* Senator seeking extension of federal wind energy production tax credit (PCT)

The AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) Blog: Into the Wind

Moran visits Siemens factory, pushes PTC extension

Posted: 2012-02-22 Tom Gray

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) visited a Siemens wind turbine manufacturing plant in Hutchinson, Kans., Monday and expressed his intention to seek an extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC) by amending a transportation funding bill that is currently being considered in the Senate (see Bennet, Moran continue bipartisan push to extend PTC, Feb. 16).

According to the Hutchinson News, Moran said he and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) are also gathering signatures of other Senators on a bipartisan letter in support of a longer extension of the credit. Such an extension could come through a stand-alone “tax extender bill,” though the timing for such a bill is uncertain.  Added Moran, “We’re trying to get out front on this, to do it early because of uncertainty in the industry.”

The Hutchinson plant now employs 350 workers and has brought new manufacturing jobs to a city and state that urgently need them (see video, Siemens nacelle factory comes to life, Hutchinson, KS), but those jobs could disappear if the PTC is not extended soon–turbines and other components require lead time for manufacturing, and with the credit scheduled to expire at the end of this year, the optimum time for an extension is as soon as possible.

Moran commented, “Our goal is to extend it [the PTC] long enough that there is certainty in the industry so it can develop on its own and we can gradually phase it out … There’s no doubt in my mind if we extend it that this is a job creator. More people will be working and paying taxes and helping get our financial house in order … There are members of Congress who feel we ought not to pick winners and losers, to let the markets decide. I believe it’s better to get this industry up and running, then let the country decide … rather than pull the rug out overnight.”

East Coast Wind Could Replace Coal

Windmills off the East Coast could generate enough electricity to replace most, if not all, the coal-fired power plants in the United States, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday.

Salazar said ocean winds along the East Coast can generate 1 million megawatts of power, roughly the equivalent of 3,000 medium-sized coal-fired power plants, or nearly five times the number of coal plants now operating in the United States, according to the Energy Department.

via Salazar: Eastern wind could replace coal for power – The Denver Post .