Two local newspapers, in the windy states of Kansas and Illinois, have added their voices to the New York Times and Denver Post in calling for an immediate extension of wind power's key incentive, the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC).
The Garden City (Kans.) Telegram noted yesterday that AWEA's recent wind power market report for the fourth quarter of 2011 shows the Sunflower State leading the nation with more than 1,188 MW of wind farms under construction.
It added, “The ample supply of wind in Kansas — ranked second among windiest states, with Texas first — wasn't the only driving force in new turbines, however, as a federal production tax credit helped fuel those projects here and beyond. … The tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2012, and Congress shouldn't let the gridlock of partisan politics stand in the way of its renewal.”
Concluded the Telegram, “This state needs a diversified energy strategy that incorporates wind and other renewable sources, without shortchanging plans to build on existing reliable and affordable sources of power — all of which promise to create jobs, fuel local economies and help meet the growing demand for energy.
Says the News-Sun in part, “Waukegan Mayor Robert Sabonjian may be on to something when he speaks of the future and a wind farm off the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline. … Illinois is proving that firms can create jobs and help the environment with wind turbines and wind farms. …
“There are 28 companies in Illinois that manufacture components for the wind industry which employ more than 1,000 workers. Also, the Chicago area is home to at least 50 wind energy companies which install wind turbines. …
“Considering the stake Illinois has in this fledgling industry, the state’s congressional delegation should get behind the extension and let it breeze through Congress.”
As AWEA recently reported as a part of its fourth quarter wind power market report, Illinois was a very strong performer in 2011, clocking in at #2 for installations in the last year and rising to #4 in wind power overall (the only mover in the overall top 10), while Kansas topped the under-construction list as noted above.
Legislation extending the PTC also recently 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, the Western Governors’ Association, the United Steelworkers and many members of the environmental community. A four-year 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.
WindTV: Mr. Wind goes to Washington, January 30, 2012
WindTV: Wind power drives commerce in small-town America, January 24, 2012
WindTV: Construction jobs blowing in the wind, January 19, 2012
Denver Post endorses PTC extension 'sooner rather than later', January 18, 2012
WindTV: Solid, dependable jobs up in the air, January 12, 2012
Wind power contributes to improving manufacturing jobs picture, January 9, 2012
WSJ op-ed: 'Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy', January 5, 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
Iowa Gov. Branstad cites wind jobs, current and future, September 14, 2011