Citing 'all of above,' former FERC chair urges PTC extension

In a Daily Caller op-ed Wednesday, Joseph T. Kelliher, who chaired the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for four years after being appointed to it by President George W. Bush, called for an extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC).

Kelliher, now a senior executive with NextEra Energy, urged support for the PTC as part of an “all of the above” energy strategy to ensure a diversified U.S. energy supply for the long-term future:

One hundred years ago, Winston Churchill explained the importance of diversity in oil supply to the British Empire by saying, “On no one quality, on no one process … must we be dependent. Safety and certainty in oil lie in variety and variety alone.”  If you substitute “electricity” for “oil,” you have the foundation of a sound energy policy for the United States …


Without public policy support for a diverse electricity supply, the U.S. risks staggering down a volatile path of price shocks and insecure supply. We would adopt a herd mentality, betting on whichever fuel or technology looked cheapest at the time. We would follow price changes, not anticipate them, lunging from one fuel to the next, based solely on short-term price outlook. Electricity supply changes would display all the discipline and foresight of a binge drinker.

Kelliher added that Republicans have long accepted that free markets sometimes fall short when it comes to ensuring energy security and diversity–President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation to support nuclear power, and George W. Bush's backing of loan guarantees for nuclear is a major factor in that industry's current revival: “Diversity of electricity supply is not a Republican or a Democratic concept, it is mainstream policy shared by both parties for many years.”

While the wind power industry has expanded dramatically over the last decade and brought new manufacturing jobs to the U.S., Kelliher said, the industry will be seriously disrupted if the incentive is not extended beyond its current scheduled expiration at the end of this year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 85 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans, and has received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association, while a Senate bill to extend it was introduced March 15 by seven Senators, including three Republicans. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.

Further endorsements of the wind energy production tax credit.

Related articles:

Manufacturers tell Senate panel: PTC extension urgently needed, March 28, 2012

WindTV: Colorado county gets big boost from wind power, March 26, 2012

Former Congressman Boucher sees PTC extension likely, March 26, 2012

WindTV: Wind power breathes new life into small Colorado town, March 21, 2012

Citing need for certainty, BP's Landis calls for PTC extension, March 20, 2012

In op-ed, Kansas Governor, Senator call for PTC extension, March 19, 2012

Bipartisan group of Senators introduces bill to extend PTC, March 16, 2012

Houston Chronicle editorial supports PTC extension, March 15, 2012

Southern Alliance head urges: Extend the PTC, March 14, 2012

WindTV: Missouri manufacturer grows with the wind, March 12, 2012

Oklahoma and America need wind technicians–and a PTC extension, March 8, 2012

WindTV: An American family, powered by a paycheck from wind, March 5, 2012

Salazar, citing 'race we cannot cede', backs extending PTC, March 1, 2012

Kerry, Brown win praise for bipartisan support of PTC extension, February 29, 2012

Wichita Eagle editorial blog endorses PTC extension, February 28, 2012

Daily Oklahoman: PTC extension “makes sense,” February 27, 2012

Bipartisan group of Illinois Representatives supports PTC extension, February 24, 2012

Kansas City Star backs PTC extension, praises Brownback, Moran, February 23, 2012

Bennet visits composites factory, urges PTC extension, February 23, 2012

Moran visits Siemens factory, pushes PTC extension, February 22, 2012

WindTV: PTC key to wind power manufacturing jobs, February 21, 2012

Topeka Capital-Journal: Extend the PTC, February 21, 2012

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA): PTC is jobs engine conservatives should support, February 17, 2012

Bennet, Moran continue bipartisan push to extend PTC, February 16, 2012

Major U.S. consumer brands like Nike on extending the PTC: Just Do It!, February 15, 2012

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin urges conferees: Extend the PTC, February 15, 2012

Michigan worker's plea: Extend PTC, help wind power create U.S. jobs, February 13, 2012

Bipartisan letter from entire Iowa Congressional delegation urges: Extend the PTC, February 10, 2012

Senate Energy Chairman Bingaman: Act now to save clean-energy jobs, February 9, 2012

Bipartisan letter from Colorado Congressional delegation urges: Extend the PTC, February 8, 2012

Republican governors push for PTC extension; Senators express support, February 2, 2012

U.S. Chamber of Commerce joins broad range of groups endorsing PTC extension, February 1, 2012

WindTV: Wind power drives commerce in small-town America, January 24, 2012

Denver Post endorses PTC extension 'sooner rather than later', January 18, 2012

WSJ op-ed: 'Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy', January 5, 2012

Red State Energy, Red State Jobs, November 29, 2011


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