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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arlen Spector Punts on PA Wind

Last week our senior senator Arlen Spector voted for the second time in a week against cloture for the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, HR.6049, which most notably extended the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind to 2009 and for solar, biomass, geothermal, hydrokinetic and others through 2013.

I called Sen. Spector's D.C. office earlier today and they had no comment on why he opposes the bill, only that he would have an official position "sometime in the near future." Furthermore, Sen. Spector's office said he currently has no official position on extending the PTC generally, not just specifically in the form of HR.6049.

Thanks to Gov. Rendell's 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act PA is on track towards having 18 percent of grid power coming from renewables by 2020. Wind power is a strong resource for our state, and can provide tens of thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments, and providing priceless environmental benefits.

PA already has a strong wind infrastructure, but we have even more undeveloped resources. Every time the PTC dies in the senate new wind projects drop precipitously. Sen. Spector opposing extending the PTC will cost PA residents thousands of new jobs, millions of new tax revenue, and a continued dependence on dirty energy.

Foreign companies like Iberdrola or Gamessa are investing in PA wind power, and are bringing turbine manufacturing to our state. The PTC is crucial, however, towards accelerating these investments. Sen. Spector is abandoning his state to support his party, and he won't even explain to us why.

Sen. Spector's D.C. office can be reached at 202-224-4254 if you want to call to encourage him to support the PTC and for the senate to take up HR.6049.