California Wind Energy Jobs Threatened by Expiration of Production Tax Credit, Congressman Garamendi Warns

Sep 12, 2012 Issues: Economy, Environment, Make it in America
Garamendi Urges Support for Production Tax Credit  Crucial to Promoting American Wind Energy & Jobs


WASHINGON, DC - Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) was scheduled to speak on the floor of the United States House of Representatives to support the Production Tax Credit, which is crucial to the development of the American wind energy industry and thousands of jobs in California and across the country. Given the tragic events in Libya, he began his remarks by commemorating the tragic killing of American personnel in Libya. A transcript of his remarks is provided below.
The Production Tax Credit provides a 2.2 cent per kilowatt tax incentive for utility scale wind turbines for their first 10 years of operation. The wind energy industry employs 75,000 Americans, but if the PTC is allowed to expire, half of these jobs would be lost.
"The Production Tax Credit has fostered a wind energy industry that has created thousands of jobs in California and across the country and continues to grow," said Congressman John Garamendi, who as a state legislator authored the first state level clean energy tax credit. "Instead of tearing down the wind turbines that are being built, we need to strengthen our energy independence and Make It In America. My legislation, H.R. 6217, would require that tax payer dollars for clean energy projects are spent on U.S. manufacturing, creating American jobs."
There are a several major wind farms in and around the Congressman's district. For example, the EDF Renewable Energy Shiloh II project provides clean electricity to approximately 74,000 PG&E customers annually. When it was built in 2008, the project created 300 construction jobs and infused over 50 million dollars in the local economy. Shiloh II continues to generate nearly $3 million in annual property tax revenues for Solano County.
A transcript of Congressman Garamendi's remarks on the House floor is provided below and a video is linked here.
Floor Speech Honoring U.S. Personnel Killed in Libya and Supporting Wind Energy Jobs
Mr. Speaker, today is a day of reflection and sadness and also determination and resolve. The tragic killing of our Ambassador in Libya and his staff should remind us all of the dangers that exist around the world. And so we offer our prayers to the families and to the survivors.
We also need to think about the future in America and about the necessity for developing alternative energy systems. The Production Tax Credit for wind is absolutely essential. I represent two major wind farms, one in Solano and the other in Alameda County. Thousands of jobs across this nation will be lost unless we extend the wind tax credit. Keep in mind that for a century we have subsidized the oil and gas industry. It's time for us to provide the support necessary to create this [wind energy] industry.
We also ought to be making it in America one of my bills HR 6217 would require that 85% of the content of these turbines and solar systems be made in America. With that I yield back.