RALEIGH, N.C. - The wind that blows across North Carolina supports 3,000 jobs in the state, according to the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition. The organization says those jobs could be in jeopardy if Congress does not extend the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), set to expire at the end of this year.
Brian O'Hara, president of the coalition, explains.
"When you have uncertainty in what tax policy is going to be, that prevents developers from making decisions, and when developers can't make decisions then suppliers can't make decisions, and it slows down the whole economy."
The American Wind Energy Association is warning that 37,000 jobs could be lost nationwide if the PTC is not extended. Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Environment Group's Clean Energy Program, says keeping the industry in limbo doesn't make sense.
"Causing this kind of turmoil and uncertainty in a market is completely unnecessary. There've been really no new orders for wind, and that is going to have a significant impact on jobs."
O'Hara says he believes the role the wind industry plays in the economy isn't fully understood.
"A lot of lawmakers don't realize the economic impact that the wind industry has in the southeast. This region is a great example of a collection of states that has a very attractive environment for manufacturing and benefits from this industry."
Although Congress has until year's end to make a decision on the tax credit, members of both parties are pushing them to act quickly since companies already are slowing production in anticipation it may not be renewed. O'Hara says there's bipartisan support for the credit, but there also are calls to let it expire.
See AWEA for more information: http://www.awea.org/blog/index.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1699=17300
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