Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02), along with 16 other members of Congress, have introduced HR 5559, the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014. If passed, the bill would extend incentives to provide market certainty and to strengthen investment in clean energy such as extending the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy through 2016, offering parity with the Investment Tax Credit enjoyed by solar energy investments, and granting the solar industry the same access to credits at the start of a project’s construction that the wind industry has.
“I’m eager to push this across the finish line this Congress,” said Blumenauer. “My state of Oregon is a leader in renewable energy technologies, and Dave’s state of Iowa is the second largest wind energy producer in the nation, so we understand the importance of stability and security in the clean energy sector. His help will be important in advancing this legislation. Making sure these energy sources are on an even playing field with the fossil fuel industry is essential to lowering carbon emissions, creating a cleaner environment, and creating good, non-exportable American jobs.”
According to the representatives, creating a tax landscape for renewables that allows them to compete fairly in the market with other energy sources benefits the country by creating a healthier environment and thousands of jobs. It also puts renewable energy on an equal footing with traditional fossil fuels, giving consumers choice about how they want to power their homes and their lives.
“The Production Tax Credit has helped the still-growing U.S. wind energy industry employ 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Iowans,” added Loebsack. “Like all businesses, the wind energy sector needs stability and predictability so long term investments and business decisions can be made. The continued expiration of the PTC causes slow-downs at manufacturing facilities and could lead to additional lay-offs. For our nation to move towards energy independence and continued job growth, we need to prioritize clean energy like wind and act immediately to pass this extension of the PTC.”