Steve Milloy's recent Washington Times piece on the national energy policy issues currently before Congress tries to paint wind power as something Republicans don’t care about. Here are several of the points he missed:
The wind industry creates tens of thousands of American jobs
Mr. Milloy cites “vital wind-industry tax credits” that are soon to expire (namely the federal Production Tax Credit — PTC). He correctly notes that the wind industry is currently 75,000 jobs strong, but that these jobs are at risk if Congress allows the PTC to expire. In addition to the jobs figures that Mr. Milloy includes, the wind industry has also boosted the American industrial sector, expanding to over 400 manufacturing facilities in 43 states and building a diverse manufacturing base in America. States that would see significant job and private investment gains from a Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension include Colorado, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, North Dakota and Ohio. The same Navigant study that Mr. Milloy cites finds that with stable tax policy, the wind industry can grow to nearly 100,000 American jobs in the next four years. This will keep the wind sector on track toward supporting 500,000 jobs by 2030 as envisioned in a report completed by the George W. Bush administration.
PTC Renewal – Something we can all agree on
It would behoove Mr. Milloy to do some better research when it comes to making claims of partisanship as well. Bipartisan legislation recently introduced by Representatives Dave Reichert (R, WA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR-03) (H.R. 3307, the “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act”) seeks to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). This legislation has garnered the support of 59 cosponsors, including 14 Republicans. A PTC extension also has the support of the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.
Republican governors Terry Branstad of Iowa and Sam Brownback of Kansas provided some very specific support for the PTC recently, urging members of the Congressional conference committee on the payroll tax deduction legislation to include a PTC extension in the bill. The PTC has also received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, the Western Governors’ Association, the United Steelworkers and many members of the environmental community.
Dear Washington: stop playing games with my job
Americans are tired of politics as usual and the kind of brinksmanship that Mr. Milloy advocates will only lead to more layoffs. The Production Tax Credit is a proven opportunity for bipartisan consensus, affordable energy and most importantly, a chance to put more Americans back to work.
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
Illinois, Kansas papers join chorus calling for PTC extension, January 31, 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
Will Congress give gift of wind power jobs to Americans or foreign countries?, January 3, 2012
Don't hit wind with job-killing tax hike, December 5, 2011
Red State Energy, Red State Jobs, November 29, 2011
Governors' letter urges prompt extension of wind tax incentive, November 16, 2011
Wind power: Keeping America's lunch money at home, November 14, 2011
Clean energy: A bipartisan goal, November 9, 2011
Nonpartisan Congressional report underscores need for stable wind energy policy, October 3, 2011
Iowa Gov. Branstad cites wind jobs, current and future, September 14, 2011