Sierra Club targets House members over lack of wind support

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Congress prepares to head home for August recess having failed to protect American clean energy  jobs, the Sierra Club is announcing today that it will target nine more members of the House of Representatives with digital ads as part of a nationwide campaign to urge Congress to renew critical incentives for domestic wind, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources.

The effort, which has included substantial online and television ad buys, focuses on Members of Congress with wind generating facilities and manufacturing jobs in their districts and states that are at risk if the Production Tax Credit for Renewable Energy (PTC) is not renewed.

“The House of Representatives may be going on recess, but they’ve been taking a break from protecting American jobs all year long,” said Dave Hamilton, Director of Clean Energy for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “Wind energy is bringing jobs and investments to communities all across the country while cutting air and water pollution, but these Representatives are letting that all blow away by failing to act to renew the Production Tax Credit.”

The second wave of targets includes nine more House members who have been silent as as the PTC has expired. Online ad buys are also continuing in 16 other districts previously targeted by the Sierra Club ad blitz that began in June. Geo-targeted online ads in these 25 districts will run in August on local and national news sites.

The new targets include: Mike Coffman, CO-06, Kevin Cramer, ND-AL; Adrian Smith, NE-03; Lee Terry, NE-02; Michael Conaway, TX-11; Trey Gowdy, SC-04; Glen Thompson, PA-05; Jackie Walorski, IN-02; Peter Roskam, IL-06.

A full list of the districts targeted is included below. These members represent districts and states with a growing wind industry who have not taken a position in support of extending the federal Production Tax Credit for Renewable Energy recently.

The PTC expired at the end of last year, in part because of new opposition from groups backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers and other dirty fuels interests who’ve also fought to preserve the $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

The wind industry employs more than 80,000 American workers and produces enough clean energy to power 15 million homes. It saves more than 30 billion gallons of fresh water each year compared with other energy sources. According to the American Wind Energy Association, if growth remains steady, the industry will produce 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.

Until 2012, the U.S. wind energy industry averaged more than $15 billion in new investment annually, and the cost of wind energy dropped 43 percent from 2008 to 2012. Wind was America’s fastest-growing source of new electrical capacity in 2012. Uncertainty created by the tax credit’s expiration, however, slowed new investment and growth for the industry since 2012.

In April, the Senate Finance Committee approved a package of extenders that included the wind tax credit. Movement has since stalled in the Senate, and The House Ways and Means Committee failed to include an extension of the wind tax credit in a similar package in May.

More ads are planned as the Sierra Club continues to pressure members of Congress to act to protect clean energy jobs in their own communities.

Online ad targets include: Mike Coffman, CO-06; Doug Collins, GA-08; Peter Roskam, IL-06; Jackie Walorski, IN-02; Todd Rokita, IN-04; Larry Bucshon, IN-08; Thomas Massie, KY-04; Steve Daines, MT-AL; Kevin Cramer, ND-AL; Adrian Smith, NE-03; Lee Terry, NE-02; Steve Pearce, NM-02; Patrick McHenry, NC-09; Robert Pittenger, NC-10; Joe Heck, NV-03; Jim Jordan, OH-04; Mike Turner, OH-10; Greg Walden, OR-02; Glen Thompson, PA-05; Pat Meehan, PA-07; Trey Gowdy, SC-04;  Michael Conaway, TX-11;  Randy Neugebauer, TX-19; Scott Rigell, VA-02; Robert Hurt; VA-05.