Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 5, 2012

Contact: Eitan Bencuya: eitan.bencuya@sierraclub.org, 202-495-3047

 

Production Tax Credit Delays Cost 165 Jobs in Pennsylvania

Republicans in Congress failing to protect American jobs 

 

Ebensburg, PA – Gamesa, a major wind turbine manufacturer and wind farm installer, announced today that it will be forced to lay off 165 employees at wind energy production facilities in Bucks and Cambria counties over the next month, due to uncertainty around renewal of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy. Congress has thus far failed to take action and extend the PTC – a federal tax incentive that helps level the playing field for wind energy and has been a key engine in wind industry growth over the past decade.

\If the PTC is allowed to expire on December 31st, the wind industry will shed jobs even more rapidly and the long-term growth of clean energy will be in jeopardy. The layoffs announced today in Pennsylvania are just the tip of the iceberg, with current projections from the American Wind Energy Association showing that approximately 37,000 jobs are expected to be lost if the PTC is not renewed. Gamesa has already delayed three wind turbine installations in Pennsylvania this summer due to uncertainty around the PTC. Companies like Gamesa are counting on the PTC’s renewal in order to bring employees back to work in Pennsylvania and across the country.

While Republicans in the House of Representatives continue to vote in favor of subsidizing fossil fuels like oil that are raking in record profits, their leadership has so far failed to bring the PTC up for a vote, despite bi-partisan support for the measure.

“Pennsylvania’s Republican delegation should be in DC fighting to renew the Production Tax Credit in order to create jobs here, not sitting idly by while good jobs in the wind industry are starting to disappear,” said Jeff Schmidt, Pennsylvania Chapter Director of the Sierra Club.

Already, more than 3,000 jobs are supported by the wind industry in Pennsylvania, and there is room for tremendous job growth if the PTC is extended. 

“The idea that in 2012, in this state, in this economy, Congressional Republicans are sitting on their hands and looking the other way while an economic crisis hits the wind industry is irresponsible. Pennsylvanians depend on the good-paying jobs in the renewable energy industry like our wind manufacturing facilities. Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation must protect jobs in the wind industry before we lose more manufacturing jobs in the state,” added Schmidt

Today, more than 75,000 jobs are supported by the wind industry across all fifty states. The price of wind power has been steadily decreasing, and when the environmental and health costs of burning dirty fossil fuels are added in, wind is already cheaper than energy sources like coal. Meanwhile, wind generation continues to grow across the country -- Iowa and South Dakota currently generate 20 percent of their electricity from wind power, and with the right policies in place, the wind industry is on track to produce 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.

 

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