The payroll tax cut deal on its way to the president contains provisions that give some certainty, at least in the short term, for the unemployed, doctors who treat Medicare patients and American workers in general.
Not so much for the wind industry.
A story in today’s Wichita Business Journal looks at the uncertainty wind energy developers and manufacturers are facing because of the pending expiration of a production tax credit, set to sunset at the end of 2012. The credit was meant to help bring down the cost of wind power to make it more competitive with other forms of energy, and groups like the American Wind Energy Association say the industry needs more time to grow before the credit goes away.
Proponents were hoping to tuck the wind item into a payroll tax cut deal. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad sent a letter to Congress Feb. 1 urging them to do just that.
But the deal Congress approved today doesn’t touch the wind production tax credit (or several others).
The wind credit’s next opportunity for renewal could rest with Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). They introduced an amendment this week to Senate Bill 1813, a transportation bill currently under consideration by the Senate.
But they won’t receive any support on the issue from fellow Kansan Mike Pompeo (R-Wichita) in the House.
Pompeo opposes the wind production tax credit and all other energy tax credits, and he recently introduced a bill aiming to repeal them.
He told the Wall Street Journal that the wind industry “simply cannot continue to rely on the American taxpayer.”
“Each time it comes up to a year of expiration, they say, ‘If we just get a few more years our technology will mature and we will become more competitive.’ It’s time for them to figure out how to do that,” he said.
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