AWEA: Tax bill would burden wind power sector

wind farm august 1 elp

The tax bill proposed by the U.S. House today contains provisions that would threaten American job growth, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

By derailing a bipartisan agreement to phase out the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), AWEA says the House proposal strips away the investment certainty Congress promised wind developers just two years ago.

"The proposal puts at risk over $50 billion in planned investment supporting manufacturing, rural jobs and homegrown energy growth," according to AWEA.

The wind power industry worked with Congress in 2015, reaching a bipartisan agreement on tax reform that phased out the PTC over five years. Investors banked on stable investment policy and poured billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.

“Despite comments to the contrary, this proposal reneges on the tax reform deal that was already agreed to, and would impose a retroactive tax hike on an entire industry,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “The House proposal would pull the rug out from under 100,000 U.S. wind workers and 500 American factories, including some of the fastest growing jobs in the country. We expect members of the House and Senate to oppose any proposal that fails to honor that commitment, and we will fight hard to see that wind energy continues to work for America.”

The wind energy PTC, which allows for a tax credit for each kilowatt hour (kWh) generated, was the tool Congress created for wind developers to access capital needed to grow wind power in the U.S.

This policy has driven domestic infrastructure investment and manufacturing, delivering U.S. jobs and driving down the costs to produce electricity.

Congress passed a bipartisan five-year extension and phase out of the credit in 2015, which is proceeding on an 80 percent-60 percent-40 percent schedule, ending after 2019.

Navigant Consulting projects that maintaining stable investment policy through the five-year PTC phase out will create $85 billion in economic activity and help grow another 50,000 American jobs, including 8,000 jobs at U.S. factories, through the end of President Trump’s first term.

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