Lisa Linowes of Industrial Wind Action offers update regarding Congressional action on the federal subsidy for industrial wind Production Tax Credit (Thanks Lisa!)

Hi Folks. I’m long overdue in sending out this update re: the Wind PTC and what’s happening in Washington.

Where things stand: As you know, the wind PTC expired December 2014. Due to the “begin construction” language in the law and the overly lenient IRS rules that interpret Congress’ intent, projects can still squeak by as PTC eligible even if they have not yet turned a pebble of earth provided they are placed in service by the end of 2016. The wind industry is quickly losing its window for starting projects which explains why the pressure is building. 

Last summer, Senate Finance voted out of Committee a $95 billion tax extender bill that included a 2-year extension of  the wind PTC (2015,2016). The PTC was the 3rd most expensiveprovision in the bill at $10.5 billion. In October, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) submitted a bill to end the wind PTC. On the house side, the PTC Elimination Act offered by Congressmen Marchant and Pompeo (H.R. 1901) is still pending and new cosponsors have signed on every month since the bill was introduced. These different bills will need to be reconciled.

Last month, Speaker John Boehner handed the gavel to Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan was chair of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee. When he ran on the Romney ticket in 2012, he agreed with Romney that the wind PTC should expire . He still might support a phase-out so we’ll be watching. News from today is that Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) has been named the new W&M chair. The renewables industry  is suggesting they can work with Brady, but so can we! Info on Brady can be found here - http://kevinbrady.house.gov/ . Brady will be a key voice in how the House deals with energy tax policy.

Next steps: It’s time to start beating the drum against any extension of the wind PTC. We need to call on our representatives, and the entire House leadership – with special focus on Rep Brady -- to walk the walk on fiscal issues. We can’t afford any more billions to “spur” wind growth. With the DOE touting wind as competitive with (or under) the price of gas, there is no justification for further subsidies. The 1992 tax credit had done its job and It’s now over! 

Next week House members will be home in their districts. Please, please take every opportunity to attend a town hall meeting or (low cost) fund raiser. Stand up and ask your representatives where they stand on the PTC. Let everyone know that the PTC is toxic and will not win votes. Call the district offices to get an events schedule. (If you need assistance, let me know).

Demand a standalone vote: There’s one more important ‘ask’. The wind PTC has rarely been put forward in the House or Senate as a standalone vote. The last time this happened was in 2012 and Senator Menendez’s amendment to the Transportation Bill. It failed. If the Senate and/or House insist on considering the wind PTC we want a standalone vote. That way we can know who in Congress is with us and who’s against us. We also don’t want big wind to gain a boost from other more beneficial tax credits seen as “must pass”. 

Thanks everyone for all your efforts! There have been impacting developments across the country that suggest the wind industry is quickly falling out of favor. Keep up the great work! You are all making the difference. As always, if I can be of any assistance, do not hesitate. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you posted on the PTC and our next steps.



  1. Ocotillo Winf said...

    Thank you Lusa, will also post on Ocotillo Wind Turbine Destruction

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