IPL to Congress: Help wind energy now

Dec 13, 2012 | What's New

Interfaith Power & Light is urging Congress to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind energy before it expires on December 31. Take action now. Write your lawmakers.

“Investment and growth in properly sited wind energy is an important way to curb carbon pollution, create jobs, and protect God’s Creation,” wrote The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, founder of Interfaith Power & Light, which has affiliates in 40 states.

Bingham added, “Since 1918 the oil and gas industry have received hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies. This amount dwarfs support for renewables, which is estimated at under $6 billion during the years between 1994 and 2009. In our view, this is the exact opposite of the approach we need.”

Read the full letter below. As the deadline looms, the American Wind Energy Association has reached out to opponents in Congress to offer a phase-out of the tax credit starting in 2014.

The national Interfaith Power & Light network has been advocating for the PTC wind renewal all year. The Rev. Susan Guy, executive director of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, met earlier this month with staff from all seven of Iowa’s Congressional delegation members. With the third-highest installed wind capacity in the nation (after Texas and California) and the most wind energy jobs, Iowa already gets 20 percent of its electric generation from wind.

“We know that the right combination of state and federal policies and incentives create an atmosphere where our wind generating capacity can thrive and serve as a model for other states,” Guy said. “People of faith in Iowa care about the threat of losing the Production Tax Credit for wind energy because we care about God’s creation and our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Guy noted that electric generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the United States, “but wind energy generates no emissions and displaces carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuels such as coal. The PTC enables wind energy to compete with subsidized fossil fuels and moves us toward a clean energy future in the interest of the common good.”

 

Interfaith Power & Light letter to lawmakers

On behalf of the 40 state programs and millions of people of faith affiliated with Interfaith Power & Light, we write with concern about the status of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy. If not renewed before it expires at the end of 2012, our country stands to lose thousands of jobs and a critical tool for encouraging clean energy development. Investment and growth in properly sited wind energy is an important way to curb carbon pollution, create jobs, and protect God’s Creation.

A recent study by Navigant Consulting shows that stable tax policy would allow the wind industry to create and save 54,000 American jobs in the next four years. Additionally, the PTC has enabled the industry to slash wind energy costs – 90 percent since 1980. Wind now supplies more than 3 percent of U.S. demand and accounts for 35 percent of new power capacity installed in the last four years. Electricity rates consistently decrease when wind enters the market. Failing to renew the PTC could immediately raise prices for the renewable electricity we buy today.

It is essential that wind and emerging clean energy technology have a level playing field with fossil fuels. Since 1918 the oil and gas industry have received hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies. This amount dwarfs support for renewables, which is estimated at under $6 billion during the years between 1994 and 2009. In our view, this is the exact opposite of the approach we need.

As people of faith, we are called to love our neighbors and to be stewards of Creation. We see our neighbors suffering from asthma, heart attacks, and respiratory illness caused or exacerbated by air pollution. These effects are felt most keenly by the most vulnerable among us: children, the elderly, and lower income families.

Investing in energy efficiency and responsibly sited clean energy creates jobs, saves consumers money, protects our health, and safeguards Creation. Supporting clean energy is a moral decision that shows our concern for the least among us who suffer most from carbon pollution, as well as our children and the many generations to come. Please act responsibly to renew this important investment in clean energy and climate change solutions.

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