By Miriam Raftery
July 14, 2012 (Washington D.C.) –Efforts by the wind industry to amend the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237) have failed. The industry had sought to insert language to extend until 2014 the wind production tax credits set to expire at year’s end .Those credits allow wind developers to write off 2.2 cents of every kilowatt-hour produced. The proposed amendment would also have extended an investment tax credit covering 30 percent of costs for a wind development.
Democratic leaders refused o allow a vote on the amendment offered by Senators Michael Bennett (D-Colorado) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).
Several prior efforts to extend the renewable energy tax credits have also failed. Republicans have typically opposed credits for renewables, while Democrats have sought to pay for renewable tax credits by ending some existing credits for the oil industry.
The Senate voted to end debate, invoking cloture and thus enabling the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act to be brought up for a vote by the full Senate—without the extension of tax credits for wind projects.
Wind industry insiders have voiced high hopes that tax credits will ultimately be extended after the November elections by a lame duck Congress.
Opponents of industrial wind contend that extension should be rejected amid growing concerns over the negative impacts of wind turbines on health and the environment, questions over the viability of some massive wind projects, and inadequate oversight of wind energy projects on federal lands.