WASHINGTON—With Congress and the Administration negotiating over a tax package in the post-election "lame-duck" session now underway, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said today that the sweeping scope of newspaper editorial endorsements for an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) exemplify the credit's broad bipartisan support. Renewing the PTC, the wind industry trade group said, should be high on Congress's list of priorities to deal with in the next few weeks.
One significant recent editorial endorsing the PTC comes from the Billings (Mont.) Gazette
, the largest newspaper in the home state of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D). The Gazette said in part:
"When businesses harness Montana's wind energy, private landowners, local and state governments and workers share the benefits ...
"Back in August, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., approved a tax bill that would extend the wind production credit until the end of 2013. (The committee bill also would have let other tax breaks expire.) Baucus's partner in moving that legislation was none other than Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The bill won bipartisan committee approval on a vote of 19 to 5. More recently, both Republican Senators from Kansas and the state's Republican Governor have called on Congress to extend the wind production tax credit. Kansas is a windy state, and its leaders see the value in tapping that natural resource.
"Every member of [Montana's] congressional delegation has supported the wind production tax credit, including Sen. Jon Tester [D] and Rep. Denny Rehberg [R].
"We call on Montana's delegation to champion the business tax credit that is putting money into our state in areas that don't have a lot of other energy development. The production tax credit extension ought to be part of the year-end legislative deal."
The Gazette editorial is among editorials, since the Nov. 6 election, from:
(Nov. 15): Editorial titled "Wind tax credit is an easy call": "Even if you wanted to argue with the economic wisdom of the wind-energy tax credit--as some Republicans do--you can't deny that its absence would undermine a growing industry at a time of high unemployment. No doubt that's why leading politicians of both parties have called for its extension. In the latest example, this week a bipartisan group of four governors, including Colorado's John Hickenlooper, sent a letter to congressional leaders in an attempt to prod them into action."
Quad-City (Iowa-Illinois) Times
(Nov. 15): "We're so glad to see Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad [R] and Sen. Chuck Grassley [R] joining a bipartisan call to extend the wind energy tax credit less than a week after Election Day ... With [the tax credit], Iowa can continue its nation-leading development and training for this expanding American industry, anchoring green energy innovation in the Heartland, not overseas ... Branstad and Grassley's leadership on this important Iowa issue proves that their partisan world didn't end Nov. 6. Governance continues, as it must, with smart, informed leaders forming bipartisan coalitions to supporting their state and nation over party and progress over gridlock."
Topeka (Kan.) Capital Journal
(Nov. 14): "... Oil and gas are economically viable, but they still enjoy special exemptions and tax breaks, which those industries guard zealously. Picking on the wind energy tax production credit seems a lot like beating the new kid on the block. [Gov. Sam] Brownback [R] realizes that new kid on the block has potential and can play a role in growing the state's economy. He and other members of the 28-state wind energy coalition [Governors' Wind Energy Coalition] should keep pushing."
Sioux City (Iowa) Journal
(Nov. 15): "At a time when jobs, energy independence and producing clean, renewable fuels are near the top of this nation's list of priorities, extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit would be money well spent. Wind energy advocates have mounted a full-court press to save the credit, which expires Dec. 31. We join them in urging Congress to support renewal..."
Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette
Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune
Canon City (Colo.) Daily Record
(Olympia, Wash.) (Nov. 20)
Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftain
Garden City (Kan.) Telegram
The latest stream of editorials backing the PTC follows many others published earlier in the year, including:
New York Times
Des Moines Register
Kansas City Star
West Branch [Iowa] Times
Greeley [Colorado] Tribune
Lake County [Illinois] News-Sun
Garden City [Kansas] Telegram
Latino Times Magazine
The Daily Review [Pennsylvania]
Kansas City Star
Aberdeen [South Dakota] News
Pacific Coast Business Times
The Gazette [Iowa]
Red Wing Republican Eagle [Minnesota]
The Press-Citizen [Iowa]
Arkansas Business Journal