Manufacturers, governors, environmentalists, steelworkers agree: Keep scaling up wind

Resounding support, individually and collectively—that’s how to characterize America’s sentiment toward the success story of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy.

Among individual Americans, we’ve already reported the recent poll finding that 73 percent of U.S. voters consistently support extending the PTC.

This week we saw more evidence of the diverse range of groups and coalitions that support the PTC for its ability to generate jobs and economic activity.

The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, whose membership includes 23 states spread across every region of the country and governors from both parties, recently urged lawmakers to pass a multi-year extension.

“Our states are national leaders in wind power,” a letter from the coalition to House and Senate leaders explains. “These achievements are directly attributable to the PTC—a successful federal policy that, along with supportive state policies, continues to drive private investment in our states.”

That is in addition to over 500 organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers and several local Chambers of Commerce, which called on Congress to extend numerous tax policies, including the PTC, at least through 2015.

Meanwhile, the two top officials of the Sierra Club and United Steelworkers joined together to warn that “Congress must not let wind energy jobs blow away.”

If you know about wind power, you probably know why the two groups are aligned: jobs and environmental protection go hand in hand. “The story of American wind power shows us that creating good jobs and protecting our air and water is not an either/or proposition,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and United Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard stated in a piece for The Hill. “We can do both. In fact, we must.”

Just this week, Environment America Research and Policy Center released reports nationwide on how U.S. wind power can reach as much as 30 percent of America’s electricity generation by 2030, and make a major contribution to states’ complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s  proposed Clean Power Plan.

“Congress needs to provide stability so that American workers can make more of our own energy here at home, and reduce carbon pollution as rapidly and cheaply as possible,” AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said at the Environment America launch event at the Capitol on Thursday, as reported in the National Journal.


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