Colorado’s congressional delegation is scrambling today to find another strategy after a House and Senate conference committee ignored its request to extend a federal tax credit that Vestas American Wind Technology needs to encourage the sale of wind turbines.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., immediately filed a wind power amendment that lawmakers intend to attach to a pending transportation bill, while fellow Democrat, Sen. Mark Udall, launched a letter to the Senate leadership urging their support for the amendment.
Vestas officials have said they will need to lay off hundreds of workers at their Colorado plants if the federal tax credit lapses.
“Colorado stands to suffer a huge economic blow if Congress can’t get its act together and extend this critical tax credit,” Bennet said in a statement this morning.
Rep. Scott Tipton, the freshman who represents Pueblo and the 3rd Congressional District, said he was disappointed that House and Senate conferees could not agree to include the Vestas credit in the compromise tax legislation worked out Tuesday night.
That measure, fought over for months, will extend the 2 percent payroll tax deduction for another year, extend unemployment benefits and block a 27 percent cut in the reimbursement rate for doctors treating Medicare patients.
Nearly all of the state’s congressional delegation signed a letter to the House and Senate conferees last month, urging them to approve the wind power tax credit, but that was apparently in vain.
A more complete account of the fight over the Vestas tax credit will be in Thursday’s edition of The Pueblo Chieftain.
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