Nearly all in Colorado delegation back push to extend wind-energy tax credit

Source: Mark Jaffe • The Denver Post • Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A bipartisan group from Colorado’s congressional delegation is calling for the extension of the wind-energy-production tax credit to be added to the bill extending the payroll-tax cuts.

“New wind-energy-development projects and the thousands of jobs associated with those projects are predicted to drop off precipitously after 2012” if the wind-energy tax credit isn’t renewed, the group said in a letter. “This dire situation will be especially pronounced in Colorado, where we manufacture many of the components for wind turbines.”

The letter was delivered Tuesday to the chairmen of the conference committee negotiating the extension of the payroll-tax cuts.

The group includes Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, as well as Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis — all Democrats. Republican Reps. Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton also signed the letter.

About 1,700 people are employed in Colorado by Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer.

In January, Vestas chief executive Ditlev Engle said failure to extend the tax credit could affect 1,600 U.S. jobs.

IHS Emerging Energy Research said market demand for turbines would be a record 10.7 gigawatts next year were the credit to be extended. Without action, the Boston-based consultant said the demand would be 1.5 gigawatt