Congresswoman McCollum's Remarks at the Federal Wind Energy Production Tax Credit
Thank you Mayor – it is always good to be in North St. Paul.
Keith and I are here today, with the White House and Minnesota business leaders, to talk about the clean energy revolution in our state – and how to keep it going. The wind turbine just behind us is generating clean, secure, renewable energy for the families and businesses in North St. Paul. The people of this community are sending a message to everyone who drives by that they support wind energy and want to see more of it.
Wind energy is popular here and across Minnesota because:
- It’s creating jobs,
- cleaning up our air,
- and making us more energy independent.
Every new megawatt of homegrown wind means less imported coal and more Minnesota jobs. Wind energy is employing up to 3,000 Minnesotans in manufacturing, construction, maintenance and many other areas.
Today, Minnesota gets 10 percent of all our electricity from wind. And we are just getting started. The National Renewable Energy Lab says Minnesota has enough wind to generate 25 times the state’s current electricity needs.
We are building a clean energy economy for the new centuryt o keep our momentum going, Congress must extend the federal wind energy production tax credit. If Congress doesn’t act soon to extend the credit, the entire wind energy economy will grind to a halt:
- Demand for new turbines will dry up.
- Factories will come to a standstill.
- Construction work will cease.
- 37,000 American workers will lose their jobs.
This is unacceptable, and it is completely avoidable. There is strong bipartisan support for extending this credit. It is one of President Obama’s top priorities. And it is a priority for Republican governors in Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas. Even Karl Rove agrees.
Earlier this month, Rove told a wind energy conference in Atlanta that the production tax credit should be extended. It is time for bipartisan support to become bipartisan action. Congress cannot wait until December 31. Uncertainty about the future of the credit is already costing jobs and putting many more jobs at risk – as you’ll hear from these business leaders.
I am ready to cast my vote for clean wind energy – and I know my brother from Minneapolis is too.