Kicking off the American Wind Energy Association‘s convention-center-size pitch for an extension of the production tax credit, CEO Denise Bode said Congress needs to act immediately to prevent further damage to the industry.
“We are very concerned new wind projects are being shelved,” Bode said, opening AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference Monday in Atlanta. “The bleeding has to stop now.”
Bode said she remains optimistic that the production tax credit will be extended before its scheduled expiration at the end of this year, but “political logjam” continues to hold up the policy despite bipartisan support.
AWEA and its supporters managed to introduce bipartisan legislation in the House, where a bill with more than 100 co-sponsors includes 23 Republicans, and the Senate, where a bill was co-sponsored by four Democrats and three Republicans.
“The PTC enjoys the highest bipartisan support of any energy policy, which is something to be proud of,” Bode said. She said she thinks the production tax credit would pass if Congress were to hold an “up-or-down” vote, but realities in Congress mean it likely will need to move with a more comprehensive bill.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said it is “absolutely insane” to consider extending the production tax credit for only a year because so many jobs are in the balance.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said at a news conference that he supports renewal, adding that wind industry investment in many states would decline without it. “The reason we are so pushy about the PTC is that it has worked,” he said.
Andrew Engblom is editor of generation and renewables at SNL Energy. He has covered the electric-utility market for nearly 10 years. He can be followed on Twitter @aengblom_SNL.