Congressional vote may help prevent additional wind energy layoffs in Colorado
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Surprisingly, and in part because of the persistence of Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the wind energy production tax credit made it through the federal budget fiasco, gaining approval for a one-year extension that could help protect Colorado’s burgeoning renewable energy industry.
After giving 27 speeches on the Senate floor in support of the tax credit, Udall said the extension gives manufacturers in Colorado and throughout North America the signal they need to create jobs, make capital investments in the United States, and ensure that wind energy remains a strong part of our national energy strategy, although a one-year extension isn’t likely to spur significant long-term investments.
“The extension of the wind Production Tax Credit is excellent news for workers in Pueblo, Windsor, Brighton and across the country. Thanks to the PTC extension, I am confident the wind industry will be able to create jobs and help revitalize our American manufacturing sector,” Udall said.
“It was unfortunate that it took Congress so long and so many rounds of layoffs to join me in this bipartisan cause, and I wish that Congress could have provided the industry with more certainty through a longer extension. But this is a step in the right direction. With this extension signed into law, Congress now must pass a comprehensive energy plan. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that wind energy will continue to be a vital, thriving part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Udall added.
The tax credit extension provides a tax credit for electricity produced from wind energy, meaning the tax credit only applies when wind turbines are spinning, not when they are idle. It applies to any project that begins construction before the end of 2013, providing a strong incentive for developers to begin projects as soon as possible.
The fiscal cliff deal also included other key energy tax credits for alternative fuels, energy efficiency, and other renewable energy resources, which Udall has long supported.