Bipartisan group of governors urges Obama to support wind production  

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dive Brief:

  • The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has sent the White House a series of recommendations the group believes President Obama should take to help states realize their wind energy potential, including prompt review of transmission applications and the expansion of offshore wind projects.
  • The letter, authored by Govs. Dennis Daugaard (R-S.D.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) calls for Obama to support prompt Congressional passage of a multiyear extension of the renewable energy production and investment tax credits.
  • Congressional action early in the next session is critically important to spur “substantial economic development,” the governors said.

Dive Insight:

Writing on behalf of the 23-state coalition, Daugaard and Inslee urged Obama to “expand the nation’s wind energy production and improve the resilience of our energy system.” Among the recommendations, the governors asked Obama to push for a multiyear extension of the renewable energy production and investment tax credits. “These incentives have made possible the robust growth of the American wind industry and clean energy jobs, with substantial economic return to our states and the nation,” they wrote.

Congress extended the wind production credit through 2014 but it has now expired, and Smart Grid News reports that observers believe there is little chance of reviving it with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate.

The letter also asked for Obama to support the governors’ efforts to expand national transmission development both offshore and onshore.

“Today’s transmission system is inadequate for the electrical demands of the states’ modern information-based economies,” they said. “Revitalization of the electrical transmission system must be accomplished on a multi-state basis with leadership from both you and the governors.”