Fossil fuel barons are sensing the end of their era, and pulling out all the stops to squeeze a few more years of profit from their toxic activities
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Fossil fuel companies pulled out all the stops this week, cashing in their lobbying chips to corral the U.S. Senate into stalling a bill that would have extended for the wind production and investment tax credits.
A small group of senators who are deep in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry used a procedural vote to block a full Senate vote, eliciting a frustrated response from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).
“This is yet another example of Washington not doing the work that Coloradans and the American people expect us to do,” Bennet said. “This tax extenders bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee with strong bipartisan support. Coloradans and the American people deserve better.
“The wind tax credit is an economic driver for Colorado’s diverse energy industry. It supports thousands of jobs up and down the supply chain. Delaying this extension risks the same type of economic damage we experienced that last time the credit was allowed to expire,” he said.
Colorado generates the sixth highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. It is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upwards of 5,000 workers statewide. Nationally, a permanent expiration of the wind production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
The political maneuvering came the same day that German officials announced that the country set a new renewable energy record, with wind and solar generating enough power to meet 74 percent of the demand on Sunday, May 11.