Kitzhaber joins call for renewable energy tax credit extension
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber joined the Governors' Wind Coalition in calling for an extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit.
Gov. John Kitzhaber has joined a coalition of governors in asking Congress to extend the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit for at least four years.
The credit provides a 2.2 cent per kilowatt hour credit for power produced by qualifying facilities for 10 years. Credits for wind, geothermal, hydropower and some bioenergy facilities expire at the end of 2012.
Governors in 23 states, including Oregon, sent a letter to Congressional leaders yesterday asking for a multi-year extension of the credit, suggesting that an extension of at least four years would be required to lure new investments in wind development and boost domestic energy production.
The letter comes at a time when Vestas Wind Systems A/S CEO Ditlev Engel warned last week that the wind energy industry could "fall off a cliff" if U.S. lawmakers don't extend the production tax credit — or PTC as it's often called. It also follows the introduction of legislation by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., to extend the PTC until 2016. The legislation aims to buoy wind development and also extends a 1-cent per kilowatt hour credit for biomass, geothermal, small irrigation, landfill gas and hydropower, set to expire in 2013.
“I think that the governor believes that the PTC has been an incredibly effective incentive for the development of renewable energy in Oregon that is bringing jobs to all corners of the state, both in urban and rural communities, and that it’s been a great return on investment in terms of development in jobs and communities, in developing alternatives to fossil fuels and in manufacturing, and it ought to be extended,” said Tim Raphael, spokesman for the governor.
Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon.
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