As August recess begins, lawmakers must hear of wind's benefits, policy need
We should never be shy about asking policy makers repeatedly to help us achieve more stable public policy. We have very strong policy arguments both for policies to correct the imbalances in power markets and for making those policies more stable. First, policies like the PTC and state RPSs have been extremely effective in delivering their promised economic and environmental benefits. Second, power markets still fail to incorporate the water use, carbon, and other impacts of other generation sources, that wind can correct if these issues are factored in. On stability, we can argue strongly that business development, including growing domestic manufacturing and supply chains, requires much more predictability than we've had.
Everyone in our industry needs to tell members of Congress when they come home this August to pass the EXPIRE Act, which contains the Production Tax Credit, and urge state legislators to stand up for renewable portfolio standards. We need to let elected officials know that in their own back yards, real jobs and community benefits are at stake.
If anyone doubts the importance of policy, the recent double whammy in Ohio shows what can happen when elected officials aren’t accountable to their constituents. By freezing the state RPS while setting a punitive setback requirement, the Ohio legislature and Gov. John Kasich effectively stopped wind energy in its tracks. That shows how, without common-sense policies, real jobs and economic benefits can be lost. It’s important for these policymakers and their constituents to confront that. We in the wind industry have to be the ones to tell them.