Good News and Bad News for Wind Energy Industry
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The wind energy industry is having a banner year. So why are executives of wind-generated energy fretting so much? Because, they say, the industry’s success may get cut short by politicians in Washington.
This year, energy produced from wind power reached 50 gigawatts in the U.S., the highest level ever recorded. It is enough electricity to power 13 million homes, or nearly all those in Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined.
But the industry has been aided by a federal tax break that’s been around since the George H. W. Bush administration. President Barack Obama favors renewing the Production Tax Credit, which is set to expire this year.
But Mitt Romney wants to do away with the tax break, as do Republican leaders in Congress.
“These truly are the best of times and could be the worst of times for American wind power,” Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, the lobbying arm of the wind industry, told The Guardian. “This month we shattered the 50-gigawatt mark, and we’re on pace for one of our best years ever in terms of megawatts installed. But because of the uncertainty surrounding the extension of, incoming orders are grinding to a halt.”
Not all Republicans agree with Romney. In Iowa, where wind energy is popular, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad supports the tax break, as do all members of the state’s Congressional delegation.
To Learn More:
'Clean Energy' Politics Take Energy Out of Wind Industry Sails (Common Dreams)
Wind Energy Tax Credit Splits Obama, Romney (by Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register)
Majority of U.S. Governors Call for Increased Support for Wind Energy (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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