Bennet: Tax Extenders Bill Provides No Certainty to Colorado’s Wind Energy Industry

Senate Passes Bill to Extend Expired Tax Provisions for Two Weeks

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet denounced the tax extenders package passed by the Senate tonight for providing little to no certainty for Colorado's wind energy industry, which relies on the wind production tax credit (PTC) that expired at the end of 2013. Bennet voted against the measure.

"This two-week extenders bill represents another low point in the world of dysfunctional Washington politics. Our inability to pass long-term reforms to our regulatory and tax codes is holding back our economy," Bennet said. "This bill does little to help families and businesses in Colorado, particularly our wind energy industry. Waiting until now to extend the wind PTC - and only for two weeks - generates nothing but more uncertainty for these businesses that employ thousands of Coloradans. This tax credit has been an economic driver for Colorado's diverse energy industry, but Congress continues to inflict more economic damage by not giving businesses predictability to plan for the future."

Bennet worked with Republican Senator Charles Grassley from Iowa and Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell to secure a wind PTC amendment in the tax extenders bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year. The amendment would have extended the credit through 2015.

Bennet has led efforts in Congress to extend the wind energy PTC. In 2012, he led eight of the nine members of the Colorado Congressional delegation in a bipartisan letter calling for an extension of the tax credit and introduced two bipartisan amendments with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), and cosponsored by Senator Mark Udall, to extend the PTC. He also partnered with Senators Grassley and Udall that year to introduce the American Energy and Job Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to extend the PTC for wind and several other renewable energy technologies. Bennet successfully led a bipartisan group of senators urging the Senate Finance Committee to include an extension of the PTC in the 2012 tax extenders bill the committee considered.

Colorado generates the sixth highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. It is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upwards of 5,000 workers statewide. Nationally, a permanent expiration of the wind production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

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