OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Lawmakers, veterans boost pressure for wind credit

Source: By Zack Colman and Ben Geman, The Hill • Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

STATE OF PLAY: A bipartisan group of lawmakers will join military veterans at a Wednesday event pressing Congress to extend a wind energy incentive.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), along with Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), will tout the wind industry as a job creator. The lawmakers also will present a petition signed by veterans across the country asking Congress to extend the credit.

Many of the veterans attending the event are employed in the wind industry. They will meet with lawmakers Wednesday and Thursday to gain support for a one-year extension to the wind credit, which expires Dec. 31.

The incentive pays wind power producers 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, and is seen as a vital tool for attracting investment. Planned installations for next year have dropped because of the incentive’s uncertain future.

For now, the incentive’s fate waits on “fiscal cliff” negotiations between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Those automatic spending cuts and income tax increases are set to take effect Jan

While its proponents contend the incentive leverages $15 billion of investment per year, fiscal conservatives say the $5 billion price tag for extending it is too much.

Grassley said earlier this month that the Senate would wait to move the $205 billion tax extenders package that includes the wind incentive in order to give Obama and Boehner time to work on a deal.