American wind families call on Congress to extend wind tax credit

“All We Want for Christmas is Economic Security for our Families”

December 21, 2012

 WASHINGTON, D.C., December 21, 2012 – America’s wind energy workers are making videos to tell their stories of living with uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit that’s critical to the industry, and to ask Congress to include an extension in any “fiscal cliff” legislation this month.

Half the jobs in the wind industry and hundreds of U.S. factories could be lost by the first quarter of 2013 if the Production Tax Credit is allowed to expire Dec. 31, according to a study by Navigant Consulting.

For months, wind workers and their families have been speaking out in their communities and in visits to Washington, D.C. Recently, Matt and Sarah Allsup and their children Tiffany, Malia, Dylan, Lucas and Kaidee made a visit to the nation’s capital that was decidedly different than most tourists’ experiences.

The video they made, which AWEA posted today on its website and on YouTube,

documents the Allsups' trip to D.C., and shows them in front of the Capitol building, where they had come to deliver a serious message.

“Behind the wind mills, there’s families,” says 20-year-old Tiffany Allsup. “And behind those families, we need jobs.”

Investment in wind power is an investment in jobs, including jobs in operations and maintenance, construction, manufacturing and many support sectors.

“In addition to the environmental benefits of emission-free wind energy,” says NextEra Energy Resources President and CEO Armando Pimentel, “our wind energy centers have helped revitalize rural communities across the United States and Canada through the creation of jobs, lease payments to landowners, property tax payments, and the ongoing purchase of goods and services.”

The industry is urging Congress to adopt the version passed on a bipartisan vote of 19-5 by the Senate Finance Committee on Aug. 2, which would extend the tax credit for any project that starts next year. That reflects the 18-24 months it takes to build a wind project.

For further information, quotes from industry leaders or comments on the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, please call Ellen Carey at 202.249.7357 or Peter Kelley at 202.270.8831.

Today’s “News You Can Use” update on the PTC

  • Wind energy is strengthening the economic fabric of communities across America, becoming one of the fastest growing U.S. manufacturing sectors.
  • The U.S. wind industry supported more than 75,000 jobs in 2011. A full 30,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing.
  • There are nearly 500 U.S. factories currently supplying the wind industry, up from as few as 30 in 2004, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently found.
  • A recent assessment by the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that the U.S. could supply 20% of the nation’s electricity needs through wind by 2030.
  • That would support roughly 500,000 good quality jobs in the U.S., with an annual average of more than 150,000 workers directly employed by the wind industry.And it would result in energy-related cost savings to the nation ranging from $100 billion to $250 billion through 2030.

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Chicago, Illinois, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.