- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy Action Alerts - https://www.wind-watch.org/alerts -

Stop the PTC in the U.S. Senate

Contact your Senators! [1]
Call the congressional switchboard at: 202-224-3121 [2].

Sample letter/telephone message:

Please vote AGAINST S.2204, the bill submitted by Senator Menendez which extends the Production Tax Credit, Investment Tax Credit, and “Section 1603” Treasury Grant Program for wind energy for 1 year.

Together, these programs cost taxpayers more than $14 billion annually. In return, communities have been left divided, landscapes degraded, and natural habitats destroyed – with no measurable positive change in our energy situation.

Again, I urge you to vote AGAINST any extension of the Production Tax Credit, the Investment Tax Credit, and/or the “Section 1603” Treasury Grant Program.

Note:  The American Wind Energy Association has dedicated several million dollars to press legislators to extend their tax credits and grants. They have created a “war room” to attack the “special interests” fighting wind. Through their WindPAC, along with the PACs of individual developers, they have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Congress members. We do not have multinational corporations backing us or money to pay to be listened to. All we have is our voice: loud and clear and manifold. Our special interest is only that of private citizens fighting to protect our homes and landscapes from predatory development – for a technology that doesn’t even work.

Update, Mar. 29:  At 11:16 a.m. EDT, the U.S. Senate voted 51-47 [3], failing to pass a cloture motion on S.2204, meaning that no action is now likely to be taken on that bill.

Update, Mar. 25:  Robert Menendez of New Jersey has introduced S.2204 [4] to extend the production tax credit, the alternative investment tax credit, and the Section 1603 grant program for 1 year. This bill was scheduled for debate on Tuesday, Mar. 27. It may be voted on Thursday, Mar. 29. [5] (Note: S.2204 claims to pay for the renewable energy subsidies by ending oil and natural gas subsidies (the only part of the bill being generally reported), but according to the Congressional Budget Office [6], 78% of energy-related tax preferences in 2011 went to renewable energy and energy efficiency and only 15% to all fossil fuels (including coal as well as oil and gas).)

Update, Mar. 16:  Chuck Grassley of Iowa has introduced S.2201 [7] to extend the renewable energy credit (i.e., the Production Tax Credit) for 2 years after it expires at the end of 2012. This bill is now with the Senate Finance Committee [8]. The Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Subcommittee [9] held a hearing on Mar. 27 [10] – statements for the record can be submitted by mail [11] for receipt up to 2 weeks after the hearing.

Update, Mar. 13:  At 2:49 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Senate voted 49-49 [12], failing to pass the Stabenow amendment.

Update, Mar. 8:  The Senate is scheduled [13] to vote on Tuesday, Mar. 13, on the Stabenow amendment 1812 [14] to S.1813 [15], submitted on Mar. 7 by Debbie Stabenow and including extensions of both the Production Tax Credit and the “Section 1603” Treasury Grant Program for 1 year. Contact your Senators! [1] Call the congressional switchboard at: 202-224-3121 [2].

On Feb. 17, Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado and Jerry Moran of Kansas submitted amendment 1709 [16] (and again on Mar. 5, amendment 1790 [17]) to S.1813 [15], the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” Act (MAP-21), or the “Surface Transportation Act”, to extend for 1 year the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) on which big wind depends to attract investors (i.e., with the promise of taxpayer funds going into their accounts). It is being considered in the Committee on Environment and Public Works [18]:

Democratic Committee Members
Barbara Boxer [19]  (Chairman)
Max Baucus [20]  
Thomas R. Carper [21]  
Frank R. Lautenberg [22]  
Benjamin L. Cardin [23]  
Bernard Sanders [24]  
Sheldon Whitehouse [25]  
Tom Udall [26]  
Jeff Merkley [27]  
Kirsten Gillibrand [28]  
  Republican Committee Members
James M. Inhofe [29]
David Vitter [30]
John Barrasso [31]
Jeff Sessions [32]
Mike Crapo [33]
Lamar Alexander [34]
Mike Johanns [35]
John Boozman [36]

Contact any or all of these senators (click their names above for their web sites), as well as those from your state that are not on the committee, because SA 1709 may instead be decided by the Senate as a whole. Tell them to reject amendment 1709 to the MAP-21 transportation bill, S.1813. This is urgent!

If SA 1709 is to go before the entire Senate, as a “nongermane” amendment it is up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in negotiation with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whether it will be included in debate and presented for a vote. Contact Reid (202-224-3542) and McConnell (202-224-2541) to tell them to reject nongermane amendment 1709!

Meanwhile, President Obama’s news budget proposal includes making the PTC a permanent part of the tax code. And H.R.3307 [37], to extend the PTC another 4 years, was introduced in the House of Representatives on Nov. 2, 2011, and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means [38], where it still sits.