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August 21, 2012 / Todd Larsen

New research demonstrates the importance of extending the Production Tax Credit

A recent report from the Department of Energy announced very strong growth in the US wind energy market in 2011. This growth includes $14 billion in new investments, which produced 6,800 MW of additional power to the grid. The current wind power capacity in the US is 50,000 MW (enough to power 13 million homes) and six states now get over 10% of their electricity from wind power. The wind industry has also provided thousands of jobs to hard working Americans, with nearly 70% of wind power equipment being provided by American manufacturers. More and more reports are demonstrating the progress of wind power, and much of that is due to the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), which provides a tax credit to wind producers in the United States.

However, the PTC is set to expire at the end of the year and it remains to be seen whether or not Congress will renew it. Projections indicate that almost half of the 75,000 wind industry jobs would be lost if the PTC expires. States like Iowa, Texas, California, Illinois and Oregon, which all have over 2,500 MW of wind capacity installed, would be crushed by these potential job losses. Opponents of the PTC are hoping to foster more “competition” between energy sources, which would inevitably lead to the cheapest and dirtiest sources of fuel (like coal tar sands) being used to power our economy. These opponents also fail to reveal that fossil fuel sources are supported by permanent government subsidies, and have never competed on a level playing field.

The recently introduced Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2012 aims to extend the PTC for a full decade and keep wind power viable in the United States. In addition, the bill would support research and manufacturing for solar, geothermal and biofuel power, creating the potential for 1.7 million jobs in renewable energy projects. By allowing the American people to buy bonds (for as little as $25!) to help invest in strengthening the renewable energy sector, Clean Energy Victory Bonds will create jobs, empower the economy and mitigate climate change, all with one simple piece of legislation.

Visit www.cleanenergyvictorybonds.org to take action and pledge your support.

Thanks to Matt Jennings for research and writing.

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