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Governor Beshear Signs Onto Letter Supporting Wind Development

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Aug 30, 2011 02:56 PM

Last week, a coalition of 24 governors from both major parties and each region of the country, including Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, asked the administration to take a series of steps to provide a more favorable business climate for the development of wind energy.

Read the full text of the letter here. Excerpts below:

“Although tax credits for wind energy have long enjoyed bipartisan support, they are scheduled to expire next year. Wind-related manufacturing will slow if the credits are not extended, and some of the tax credits’ benefit will be lost if Congress pursues a last-minute extension. It is important to have consistency in policy to support the continued development of wind manufacturing in the United States. Extending the production tax credit and the investment tax credit, without a gap, is critical to the health of wind manufacturing in our nation. The wind manufacturing industry in the U.S. would benefit even greater if the extension of these credits would be for at least seven years."

The governors’ letter also calls for:

    •    Establishing a combined intergovernmental state-federal task force on wind energy development to “ensure the Administration’s wind energy goals are met.”
    •    Expanding the Department of Energy’s renewable energy programs to “focus not only on technology research and innovation, but also on technology deployment and market development,” noting that, “these are precisely the types of efforts other nations are utilizing to successfully compete with the United States. We must recognize that a scientific breakthrough five or 10 years from now, plus several more years for commercial acceptance, will be of little value if our wind industry has been relegated to minor players in the global marketplace.”
    •    Improved collaboration on siting new wind turbines: “… [W]e believe wind energy and wildlife protection are entirely compatible and we urge a prompt resolution of the Wind Energy Guidelines and Eagle Guidance concerns.”
    •    Expediting deployment of offshore wind: “A new U.S. offshore wind sector would create tens of thousands of jobs in businesses ranging from R&D and engineering to manufacturing and marine construction.”
    •    Identifying transmission and grid integration priorities for Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) such as the Bonneville Power Administration

The 24 governors’ letter concluded, “We believe these actions will help address some of the national economic and energy challenges before our nation. We look forward to working with you and your Administration to further our nation’s wind energy development to help drive economic growth, energy development, and the creation of high-paying jobs.”

Read more about wind potential in Kentucky here.

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