Sen. Says 'Every Minute Counts' When it Comes to Renewing the Wind Tax Credit
Democratic Senator Michael Bennet says Congress needs to “set aside politics” and renew a popular wind energy production tax credit that expires at year’s end. Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake, and according to Sen. Bennet time is running out.
With wind gusts whipping around outside Windsor, Senator Bennet toured Hexcel, a plant that manufactures materials used in wind turbine blades. This company and others in Colorado’s wind industry say they’re facing an uncertain future if Congress doesn’t renew the credit by year’s end.
"If our companies in Colorado don’t have predictability about the future, they will have to make decisions that will result in layoffs for people," he says. "So every minute counts.”
So far, Bennet says the credit renewal has been filed as an amendment to a broader transportation bill, which is currently stalled in Congress.
“When we get back we’re going to see whether it will move in the next few weeks,” he says. “If we’re unable to do that, we’re just going to have to keep fighting because at the end of the year it expires.”
The tax credit faces opposition from Republicans like Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) who say that the money could be better spent in other areas of the budget.
So far, the credit has helped wind become more cost competitive with other energy sources, and has led to a hiring boom in Colorado thanks to companies like Hexcel and Vestas Wind Systems.
Bennet is one of eight members in Colorado’s Congressional delegation who are calling on Congress to renew the wind energy tax credit.