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Wind tax credit now in transportation bill

An extension of the production tax credit for wind power never made it into legislation to extend payroll tax cuts and so Sen. Michael Bennet has filed an amendment with a Kansas Republican to extend the energy credit in a transportation bill.

The amendment would extend the PTC for one year.

“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 Wednesday. “This tax credit has bipartisan support, and Colorado companies are counting on us to get it across the finish line. It’s time to act.”

The Denver Post reported that the House was expected to vote on parts of the transportation bill Thursday and the Senate is likely to take it up after next week’s recess at the end of February, though Bennet’s amendment has not been accepted yet and is not guaranteed a vote.

About 1,700 people are employed in Colorado by Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer. Many of those jobs are in Windsor. In January, Vestas said failure to extend the tax credit could affect 1,600 jobs in the U.S.

The PTC expires at the end of this year, and wind energy companies such as Vestas have been lobbying for its extension as soon as possible.