Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wind Winds Up

Washington, D.C. - Gregory Wetstone has overseen government affairs for the American Wind Energy Association, a Washington trade group, for a year.

"Nonstop action," he says of his tenure.

The action will stay intense in the near term. Next week, Wetstone expects a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on his group's most important legislative priority, a long-term extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). The subsidy provides an income tax credit of two cents per kilowatt hour for electricity produced by windmills. Since its creation in 1992, the PTC has expired on three occasions, each a big setback for the wind business. It's set to expire again at the end of this year.

Wetstone predicts the PTC will make it through the House, as it did when that body passed a broad energy package in December. Prospects look difficult, however, in the U.S. Senate, where partisan maneuvering and disputes over funding offsets have caused the PTC to twice fall short of passage in recent months. (See: "Why The Energy Bill Will Die.")

Full story at Forbes.com