VIDEO: Udall not giving up push for wind tax credit

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has a new routine. He wakes up every morning, puts on a suit and tie and then goes to Capitol Hill where he implores his colleagues to pass the wind production tax credit.

If Congress doesn’t renew the credit, manufacturers of wind turbines and other components are projected to shed 10,000 jobs this year and 37,000 jobs next year.

A study (pdf) predicts renewing the credit would generate 17,000 jobs over the next few years.

Sen. Udall
A week ago, Udall pledged to address the Senate every day until the credit gets past. So far, he has lived up to his pledge. He used one speech to describe its importance to Colorado, another speech on why it’s important for the United States to stay competitive with other nations that are investing in wind, and today he dedicated his speech to the wind industry in Texas, a state best known for its oil. Texas is the national leader in wind energy production, supporting roughly 8,000 jobs.

“The Lone Star State has more turbines than all but five countries,” Udall said this morning. “They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that certainly applies when it comes to their vast energy resources. Texas has it all from oil and gas to renewable energy like hydro and wind. This is no accident.”

He credited state policies and federal support for the wind production tax credit for the success wind has had in Texas.

“The wind production tax credit cuts right to the core of whether and how we want to compete in the global and changing economy,” Sen. Michael Bennet, also D-Colo. said in a speech on the floor last week where he showed pictures of a recent wind plant tour he took. “This is it – this is a factory in Brighton, Colorado – bricks and mortar, made in America. It’s a wind production facility. We’re not talking about some fly-by-night experimental industry here. This credit has triggered tremendous economic growth in Colorado and all across the country.”

All of Colorado’s congressional delegation, except. U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, are in favor of extending the tax credit. Lamborn has said he does not support energy subsidies of any kind, even though he has previously voted for tax breaks for the oil industry.

“It is unacceptable for Congress not to pass this common-sense and badly needed piece of legislation,” Udall said.

The tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year.

President Obama has also called for the extension of the wind production tax credit.

Here is video of Udall’s speech today:

Here is video of Udall’s speech on remaining globally competitive:

Here is video of Udall’s speech on Colorado’s wind industry:

Here is more video of Udall urging Congress to pass the wind production tax credit:

Here is video of Bennet calling for the renewal of the wind production tax credit:

Troy Hooper covers environmental policy for the American Independent News Network. His work has been published in The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Huffington Post, San Francisco Weekly, Playboy, New York Post, People and dozens of other publications. Hooper has covered the Winter Olympics in Italy, an extreme ski camp in South America and gone behind the scenes with Hunter S. Thompson on election night in 2004. Born and raised in Boulder, Hooper has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara.