Senate committee votes to extend wind tax credit
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the finance committee, added the wind tax credit extension to a package that totals $205 billion in breaks. Baucus crafted the proposal with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
The committee approved the bill in a 19-5 vote just days after Republican Mitt Romney's campaign came out against it. The one-year extension of the wind tax credit amounts to a $3.3 billion tax break, and is likely to face opposition in the Republican-dominated U.S. House.
"Passing the wind production tax credit is one of the most important steps Congress can take this year to re-energize our economy, create jobs and pursue true energy security," Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said in a statement Thursday.
Passage of the wind tax credit by the committee followed a letter written by Udall, and Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Scott Brown, R-Mass., urging Baucus and Hatch to include the extension in the bill. Expiration of the tax credit would threaten the stability of 37,000 jobs nationwide, the lawmakers wrote.
Following Thursday's decision, Udall urged the full Senate to act soon on the bill "to prevent China and other countries from stepping into the breach caused by our failure to act swiftly."
A wind energy leader, Colorado generates the third-highest percentage of power from wind among any state, according to Bennet's office. The industry employs around 6,000 workers statewide.
"We'll continue to push every way we know how until the tax credit is extended," Bennet said in a statement. "It is an economic driver that's critical to thousands of jobs in Colorado and tens of thousands of jobs across the country."
Danish turbine maker Vestas, which operates manufacturing facilities in Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo, has threatened to cut jobs if Congress does not renew the wind tax credit. Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel has said the U.S. wind market could fall by 80 percent next year if the credit expires.
More breaking news...
Hickenlooper OKs graywater bill
The number of deals sank to
Avago wins approval from city for $22M expansion
Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village,