80,000 wind sector jobs at risk from failure to renew tax credits

WASHINGTON (March 26, 2014) – With tens of thousands of jobs at risk due to expiring tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 28 of his Senate colleagues today asked the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee to renew vital programs, like the Production Tax Credit for wind energy. The 29 Senators said in their letter that failure to renew these tax credits would threaten 80,000 jobs across nearly every state in the wind sector and insure the continued growth in the solar sector, which already employs more than 142,000 Americans.

The letter from Senator Markey and his colleagues was sent to Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance and can be found HERE

“Clean energy tax incentives are critical to ensuring that American consumers have access to clean, low-cost energy and critical to keeping American businesses and workers competitive in this key growth sector of the global economy,” write the Senators. “We urge you to include these incentives in any tax extender package that the Senate considers.”

In the letter, Senator Markey and his colleagues outline key tax credits that have brought low cost, clean energy technologies and thousands of new jobs to Americans for the past several years and deserve renewal. These tax credits range from cutting energy use in commercial buildings to increasing fuel efficiency by using medium and heavy duty vehicles equipped with hybrid or electric drives. The letter urges Senators Wyden and Hatch to issue a long-term renewal on these tax credits, or at the minimum, a short-term extension until a comprehensive tax reform agreement is put in place.

The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit, outlined in the letter, supported investments in areas including wind, biomass, and hydropower, but expired at the end of 2013. This tax credit spurred $25 billion in private investment in 2012, resulting in the installation of more than 13,000 megawatts of new production capacity, which is enough to power over 3 million American homes. But wind installations plummeted by more than 90 percent last year as the tax credits face expiration. Not renewing this credit would put 80,000 American jobs at risk in nearly every state.