition of U.S. military veterans working to send the message that America's security relies on ending our addiction to oil and establishing clean, renewable sources of energy.