Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet praised the inclusion of an extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) in a tax extenders bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this month.
Bennet led a bipartisan letter, signed by Mark Udall, to the chairman and ranking member of the Finance Committee urging them to include an extension of the tax credit in the bill. The initial draft of the legislation released by the committee did not include the PTC.
The wind PTC is vital to thousands of Colorado jobs associated with wind energy development projects say supporters.
“This is an important step towards extending the wind PTC before it expires at the end of the year. Bipartisan support from the Finance Committee is vital to passing an extension,” Bennet said.
“We’ll continue to push every way we know how until the tax credit is extended. It is an economic driver that’s critical to thousands of jobs in Colorado and tens of thousands of jobs across the country. At the same time it is strengthening and diversifying our energy profile.”
Bennet has led efforts in Congress to extend the wind energy PTC. He led eight of the nine members of the Colorado Congressional delegation in a bipartisan letter calling for extension of the tax credit and has introduced two bipartisan amendments with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), cosponsored by Senator Mark Udall, to extend the PTC. He has also partnered with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Udall to introduce the American Energy and Job Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to extend the PTC for wind and several other renewable energy technologies.
Colorado is a wind energy leader, currently generating the third highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. The state is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upwards of 6,000 workers statewide.
Nationally, expiration of the wind production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association.