Warning that tens of thousands of jobs are at stake, governors in wind energy states are calling on Congress to renew an expiring tax break.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) said at a teleconference Tuesday that uncertainty over the future of the wind energy production tax credit already has hurt the industry - which employs 75,000 people and drives more than $10 billion a year in economic development.
Branstad and Kitzhaber lead the Governor's Wind Energy Coalition, which represents 28 states.
The Federal Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy or PTC is set to expire at the end of the year. It allows wind farms to receive a credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce.
The credit was first signed by President George H.W. Bush and backed by a number of prominent Republicans. It's renewal stalled in Congress this summer amid opposition from conservative House Republicans, who argued it was wasteful spending.
Uncertainty over the PTC is one of the reasons wind power manufacturer, Siemens, decided to lay off 615 workers across the country, including 146 people in Hutchinson.
*Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.