Wind industry continues online push for credit extension

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012

With the prospects of averting the “fiscal cliff” growing bleak since last night’s collapse of action in the House, the wind industry’s lobby is continuing its push for an extension of a key tax credit with a video featuring one family whose livelihood is tied to the credit’s future.

The American Wind Energy Association today released a new video profiling the Allsup family, who recently visited Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to extend the wind production tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of this year. Wind industry supporters believe they have more than enough bipartisan support to extend the credit, but the issue has become entangled in the increasingly jammed negotiation to avoid the broader suite of across-the-board spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled to hit in January.

“Behind the windmills there’s families, and behind those families we need jobs,” 20-year-old Tiffany Allsup says in the video.

She is the daughter of Matt Allsup, the senior operations manager at the Lone Star wind farm in Abilene, Texas.

AWEA says 37,000 jobs in the wind industry will be lost by spring without an extension of the 2.2-cents-per-kilowatt-hour PTC, which is scheduled to expire unless Congress acts. The trade association is urging Congress to enact a “tax extenders” bill that passed out of the Senate Finance Committee in August; the bill would extend the PTC to wind farms that begin construction by the end of 2013.

Wind backers believe their credit stands a good chance of inclusion in a fiscal cliff package aimed at extending 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for most earners and avoid the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester. But those broader efforts suffered a significant blow last night when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) dropped plans for a “Plan B” approach to the cliff amid a revolt from conservative House Republicans (E&E Daily, Dec. 21).