The Sierra Club launched “Wind Works,” a new campaign to advocate for renewal of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy.
The PTC is a federal tax policy that helps level the playing field by providing the certainty the wind industry needs for continued growth.
“The “Wind Works” campaign is the Sierra Club’s move to the next level, in advocating for renewable energy jobs and ensuring America transitions to a clean energy economy,” said Dave Hamilton, Director for Clean Energy of the Beyond Coal Campaign at the Sierra Club. “Congress is holding thousands of high-quality American jobs in their hands, but every day of uncertainty for the industry is causing more delayed projects and more layoffs. This campaign will ensure lawmakers know that Americans want clean energy solutions and that they won’t sit back while congressional inaction causes further job losses.”
There are currently 75,000 jobs supported by the wind industry across the country. Renewing the PTC will help sustain and create more American jobs while helping to protect public health by moving the country beyond dirty energy.
However, the PTC is set to expire at the end of this year. Already, the failure of Congress to renew the tax credit has led to layoffs as companies delay or cancel plans for new wind installations and factories. If the PTC is allowed to expire, the American Wind Energy Association estimates that approximately half of all existing American wind jobs will be lost before the end of the year.
Moving America toward a clean energy future will not only create new, high-quality American jobs, but will also yield significant public health benefits. Renewable energy like wind power replaces energy from fossil fuels that cause air pollution, which leads to heart attacks, asthma attacks and more than $100 billion in medical costs.
Wind energy is an important part of America’s energy mix. Over 400 American manufacturing plants build wind components, and wind is supplying 25 percent more electricity to Americans than it was a year ago. States like Iowa and South Dakota already generate 20 percent of their electricity from wind power and that number is growing quickly — in March 2012 wind was responsible for 29 percent of the energy supply in Iowa and 32 percent in South Dakota. Altogether the wind industry is on track to produce 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.
The Sierra Club is putting significant resources behind the “Wind Works” campaign to help America continue its transition to renewable energy. Through a variety of tactics, ranging from grassroots organizing to paid media, the campaign will work to ensure the wind energy industry continues to be a job creator, and to remind lawmakers that wind works: for the economy, for the environment, and for America.