Over at the fossil-fuel-funded Globalwarming.org blog, David Bier has a new post slamming T. Boone Pickens and his bill to expand natural gas use and production. Wind power's key federal incentive, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is totally unrelated, gets a drive-by whack as well.
It's strange to see the enthusiasm for a job-killing, targeted tax increase on wind power (which is what allowing the PTC to expire would be) among so many groups that normally advocate for smaller government and reduced taxes. Be that as it may, the case for extending the PTC for wind is clear.
Wind energy is an American manufacturing success story, and extending the PTC will allow that success story to continue. Over the last six years, U.S. domestic production of wind turbine components has grown 12-fold to more than 400 facilities in 43 states, shifting manufacturing jobs from overseas back to the U.S. During that same time, the domestic content in a typical turbine has risen from 25 percent in 2005 to 60 percent today as turbine manufacturers have opened factories here and sought to build domestic supply chains.
A new study released Monday by Navigant Consulting finds that with stable tax policy, the wind industry can create and save 54,000 American jobs in the next four years, including further expanding the wind manufacturing sector by one-third to 46,000 American manufacturing jobs. This will keep the wind sector on track toward supporting the 500,000 jobs by 2030 envisioned in a report by the U.S. Department of Energy during the George W. Bush administration.
But these jobs could vanish if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire, in effect enacting a targeted tax increase and sending wind manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. The report finds that if Congress allows the PTC for wind to expire, jobs in the wind industry will be cut in half, meaning a loss of almost 40,000 American jobs. Raising taxes on wind energy would also cut American wind manufacturing jobs by one-third, while private investment in the industry would drop by nearly two-thirds, according to Navigant.
As families across our country struggle with unemployment, and as businesses are cutting back just to survive, it’s past time for the U.S. Congress to focus its ideas and efforts on proposals that will create jobs and get our economy moving again. Extending this key tax incentive for wind and other forms of renewable energy generation is one of the best ways to spur economic development and create the good jobs we need.
Taxpayers will lose their investment in creating this new industry if it is taxed out of existence. That is why 23 Republican and Democratic Governors and such business-friendly groups as the National Association of Manufacturers and Edison Electric Institute support an extension to the Production Tax Credit for wind.