Jun 27 2012
18 Freshman Lawmakers Join Noem in Requesting an Extension be Brought to the House Floor As Soon As Possible
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem was joined by 17 House freshman in sending a bipartisan letter to Speaker John Boehner, Leader Eric Cantor and Whip Kevin McCarthy today, urging them to bring an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy to the House floor as soon as possible.
“The PTC has been an important player in bringing the wind industry to life.” said Rep. Noem. “Over 75,000 American jobs are supported by wind, and the industry is a growing force in South Dakota. With MFG Manufacturing in Aberdeen, MTI in Mitchell and wind farms in other areas of the state, wind energy is helping families pay mortgages and put food on the table. If we fail to extend the PTC, thousands of jobs will be at risk, and that’s why I’m pushing to get it on the House floor as soon as possible.”
Noem is a cosponsor of H.R. 3307, the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011, which would extend the PTC for wind energy through January 1, 2017.
Text of the letter is below, signed letter attached.
The Honorable John Boehner
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Eric Cantor
H-329, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
H-107, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and Whip McCarthy:
As Members of the Freshman class, we write to you today to ask that you take up an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy as soon as possible. As you may know, this unique tax credit is only available once a power plant is up, running and selling electricity. The PTC has achieved real, measurable results, strengthened our economy, and provided opportunities for individuals to succeed. The wind industry can continue its success story with an extension of the PTC.
The wind industry has achieved tremendous results since the PTC was first enacted. The average turbine now produces 30% more electricity and that electricity costs 33% less than it did five years ago. The PTC also leverages an average of $15 billion of private investment each year while only costing the US Treasury an average of $1.36 billion. There are now nearly 500 American manufacturing facilities making parts for the industry and wind turbines now contain more than 60% domestic content. The wind industry supports more than 75,000 US jobs, 30,000 of which are in the manufacturing sector. Long-term pricing wind contracts help protect electricity consumers from monthly fuel spikes and keeps monthly power bills stable.
The PTC is set to expire on December 31st, 2012. Manufacturers and developers in our districts have told us that within weeks, or months – as soon as their last component part is shipped off to the project site – they will be faced with little to no orders for 2013, and will begin to deal with layoffs and plant closures. Developers are now canceling projects beyond this year for fear that they won’t be able to secure the private backing necessary to finance their investments. More than half the jobs in the industry are expected to be gone by this time next year if the PTC is not extended. Mr. Speaker, investors are looking to Congress for a signal that they should keep investing their private dollars in the wind industry.
Many of us do not support permanent tax credits and we would like to see the tax code overhauled to bring more transparency and fairness to all sectors of the economy. We look forward to working with you on this effort in the near future. However, if the PTC is allowed to expire before comprehensive tax reform, this industry will have already lost half its workforce, the manufacturing infrastructure, and investor confidence it will need to survive on its own. We are committed to working with you and the wind industry to ensure that it is standing on its own two feet in the near future. But, in the meantime, it would be a disservice to our country’s energy security to let an industry that has come so far suffer such a setback.