Gov. John Kitzhaber and a bipartisan group of lawmakers urged Congress on Tuesday to extend production tax credits for the wind-energy industry before the end of the year. Kitzhaber joined fellow Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Republican Govs. Terry Branstad of Iowa and Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to push for the wind production tax credit to be renewed beyond Dec. 31.
Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley said he is hopeful Congress will renew a tax credit for wind energy but acknowledged that its fate depends on sweeping negotiations over tax and spending issues in coming weeks. Grassley, instigator of a 22-year-old production tax credit that has driven expansion of wind farms and related manufacturers, made his comments as governors from wind-producing states and companies involved in the industry pushed to keep the subsidy alive.
Governor Terry Branstad joined counterparts from three other states who are part of the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to call for a multi-year extension of the wind energy tax credit. Branstad is the chair of the bipartisan coalition of 28 governors. “Significant private sector investment in wind energy has occurred because of the support of both the federal and state policies. Our state has been the beneficiary of that, as have many states in this country,” Branstad said. Branstad, a Republican, said Iowa has already seen a negative economic impact over the uncertainty of the extension of the credit.
As the 18th-century English diarist Samuel Johnson said, “the prospect of a hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully.” In the energy field, it was the oil shocks of the 1970s that first focused our attention on the peril of banking our future on fossil fuels alone. Since then, policy makers, industry leaders and consumers have accelerated development of all energy sources, such as wind power, that help reduce our dependence on foreign energy, create new jobs that can’t be outsourced, and boost local economies.
As Congress begins its lame-duck session today, a bipartisan group of governors is urging an extension to a vital wind energy tax credit, the fate of which a key Senate backer says will depend heavily on whether congressional Republicans and the White House can reach a deal on broader tax and spending issues Congress faces before the end of the year. The governors come from states that receive a significant portion of their electricity from wind or have major manufacturing facilities where turbines, towers, blades and other components are built. Organized as the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, the state leaders have been part of the yearlong push to extend the production tax credit, which is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
Gov. Sam Brownback and three other governors called on Congress on Tuesday to extend tax credits for wind energy before they expire at the end of the year. Brownback joined Govs. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa; John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.; and John Kitzhaber, D-Oregon, in a conference-call urging Congress to extend the subsidies for wind energy during the upcoming lame-duck session, the period between the election and when new members take their seats in January.
Republican Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Terry Branstad of Iowa have been at the forefront of efforts to secure GOP support for the wind credit. They are leading members of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes both Democratic and Republican state executives. “Everybody wants to deal with the financial problems we have in this country,” Brownback said Tuesday. “It’s just that I think there’s a more prudent ground to go here than just to end this [credit] that’s been a key thing to us solving our fiscal problems in this country. … This helps grow the economy.”
Republicans governors Tom Branstad of Iowa and Sam Brownback of Kansas joined Democratic governors on Tuesday’s call urging the credit’s extension. They said they represented a bipartisan group of 28 governors who back the tax break. “It is time to turn the page on the recent election and work together to get Americans back to work,” Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, said in a statement
Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition Urges Congressional Leadership to Promptly Adopt the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Contact: Larry Pearce 402-651-2948 firstname.lastname@example.org In a letter to Congressional leadership today, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, urged Congressional leadership “…to take swift action to extend the PTC before the end of this congressional session.” [...]
“The opportunities are exciting,” said Lawse, assistant director of campus planning and sustainability at Metro. On Monday he was among those testifying at a state legislative hearing focused on whether Nebraska needs to do more to train young people for green jobs.