Wind Energy Job Losses
37,000 Wind Energy Jobs at Risk
Should congress decide not to extend the production tax credits that have helped bolster the American wind energy industry, 37,000 jobs will be in jeopardy.
As reported in the LA Times, HR 3307 “The American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act” is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and 93 other co-sponsors.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the production tax credits have been a huge help for developers in obtaining private financing for wind projects. Denise Bode, chief executive of the AWEA, recently stated, “Wind power has truly been an American success story…it’s brought $15 billion annually in private investment to the US. We have a lot riding on this not just as an industry but as a country.”
The wind energy sector has made huge strides in recent years. California alone has 847 MW of wind power projects under construction this year, while the industry as a whole has produced 500 US-based manufacturing facilities and over 75,000 jobs.
Should the production tax credits disappear, all of this progress halts. In fact, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said that projects have already been affected by not having the production tax credit extended. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is predicting “an exodus from the wind energy industry” should the production tax credits not be extended past the end of this year.