Biz: Blowing in the Wind

November 19 2012, 11:45 AM

Having just gone through an election cycle in which, certainly, we set some sort of record for partisan bickering, the question now on everyone's mind seems to be whether Democrats and Republicans can actually work together. For the moment, at least in the case of Colorado's congressional delegation, the answer seems to be yes.

The Denver Post recently reported that eight of the nine members of the state's national delegation—five Democrats and three Republicans—are working to pass an extension of the wind industry's production tax credit (PTC), which is set to expire at the end of the year. (Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, has said he is against the credit.) The federal tax credit, which subsidizes 2.2 cents for every killowatt-hour of wind energy, has helped create jobs manufacturing the parts necessary to construct wind turbines—by some estimates as many as 75,000 jobs nationwide, and 6,000 in Colorado. 

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, championed the renewal of the wind tax credit prior to the election. During a September appearance on Current TV, Udall referred to wind energy as a "cash crop." He also said that the uncertainy of whether the tax credit will be renewed has already hurt the industry. In fact, last week, Vestas, a Colorado-based wind systems manufacturing company, announced it was cutting 29 percent of its workforce. "We need to keep the United States on the cutting edge of wind energy development and manufacturing or we risk letting other nations pass us by," Udall wrote on his website. "We need to renew our commitment to clean, made-in-America energy. We need to extend the PTC ASAP." 

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