US newspapers lobby Congress to support wind power sector

» By | Published 19 Oct 2012

Extending or ending the US’s Production Tax Credit is a topic high in the minds of wind industry professionals with interests in the US, but how is it reported in US media?

Interestingly, an increasing number of US newspapers support an extended PTC.  Here, we round-up some of the latest articles…

In San Angelo,Texas the Standard-Times said, “give the wind industry some certainty, and then stand back and watch the turbines spin.” In an editorial on Saturday the newspaper noted the tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour is set to expire at the end of the year unless Congress renews it. “Few disagree that failing to extend it will cause great harm to the industry just as it is beginning to flourish,” the newspaper lobbied.

The newspaper added the uncertainty over the future of the PTC — the main incentive for the US wind energy sector — is having a negative impact. “Companies have cut back to the extent that, even if the tax credit is renewed, new power generation next year will be a fraction of this year’s production.”

Wind power generated about 8.5% of Texas’ electricity last year, the newspaper said. It added that the PTC provides wind power companies with about $1 billion a year, but it brings in many times that amount in private investment — or at least it does when there’s financial certainty.

The newspaper also noted that the wind power sector can make an ever greater contribution to the energy portfolio if companies know the rules and Congress adopts a long-term policy free of partisan and other interruptions.

Other media in favour include The New York Times which said “Congress should end the subsidies to Big Oil and redeploy the money saved to support truly new energy technologies, like wind and solar power, or even high-tech biofuels that don’t harm the environment and threaten the food supply.”

The Chicago Sun-Times, meanwhile, said government must continue to support the development of other sources of energy if the US is to be weaned off its dependence on fossil fuels.

The Houston Chronicle noted that the US will need all available resources – including wind power, solar, hydro, biomass, nuclear, oil, natural gas and coal – “in order to reach the promised land, an economy that runs on clean, sustainable energy.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer said wind power is capable of helping utilities deliver the increasing mix of clean energy being mandated by many states and their environmentally conscious customers.

The Denver Post said wind power is an important part of the nation’s energy policy as it looks to decrease its reliance on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For the full list, see AWEA’s blog, Into the Wind.

As President Barack Obama and his republican opponent Mitt Romney go head to head, this blog has noted the difference in positions on the PTC between the two US Presidential candidate. See EWEA’s blog here and here.

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Categories: Wind energy