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Congress extends wind energy tax credit

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Amarillo, Texas - Congress extends wind energy tax credits for projects starting in the new year.

A couple of months ago we told you about some of the 2013 planned projects in our area, most depending on the extension of the wind energy production tax credit.

But this may be one of the final times wind energy workers will have to deal with the stress of waiting.

AJ Swope of Class 4 Winds and Renewables says, "because it's been renewed and extended for another year, here in the Texas panhandle and surrounding regions will certainly see the benefits of that. As we've got several planned wind farms that were suppose to be on line either at the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014."

Swope tells us the American Wind Energy Association made a proposal to several legislators for what they call a production tax credit phase out.

He says, "and essentially what that would be I believe is a 6 year production tax credit. By the end of the sixth year, the PTC would absolutely be phased out. It would not be eligible to be renewed again."

Swope believes a majority of people in the wind industry would say the financial assistance from the government is not something they will need forever.

He says, "technology of wind energy evolving, with the costs coming down so drastically, an industry driver, an incentive or a tax credit is not something that's going to be necessary in the coming years. We'll look to 2014 and 2015 to see exactly what legislators are thinking about there."

The renewal of the wind energy production tax credit is expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time.

It's also predicted to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing companies across the country.

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