Nate A. Miller

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August 2, 2012
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Wind energy production tax credit passes Senate committee

The Senate Finance Committee passed a bill Thursday that would extend a roughly $2 billion tax break for wind energy production, which is slated to expire at the end of the year.

“Passing the wind production tax credit is one of the most important steps Congress can take this year to re-energize our economy, create jobs and pursue true energy security,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who has pushed for the extension, said in a news release. “I am glad to see the Senate Finance Committee agrees.”

The extension of the wind energy production tax credit passed the Finance Committee on a 19-5 vote as part of the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, a bill that addresses several tax breaks slated to expire at the end of the year.

Supporters of the wind production tax credit, which began in 1992, contend failure to extend it will result in layoffs for workers from good, high-paying manufacturing jobs, many of which are located in northern Colorado. It will also make the country more dependent on foreign oil, they say. Those opposed to the credit say wind energy is inefficient and the government shouldn’t subsidize it. It’s simply wrong, they say, to believe there would be no jobs without the tax credit.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., along with Udall, Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Scott Brown, R-Mass., sent a letter Wednesday to the Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the ranking member of the committee, Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, calling for the inclusion of the wind energy production credit into the bill.

“We’ll continue to push every way we know how until the tax credit is extended,” he said in a news release. “It is an economic driver that’s critical to thousands of jobs in Colorado and tens of thousands of jobs across the country. At the same time it is strengthening and diversifying our energy profile.”

Colorado is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upward of 6,000 workers statewide, including at Vestas Wind Systems in Windsor.

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My Windsor Now Updated Aug 2, 2012 11:19PM Published Aug 4, 2012 10:59PM Copyright 2012 My Windsor Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.