The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

December 13, 2012

Tax credit debate sucking the wind out of wind industry

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The wind industry's turbines are stalling over doubts about the future of a 20-year-old tax credit, and the uncertainty is already costing jobs and cancelling projects.

A Gamesa turbine plant near here, in Cambria Township, has laid off more than 160 workers so far this year because of slacking demand for windmill parts. Iberdrola Renewables recently canceled a 24-turbine wind farm planned for mountains south of here, near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.

Wind developers aren't planning new projects, said David Rosenberg, Gamesa's vice president of marketing and communications, which means the supply chain is slowing and thousands of people are out of work. The wind industry employs about 75,000 people in the United States, and most of its projects are on 12- to 18-month schedules

Clouding their future is uncertainty surrounding the federal tax credit, which expires at the end of the year. Wind energy producers get a 2.2-cent credit for every kilowatt hour they put into the power grid. The credit enables some to cut as much as one-third of their operating costs, which supporters say inspires more wind development.

"It’s very important to get the tax credit. It's very important for the industry," said Dan Lagiovane, a communications manager for EverPower, a Pittsburgh company that operates four wind farms, including two in Pennsylvania, and is building two others in the state.

If renewed by Congress, the credit will cost $1.36 billion per year between now and 2015, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. The American Wind Energy Association says the credit, in turn, leverages $15.5 billion in private investment each year.

The tax credit's survival isn't certain, despite President Obama's support for it during the fall campaign. Obama's negotiations with Republican House Speaker John Boehner over the budget deficit have cast doubt over most tax credits and loopholes.

Text Only
Top News
  • Blake Holovach Holovach converting back to a starting pitcher

    When Blake Holovach takes the mound tonight along the Mississippi River in Davenport, it’ll be in the first inning, which he wasn’t accustomed to in the past.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Relay for Life: Stepping toward awareness

    Statistics reveal that cancer continues to remain the second most common cause of death in the United States, claiming one out of four deaths every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue Fulton superintendent settles in to new position

    One month into the permanent River Bend School District superintendent job, Darryl Hogue has experienced the long hours, stress and the learning curve that comes with any new position.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • State Dept: 'No American is proud' of tactics

    The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • Senior game RVC North claims win

    Much like Northeast softball pitcher Addie Oberman did on Monday night for the River Valley Conference North squad, Tevin Stoecker came in to pitch in relief, and quieted the opposition.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Consumer advocates watching Exelon-Integrys deal

     Energy watchdog groups are worried that Exelon's plan to buy one of its business competitors will be bad for northern Illinois electricity customers.

    July 31, 2014

  • Iowa gambling regulators ponder casino moratorium

    The commission that oversees casino licenses in Iowa may discuss whether to stop considering new casino license applications for a while.

    July 31, 2014

AP Video