Production Tax Credit extension could create 10,000 jobs in Oregon
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
A new study crunches the numbers on the jobs that would be impacted by an end to the renewable energy Production Tax Credit.
The American Wind Energy Association on Monday touted a report completed by Navigant Consulting that shows that a four-year extension of the federal Production Tax Credit would create or save between 10,000 and 12,500 jobs in Oregon.
On the flip side, if Congress doesn't extend the tax credit, which provides a subsidy for wind energy generation, Navigant estimates that 37,000 U.S. jobs would be lost and private investment in the industry would drop by nearly two-thirds.
The wind energy industry is lobbying hard for Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit, or PTC, which is set to expire at the end of 2012.
"American manufacturing jobs are coming back, with tens of thousands of new jobs from wind power,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, in a statement. “But these jobs could vanish if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire, in effect enacting a targeted tax increase, and sending our jobs to foreign countries."
Last month, Portland's Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat, teamed up with Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington to introduce a bill to extend the Production Tax Credit through 2016.
Opponents to the tax credit argue that it provides an unfair subsidy to the industry without any measurable effect on the use of fossil fuels.
AWEA, however, argues that wind energy jobs have goosed the U.S. manufacturing sector with 400 facilities in 43 states.
Oregon is among the states with the most to gain if the tax credit is extended along with Colorado, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, North Dakota and Ohio.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber last month joined a coalition of governors to call for the PTC extension.
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