Wind energy tax credit extensions go down in Senate

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Washington, D.C., March 14, 2012 — The extension of the production tax credit for wind power failed to move forward in the U.S. Senate March 14, but advocates of the American wind energy industry say they will continue to press the issue.

The 49-49 vote to extend the wind power PTC was not enough to break the 60-vote mark needed to break a filibuster. The extension was introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

Senators from states that have significant wind power investments, such as Colorado, say failing to renew the PTC would carry dire financial consequences. Without an extension, the tax breaks will expire at the end of 2012.


Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the wind industry is on a "gravy train" that must be derailed so the U.S. can cut its spending levels.

PTCs for various forms of renewable energy, including wind and solar, require periodic renewal in Congress for the programs to continue. They have passed into law and been renewed several times in the past decade.

PTCs for wind energy help to defray the cost of building and operating a wind farm, helping make the technology more cost competitive with other forms of power generation.

The amendment that did not pass March 14 also included tax incentives for energy efficient buildings, biofuels and other initiatives.

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