An extension of the expiring US production tax credit (PTC) failed to make the cut as Congressional negotiators sealed an agreement late Wednesday on legislation to renew a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for millions of unemployed workers.
The wind industry saw the legislation as its best hope to win a near-term extension of the $0.022/kWh incentive. The PTC is not scheduled to expire until December 31, but uncertainty over its future is already causing companies to suspend development activities and hold off on turbine orders for 2013.
While many expect the next main window of opportunity to get the extension approved by lawmakers won’t come until after the November presidential election, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said Wednesday that it could still come earlier.
“A bipartisan group of Members of Congress are continuing to provide leadership in extending the wind PTC. They’re looking at every opportunity to get this done in the first quarter, because they realize the urgency of keeping the tens of thousands of US manufacturing jobs that are on the line,” AWEA said in a statement.
It added: “The PTC needs to be passed in the first quarter to avoid losing those jobs, and there are still ways that can happen.”
Already, US Senators Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, and) and Jerry Moran a Republican from Kansas, have filed an amendment to a transportation bill being debated in the Senate calling for a one-year extension of the credit.
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