Congress Fiddles while the Wind Industry Burns

Guest Blog | September 26, 2012 | Energy Policy, Wind
The United States House of Representatives has suspended legislative activity until after November 6th. The House has done this with it’s all-time-low 10% approval rating earning it a status of “Worst. Congress. Ever.

Since Congress hasn’t done its job, thousands of Americans are at risk of losing their jobs in the wind industry. At the end of 2012, the wind industry’s primary incentive (the Production Tax Credit, or PTC) is set to expire. In early February, the American Wind Energy Association announced that some 37,000 Americans would lose their jobs without the PTC. Wind farms have been cancelled, factories have been scuttled and workers have been laid off because Congress hasn’t done its job.

Here’s a short list of recent layoffs and cancellations:

Clipper Wind is cutting its workforce by 37% – 174 jobs, most of them in Iowa

Molded Fiber Glass fired 97 in South Dakota

Seimens fired 407 in Iowa (UPDATE: company-wide, Seimens is firing 615 people)

Vestas cut 120 jobs in Colorado

LM WindPower fired 94 full-time and 170 part-time employees in Arkansas

Mitsubitshi was planning a $100 million factory expansion in Arkansas, but is depending on the PTC to proceed

Iberdrola cancelled two big wind farms in South Dakota

Gamesa cancelled a wind farm in Pennsylvania

enXco cancelled a project in Indiana

Atlantic Wind LLC has postponed a project in North Carolina

Since the House of Representatives is taking a leave of absence to run home to save their own jobs, it’s expected they’ll come back in a lame-duck session (after the election), and hurriedly get to the business of saving the wind business. But not all Representatives are on board with saving those American jobs.

In fact, a list of 47 Representatives have formed a coalition to kill the Production Tax Credit – seventeen of those are from Southeastern states. So while hundreds of people are losing their jobs in the wind industry, remind me; why does Congress feel like they don’t have to do theirs?

Be part of the solution – click here to Save Wind Energy Jobs. 

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