Wind power's tax credit: The incentive that works to create manufacturing jobs

Over at the fossil-fuel-funded Heritage Foundation today, Emily Goff takes a swipe at wind energy jobs and incentives.  I've discussed this topic a lot in recent weeks, so I'll just hit a few highlights here.

Why is the Heritage Foundation, in these difficult economic times, standing staunchly in support of a job-killing targeted tax increase on an emerging, job-creating industry that is a recognized source of new American manufacturing jobs? Does that square with its other positions on taxes? Keeping taxes low on wind power makes sense: past experience tells us that when taxes are low, development increases; when taxes increase, development drops at least temporarily by 70-90 percent. That is something that would be disruptive to any industry, let alone one that has been expanding rapidly.

Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of new American manufacturing jobs. 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.  A stable, low tax rate is what has sparked this growth. A recent economic study from Navigant Consulting found that with stable tax policy the wind industry can grow to almost 100,000 American jobs in the next four years. This will keep the wind sector on track toward supporting the 500,000 jobs by 2030 projected in a report by the U.S. Department of Energy during the George W. Bush administration.  But these jobs could vanish if Congress allows wind’s federal production tax credit to expire, in effect enacting a targeted tax increase, crippling an American manufacturing success story and sending our jobs to foreign countries. With a job-killing tax increase on the horizon and the PTC's future uncertain, businesses are hesitant to plan future US wind projects, American manufacturers have seen a drop in orders, and layoffs have already started. To preserve tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs, the wind energy industry urgently needs Congress to take action to extend the PTC as soon as possible.  Let wind power finish the job.

Related articles:

AWEA hails Council on Jobs and Competitiveness endorsement of Production Tax Credit extension, January 19, 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
Will Congress give gift of wind power jobs to Americans or foreign countries?, January 3, 2012
Fact check: ignores energy incentive history, December 19, 2011
Blogger sees PTC extension as 'no-brainer', December 15, 2011
Don't hit wind with job-killing tax hike, December 5, 2011
Fact check: Pompeo and Labrador miss mark with subsidy bill, December 1, 2011
Selective Use of Energy Subsidies is Unfair (letter to editor, Washington Times), November 30, 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

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