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Wind energy group spent $816K lobbying  

The wind industry’s trade group spent nearly $816,000 to lobby last year as wind companies tried to persuade Congress to extend a key tax credit and make power companies use more renewable sources.

Despite the efforts of the American Wind Energy Association, neither desire found its way into legislation this past year.

The group, whose members include General Electric Co., BP PLC, AES Corp. and FPL Group Inc., is still pushing for the tax-credit extension after lawmakers failed to tuck it into the economic stimulus plan. The industry argues that 116,000 jobs and $19 billion in investments are at risk if the 1.9 cents per kilowatt-hour tax credit doesn’t get a second wind. It expires in 2008.

The energy bill signed by President Bush in December also left out a provision that would require electric utilities to get a portion of their power from renewable sources.

Wind energy research conducted by the Energy Department and climate change legislation were also on the receiving end of the group’s lobbying.

The Washington-based group spent $452,000 lobbying in the second half of 2007, according to a form posted online Feb. 14 by the Senate’s public records office. It spent $364,000 lobbying in the first half of the year.

The wind energy industry spent much of last year in a contentious debate over renewable standards, battling utility owners such as Atlanta-based Southern Co. that say the mandate would be expensive and unworkable.

Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches, under a federal law enacted in 1995.

BusinessWeek

26 March 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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