1603 Reasons To Give Thanks This Holiday
(contents of an AWEA press release, used here by permission)

December 17, 2010

Dear AWEA Member,

Just before the stroke of midnight last night, the 111th Congress served up some aptly-timed holiday cheer to the wind power industry. This week both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved the tax bill that included a one-year extension of the 1603 renewable energy tax credit, which was so critical to wind power development in 2009 and 2010. Today I had the tremendous honor of representing the 85,000 workers in the wind industry by joining President Obama in the Oval Office as he signed the tax bill into law!

These last two weeks were a wild ride. At first the renewable energy tax credit was not included in the bill because the top-level agreement was to include no programs that had been started in the controversial American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA, a/k/a “stimulus”). Luckily our industry had laid the foundation for extending 1603 by demonstrating to so many Members of Congress how much positive local impact we are producing in so many communities. Within a few days, 81 House members and 18 Senators signed letters saying that they would have difficulty supporting the tax legislation currently being drafted for Senate consideration unless it included an extension of the Treasury Grant Program. One of the House leaders, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said the tax credit extension addition was “the most important” provision. Your voices filtered up to the top negotiators at the table, who agreed to include it. A number of Republicans as well as Democrats communicated their support, reflecting the bipartisan support our industry enjoys.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you immensely for the outpouring of support which led to this “wind storm” gusting through Washington. Your input and sharing of allies and contacts were critical in shifting the debate in Congress to one that included the renewable tax credit program as an integral job creator and economic stimulator for our country.

This is a great holiday present for the 85,000 American workers in the wind energy industry, tens of thousands of whom will now be able to get back to work in a sector that has been a bright spot through this recession so far. With the industry expansion this extension will incentivize, we’re going to be making a whole lot more affordable, homegrown electric power in the years to come.

It is a privilege to stand beside you and lead the fight for developing a stronger, cleaner America. On behalf of my staff, we’d like to wish you every happiness this holiday season and look forward to working with you throughout the coming year.

Warm Regards,

Denise Bode, CEO
American Wind Energy Association

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