On the National Journal’s Energy Experts Blog, LCV President Gene Karpinski stresses the need to renew the production tax credit:
Wind power is a resounding victory of American manufacturing.
Its rise is directly tied to the production tax credit, the industry’s biggest source of federal financial support. By incentivizing investment in wind energy, the PTC encourages innovation in clean, sustainable technologies and creates localized jobs that cannot be outsourced. For this reason, the tax credit has strong bipartisan backing – the House bill has 99 cosponsors, including 22 Republicans, and has earned the support of both President Obama and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The PTC is set to expire at the end of 2012, and this looming deadline is already having devastating effects on the wind industry. Foreign wind manufacturers are shifting their investments overseas, citing uncertainty over tax credits and the lack of a federal energy policy behind their decisions. Local companies are also abandoning plans for new projects and being forced to cut jobs; the Energy Information Administration currently forecasts no wind projects for 2013.
Without the PTC in place, the growth we’ve seen would disappear, and thousands of American jobs would be lost. The last time this tax credit was allowed to lapse, wind investments fell by 77 percent – and the horizon now looks similarly bleak. Economic consulting firm Navigant estimates that not renewing the PTC would cut private investment in the industry by nearly two thirds and kill 37,000 American jobs within the next year. Keeping it in place would keep the wind industry on track to create 54,000 new jobs in the next four years.
Today, the need to generate these local jobs is more critical than ever. Congress must make the renewal of this tax credit a key priority. A failure to do so will cripple the creation of new American jobs and our push toward a clean energy future.