Vets Call For Extension of Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC)

A campaign has been set up to urge the U.S. Congress to extend the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). The American Wind Energy Association has joined forces with politicians and veterans from all over the country to rally around the issue.

Thousands of veterans have signed a petition to Congress urging an immediate extension of the credit, which is due to expire at the end of 2012. Veterans are particularly interested in it because they find employment in this industry that needs the skills they learned in the military such as risk analysis, problem-solving and contract negotiation.

“Our industry is proud to employ so many servicemen and women in our ranks,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “A diversified energy portfolio that includes wind power is a path to U.S. energy security. Congress needs to act swiftly to protect the 37,000 jobs at stake and restore stability to this critical and broadly supported industry.”

Job layoffs have already begun as wind project developers are hesitant to plan future U.S. projects as they face the threat of the PTC expiring. Elsewhere, American manufacturers have seen a marked decrease in orders. If Congress fails to renew the PTC, the wind industry would be forced to undergo the boom-bust cycle it saw in previous years when the PTC was allowed to expire. In the years following expiration, installations dropped by between 73 and 93 percent, resulting in significant job losses.

The PTC is not a subsidy, but a tax incentive that helps keep electricity rates low and encourages the development of proven clean energy projects.

“Our returning servicemen and women come back uniquely qualified and prepared for work within the wind industry, and have proven themselves to be some of the most talented and valuable candidates available,” said Gabriel Alonso, CEO of EDP Renewables North America. “We are proud to be an employer who relies heavily upon the work of our veterans.”

Image credit: Save USA Wind Jobs