Braley Urges House Leaders to Include Wind Energy Tax Credits in Year-End Tax Legislation

Nov 29, 2011 Issues: Energy

Extending tax credit before end of next year would boost jobs and growth in wind energy sector
 
Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged Republican and Democratic House leaders to include legislation extending the wind energy production tax credit for another four years in any year-end tax cut extension deal.
 
Congressional leaders are negotiating an agreement to extend a number of job creation tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year, including a payroll tax cut and a biofuels tax credit.
 
In a letter to House leadership, Braley said that an immediate, four-year extension of the wind energy production tax credit would provide more certainty for the wind energy industry, encouraging increased investment and job creation.  Historically, investment in wind energy projects has collapsed when the wind energy production tax credit has been allowed to expire.   
 
“Though the Production Tax Credit isn’t set to expire until the end of 2012, wind project developers are hesitant to schedule future projects without the certainty of having this credit extended,” Braley wrote.  “When the credit has expired in the past, the installation of new wind turbines dropped as much as 93 percent, with corresponding job losses.  By not waiting until the last minute, we can maintain certainty for investors and continue to create jobs in this growing industry.”
 
At the beginning of November, Braley introduced the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act, a bill that extends the wind energy production tax credit for another four years.  Without Congressional action, the existing wind energy production tax credit will expire at the end of 2012.
 
Wind energy is a major growth industry in Iowa.  Iowa is first in the nation in per-capita wind energy production, and second nationally in total annual wind energy production in megawatt-hours.  According to the Iowa Wind Energy Association, the Iowa wind energy industry already employs over 3,000 full-time workers.  That number could grow with a more certain investment climate for the wind energy.
 
The text of Braley’s letter to House leaders is below; a copy can be viewed at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/5YT
 
--
 
November 29, 2011
 
Speaker John Boehner
H 232, U.S. Capitol          
Washington, D.C. 20515               
 
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
H 204, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
               
Majority Leader Eric Cantor        
H 329, U.S. Capitol          
Washington, D.C. 20515               
 
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer
H 148, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
 
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Leader Pelosi and Minority Whip Hoyer,
 
I urge you to include the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act, which would extend the production tax credit (PTC) for four years, as part of any tax extenders package that may be considered before the end of the year.  Extending this credit is essential to maintaining and expanding a domestic wind energy industry.
               
Wind is still a comparatively new energy industry and we must have a consistent and long-term federal policy to encourage continued investment. Even though the production tax credit isn’t set to expire until the end of 2012, wind project developers are hesitant to schedule future projects without the certainty of having this credit extended. When the credit has expired in the past, the installation of new wind turbines dropped as much as 93 percent, with corresponding job losses.
 
By not waiting until the last minute, we can maintain certainty for investors and continue to create jobs in this growing industry.
 
Wind has already had a positive impact on our economy and added 40 percent of all new electricity capacity between 2008 and 2009. It has provided a steady source of income for thousands of farmers and ranchers, with Iowa landowners making roughly $12.6 million per year leasing land for turbines. Additionally, over 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. now make major turbine components, towers, and blades. In Iowa alone, the wind industry supports more than 3,000 jobs with a combined payroll of over $70 million per year.
 
Wind energy is helping meet America’s increasing demand for electricity. Please consider a long-term extension of the wind PTC to make sure that this industry continues to create jobs and be part of a long-term solution to meet our energy needs.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
/s/ Bruce Braley
Member of Congress