Winding up for the PTC
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Dear Fellow Coloradan,
Congress comes back into session next week, and the time has finally come for Congress to stop delaying and extend the wind Production Tax Credit.
As many of you know, I have been on a quest to highlight how each state of our great country has benefited from the wind Production Tax Credit and the thousands of good-paying, American jobs the wind industry supports. My regular speeches on the floor of the U.S. Senate have taken me from Colorado to Oregon and Texas to North Dakota and beyond.
It is important that each senator understands why the PTC matters — and the jobs it supports near them. The PTC has helped create 6,000 jobs in Colorado and 75,000 jobs nationwide. Even in states where the wind industry’s presence is minimal, the benefits of wind energy and the clean energy future it builds can be felt.
Over the past several months, the people of Colorado saw the direct impact of Congress’s failure to renew the PTC. Vestas, which operates three factories and a research and development office along the Front Range, announced it was laying off 3 percent of its North American workforce, including dozens of workers at its Pueblo, Louisville, Windsor and Brighton facilities.
This business decision — tragic for the workers affected up and down the wind industry supply chain in Colorado and throughout the United States — did not come as a surprise. In fact, it was an announcement I have been dreading and predicting for some time. The wind industry has repeatedly warned Congress that it would be forced to lay off workers if Congress failed to expediently extend this vital tax credit. Vestas’s decision underlines that congressional inaction has real-world effects. This constant uncertainty hurts our job producers and our economic recovery, not to mention American families.
These wind-industry layoffs should vividly highlight for all of my colleagues what’s to come if we do not and quickly extend the PTC.
But there are encouraging signs that Congress is moving in the right direction. Just before Congress adjourned in August, the Senate Finance Committee passed a bipartisan tax-extenders package that would renew the PTC. Now it is time for the full U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to follow suit.
We need to keep the United States on the cutting edge of wind energy development and manufacturing, or we risk letting other nations pass us by. We need to renew our commitment to clean, Made-in-America energy. We need to extend the PTC ASAP.
If you agree that we cannot keep kicking the can down the road on building a clean energy future and risk exporting our jobs to China, please tell your friends and family about it on Facebook – by clicking here – or on Twitter using the hashtag #WindJobsNow.