Wind power execs: Tax credit needed to keep jobs

Jun 6, 2012, 1:38 AM

Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) – A stalled effort to renew federal tax credits for the wind power industry is making it hard to keep employees on the payroll and plan for expansion, a group of executives said Tuesday, but two high-profile Washington figures advised them not to expect help until after the November election.

The Production Tax Credit, the primary cost-saving policy for the industry, expires at the end of the year and the executives said their companies are already feeling the effects.

“The issue is, the longer you wait, the more critical (the tax credit) becomes,” said Jan Blittersdorf president of Vermont-based NRG Systems, a 25-year-old company that manufactures goods for the industry. “This is really serious. This is the first time in 30 years we’ve had to do layoffs and once you start to dismantle this system it’s hard to put it back together.”

Blittersdorf echoed the fears of several panelists at the WINDPOWER 2012 Conference & Exhibition about job loss, not just within their own companies, but in the entire sector. They said suppliers would also be strapped for cash when the demand suddenly drops.

Tom Carnahan of Wind Rose Partners said the industry has experienced fluctuations before, but this is different.

“There is more at stake this time; every month matters, is critical,” Carnahan said. “Developers have already started layoffs and every quarter of this year we are going to lose jobs. It will be a tragedy not to find a way to get this tax (credit) extended…”

Executives say extending the tax credit would not only benefit suppliers and manufacturers, but also the estimated 75,000 people employed by the industry.

The problem does not appear to be a lack of political support, former presidential aides Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs told several thousand people gathered in Atlanta for the annual conference.

“The policy is airtight,” Gibbs said. “We understand the jobs it produces, we understand the impact it has on our energy portfolio, and quite frankly there’s no reason we shouldn’t do it.”

Gibbs, who served as press secretary for President Barack Obama, said Washington power players recognize the economic impact of the industry on the country. However, a tough political climate between now and the November presidential election will make a quick resolution unlikely, he said.

“This election is about jobs and your industry is about jobs,” Gibbs said. “There has never been a better match.”

And though the tax credit is widely supported, that’s not going to be enough to speed Congress up, said Rove, who was an advisor to former president George W. Bush.

“My hope is that after the election people say, `Look, let’s start making some priorities and find some things that we can agree on, and maybe one of them is the Production Tax Credit,'” said Rove. “It is a market mechanism, you don’t get paid unless you produce the power, and we’re not picking winners and losers, we’re simply saying for some period of time we will provide this incentive.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Essence Fest is back in New Orleans after two-year hiatus

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Black culture, in all its glory, will be on display over the 4th of July holiday weekend in New Orleans as thousands converge on the city for the in-person return of the Essence Festival of Culture. The multiday event begins with a Thursday performance by comedian Kevin Hart in the Smoothie […]
9 hours ago
Erica Mancini, an accordionist, poses before taking the stage to perform in a Ukrainian avant garde...
Associated Press

A viral reprise: When COVID-19 strikes again and again

For New York musician Erica Mancini, COVID-19 made repeat performances. March 2020. Last December. And again this May. “I’m bummed to know that I might forever just get infected,” said the 31-year-old singer, who is vaccinated and boosted. “I don’t want to be getting sick every month or every two months.” But medical experts warn […]
9 hours ago
Tropicana Field is viewed after a baseball game, June 5, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The mayor of...
Associated Press

St. Pete mayor reopens talks on future of Rays stadium site

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, is reopening talks about the future of the Tropicana Field site where baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays play their home games. Mayor Ken Welch said Wednesday that two previous proposals for the 86-acre (348,000-square-meter) downtown location are being scrapped, with a new round of plans […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Chief: Officer hit woman at abortion rally, should be fired

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The chief of police in Rhode Island’s capital has recommended that a city officer charged with assaulting a woman during an abortion-rights protest should lose his job. Patrolman Jeann Lugo’s “disturbing, egregious, assaultive and unprofessional behavior while off duty, has brought discredit to your name and has tarnished the proud reputation […]
9 hours ago
Law enforcement personnel work outside at the Orlando Museum of Art Orlando, Fla., Friday, June 24,...
Associated Press

CEO and Florida museum part ways following Basquiat raid

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Museum of Art has parted ways with its CEO in the days after the FBI raided the Florida museum and seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat that are the subjects of an investigation into possible wire fraud and conspiracy. The museum’s board of trustees […]
9 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Wind power execs: Tax credit needed to keep jobs