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Rep. Braley brings bill to extend wind tax credit

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) is calling for an extension of the renewable energy production tax credit, joining U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) in introducing a bill to keep the credit through 2016.

The wind energy industry employs about 3,000 people in Iowa and accounts for 20 percent of all electricity generated in the state, according to the Iowa Wind Energy Association.

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Bruce_braley-100x150_2621.jpg

Bruce Braley

“Investments in Iowa’s wind energy industry have created thousands of jobs and made Iowa a world leader in clean energy technology,” Braley said. “Extending the renewable energy production tax credit will keep the economic momentum going. Wind energy is still a widely untapped resource in Iowa – and that means there’s still untapped potential for business investment and job creation.”

GOP candidates for president offered very different assessments of the tax credit during a forum Tuesday morning in Pella. The tax credit is due to expire at the end of 2012.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) called for ending the wind energy tax incentive.

But former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) took a different tack, calling for long-term renewals of such programs.

Braley introduced similar legislation to extend the renewable energy production tax credit in 2008 and 2009.

“Wind energy is good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for farmers,” he said. “Our bipartisan bill will promote job-creating wind energy projects and provide incentives to expand wind energy production.”

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