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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

PTC News Conference and Follow Up

November 15, 2012

State Representatives

From: Larry Pearce

Subject: PTC News Conference and Follow Up

As a result of the governors’ news conference on Tuesday, the coalition dominated the wind news this week. You can find many of the stories on the governors’ news conference and the PTC on the coalition’s web page at

News

You can also view the news conference in its entirety at

http://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=43038

Governor Branstad, Governor Kitzhaber, Governor Hickenlooper, and Governor Brownback did an excellent job explaining the importance of the PTC and wind development to their states. The staff support was outstanding.

Up-Date and Follow Up

I’m not sure I can provide much insight to how all our work in support of the wind energy production tax credit will play out during the lame duck session. One thing is clear, however. Without the governors’ active support to extend the tax credit, it would not be under consideration now. The governors made a strong, unified case for the tax credit and that is a major accomplishment.

 

The lame duck session started yesterday, although not much action is expected this week. With an early Thanksgiving this year, Congress will take a break next week and then return for two to three weeks the week of November 26th.

 

As Senator Grassley remarked on Tuesday at our news conference, “As important as I think wind energy is, we’ve got a big fiscal problem here,” explaining the wind production tax credit is but a small part of talks over the impending “fiscal cliff.”

No one outside of Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid and White House senior staff really knows what’s going to happen, yet there are three obvious options for them to consider:

 

• Do nothing. The alleged “fiscal cliff” is really a curve that could be addressed next year after members see how badly the nation reacts to more uncertainty during the Christmas break.

 

• Adopt a temporary fix and push everything to next year when they can give it full Congressional focus.

 

• The last option is for Congress and the White House to reach an agreement that solves many things long-term and fixes a number of major issues with lots of horse-trading. We should know more after Congressional leaders meet with President Obama tomorrow. I’d be surprised if they agreed on anything more than a temporary fix and punted everything else, including the wind production tax credit, to next year. My guess is that they do nothing now.

 

Calls and contacts can start anytime, but your governor could wait until we know what Congress is going to do. If it’s nothing or a temporary fix, the wind production tax credit will spill into next year and we’ll have more time for follow-up.

 

Although there’s a great deal of uncertainty, phone calls and visits to those who will be at the lame duck negotiating table would be very helpful. The “ask” is really to include extenders in the “fiscal cliff” legislation as they are all expected to go as a package.

 

These are the key participants:

Harry Reid (D-NV)

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Max Baucus (D-MT)

Orin Hatch (R-UT)

 

John Boehner (R-O)

David Camp (R-MI)

Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA

Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

James Clyburn (D-SC)

 

And these are some of the members they listen to:

Pat Tiberi (R-OH)

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

John Barrasso (R-WY)

Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Jon Kyl (R-AZ)