News Release from American Clean Power Association (ACP)


Wind Industry Profile of

AWEA Blog - Wind energy, PTC advance in elections

Wind energy fared well in Tuesday’s elections, with voters returning wind champions in both parties to Congress, and allowing the current administration’s support for wind energy to continue uninterrupted.

We’re pleased to see the popular support we’ve always seen in polling validated by the election of so many champions of wind energy who’ve stepped out on our behalf, Republicans and Democrats,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “We heard a lot about wind energy in this election, and it proved to be a winning issue because it is so popular with the American people. As just one measure, an overwhelming majority of the members supported by our political action committee, WindPAC, won their races.”

Among the dozens of Republican wind champions reelected to Congress yesterday, for example, were outspoken House supporters Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Steve King (R-IA) and Tom Latham (R-IA), and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV).

Independent Angus King, a wind project developer since leaving the governorship in Maine, won his race for the open Senate seat there.

Overall, AWEA sees continued bipartisan support In Congress for extending the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) to incentivize $15 billion a year in private investment in U.S. wind farms, with support steady in the Senate and a net increase in announced supporters in the U.S. House.

Swing states with numerous wind farms as well as wind factories were carried in the election by President Obama, whose campaign took the position that Congress should extend the PTC.

They included Iowa and Colorado, where layoffs have struck wind energy factories because of uncertainty over when Congress will address the tax credit, and Michigan and Ohio, states that are important to the wind energy supply chain and have untapped wind resources under development.

One measure of support for wind this election: Of the 12 new Senators, seven received WindPAC backing this election cycle. Out of all the Senate candidates for this election cycle who were supported by WindPAC, 89 percent won their races.

In the House, there may be as many as 85 new House members and districts, once all races are decided. Of all the House candidates supported by WindPAC, 88 percent won as well.

Current House Members include 119 co-sponsors of H.R. 3307, introduced by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA-8) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), which would extend the PTC through 2016. Of those, 87 won reelection, including 14 Republicans, and three more won Senate seats, with three races undecided on Wednesday.

In its election analysis yesterday, The Hill listed “wind energy tax credits” as one of the top three “energy winners” from the election, noting that the results will free up more Republicans in Congress to back an extension. Also, the Des Moines Register’s “A Better Iowa” feature quoted two experts who named “continuing tax credits for Iowa’s wind energy industry” as one of the top five outcomes of the election for Iowa.

For more information, including bipartisan endorsements of the PTC’s extension, please see www.SaveUSAWindJobs.com.

The PTC is an incentive that reduces taxes on the operators of wind farms and leaves more of the money they earn from electricity sales in private hands, helping to attract private investment not only in wind projects, but in component manufacturers, suppliers, trucking companies and more. The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale wind turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 110 cosponsors, including 25 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Denver Post, the Daily Oklahoman, the Toledo Blade, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times.

American Wind Energy Association
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist

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