On the last day of 2013, the wind power industry lost two important tax credits to an expiration date that never should have been set in the first place. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) for offshore and onshore wind power in the U.S. are critical for working to level the playing field between clean and dirty sources of energy. Frequent and impractical expiration dates have limited the effectiveness of such incentives in the past, and continue to do so today. For the sake of our environment and our economy, we need to retire these unnecessary obstacles.
Tomorrow, the Senate Finance Committee will consider a package of energy tax extenders and the National Wildlife Federation strongly encourages the Committee to include the ITC and PTC in that package. Clean energy leaders deserve the same financial stability their fossil fuel counterparts have enjoyed for decades.
“The wind industry’s ability to reach its full potential – to displace carbon emissions endangering wildlife and future generations, to diversify our energy portfolio, to deliver thousands of U.S. jobs to struggling local economies nationwide, and to attract billions of dollars of private investment – hinges heavily on what kind of leadership we see on Capitol Hill this week. Congress needs to renew the ITC and PTC, and let this critical American industry begin to truly thrive.” – Lena Moffitt, National Wildlife Federation
A celebration of America’s wind industry is long overdue
Wind currently provides 80,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. and powers more than 15 million homes, and the best part is: we have hardly scratched the surface of our potential. While we have made great strides in increasing our generation of onshore wind power in recent years, the winds off our shores represent a tremendous untapped clean energy opportunity. Appropriately deemed “America’s next clean energy frontier,” our offshore wind resource offers enough capacity to meet our national energy demand four times over.
U.S. wind energy production in 2013 prevented 96 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – that is equivalent to taking more than 16 million cars off the road. At a moment when climate change threatens wildlife and their habitats, coastal communities, and future generations, we need to take solutions seriously. We need to clear the way for an industry that offers to promote a future of clean air and clean water, to displace the carbon emissions driving climate change, and create thousands of long-term American jobs in the process.
The National Wildlife Federation believes that responsibly-sited and operated wind power is critical for protecting wildlife from the dangers of climate change, and we are calling on Congress to accept their role in creating stability and spurring momentum for this critical clean energy source both on and off America’s shores. We need the energy, we need the jobs, and we need them both to be rooted in stewardship. Wind power represents a future that we can be proud of. To Congress: we urge you to renew the ITC and the PTC, and usher us one step closer to the clean energy legacy on our horizon.