Companies to Congress: Save the PTC

Source: By Jaclyn Brandt, Fierce Energy • Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015

A new bill has U.S. companies up in arms over the possible elimination of Production Tax Credits (PTC) across the United States. Eighty-five companies sent a letter to the 21 lawmakers sponsoring HR 1901, or the PTC Elimination Act, explaining the bill would “take away an effective, business tax incentive that creates jobs, drives rural economic development and reduces energy costs for Americans across the country.”

Credit: Toutoune25

“Recent PTC expirations have led to dramatic job losses and shuttered manufacturing facilities,” the letter continued. “These recent examples show that taking away the PTC and making retroactive tax policy changes would threaten an important economic opportunity for workers and their families in your states.”

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), there were 23,000 new wind jobs in the United States in just 2014, “But the year before, after the renewable energy Production Tax Credit was allowed to expire even briefly, installations of new wind farms fell 92 percent. With stable policies, a U.S. Department of Energy report says American wind energy can quadruple by 2030 and supply the U.S. with 20 percent of its electricity. That will support 380,000 jobs; increase tax payments to communities to $1.8 billion a year; and increase lease payments to farmers and ranchers to $650 million a year.”

The letter cites bipartisan support from Congress of continuing the PTC, as well as from Americans, something AWEA agrees with.

“A March 2015 Gallup poll found 84 percent of American voters want the U.S. to put more emphasis or the same emphasis on producing domestic energy from wind,” AWEA said. “Two-thirds of Republicans and Independents wanted more emphasis.”

The companies who submitted the letter included many in the wind and other energy industries. They explained that wind provides more than renewable energy, it also provides economic benefits to the communities it is in.

“Since 2008, the PTC has helped attract over $100 billion in private capital investment in U.S. wind projects,” the letter explained. “This includes $23.2 billion in Texas, $5.5 billion in Kansas, and $2.7 billion in Pennsylvania, not including additional investment in manufacturing. The PTC has also provided millions of dollars to rural landowners in the form of lease payments and has revitalized the local tax base in many areas to help build more schools and infrastructure. Furthermore, the value of the PTC flows to consumers in the form of lower electric rates by promoting market competition.”