Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R) yesterday called in a joint Wichita Eagle op-ed for extension of wind power's primary incentive, the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC).
Noting that Kansas's wind resource is the second largest of any state, the two wrote, "If we expect the wind energy industry to provide for our country’s future energy needs and make long-term investments in their businesses, Congress must reauthorize the wind production tax credit (PTC) that expires this year. By extending the wind PTC, Congress will allow the wind industry to complete its transformation from being a high tech startup to becoming cost competitive in the energy marketplace. Failure to do so will result in a tax hike on wind energy companies and will only further delay this industry’s ability to compete.
"There are those who view government intervention in the energy sector as picking winners and losers. But the wind PTC is a winning solution because it allows companies to keep more of their own dollars in exchange for the production of energy. These are not cash handouts; they are reductions in taxes that help cover the cost of doing business."
Brownback and Moran said they foresee damaging consequences to the Sunflower State if the PTC is not extended: "If the wind PTC is allowed to expire, local economies across our state will suffer. Kansas counties will lose $3.7 million in annual payments from wind companies. Kansas landowners will lose nearly $4 million annually in additional income they earn from leasing or selling their land for wind farms. And every Kansan will ultimately be affected because the power generated by these wind facilities contributes to our supply of electricity. By eliminating additional sources of electricity, utility rates will climb."
Helping the wind industry grow, they said, will strengthen American energy production and help make the nation stronger and more secure.
A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 79 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans, and has received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association, while a Senate bill to extend it was introduced March 15 by seven Senators, including three Republicans. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.
Previously posted by Tom Gray on the AWEA blog. Please visit their blog to read this and other interesting articles.