This is a guest blog post by Mary Kate Francis at the American Wind Energy Association. The original post was published here December 17, 2014 on the AWEA blog, Into the Wind.
I have big news to report from the front lines of our current campaign to protect wind in 2015.
And though there’s bad news and good news — it all points to how critical your voice is going to continue to be in our fight for clean, homegrown energy.
As you may know, a few weeks ago, when Congress began negotiating the terms of a bill that could make a huge difference in bringing affordable wind power to American families in 2015, we launched a nationwide campaign to support it.
However, we weren’t the only ones reaching out to Congress. Anti-wind organizations have been fired up beyond any opposition we’ve seen before. They’ve been spending millions of dollars and writing messages to legislators urging them to leave wind policy out of this bill.
Late last week — we started to see the impact of our opponents’ attacks, and our own efforts to defend wind. By a vote of 378 to 46, the House voted to pass H.R. 5771, a bill that proposed to extend multiple tax incentives through the end of this year, including two common-sense energy policies – the production tax credit and investment tax credit.
Last night — by a vote of 76 to 16, the Senate passed the same bill. The President is expected to sign it into law shortly.
The bad news is, this extension falls short of what we were pushing for. We wanted to see a two-year extension, which would make a huge difference in providing more clean and affordable energy to Americans than ever before.
The good news is — the voices of wind advocates in our Power of Wind network were heard, and helped preserve common-sense wind policies through this year. At a time when our opponents were fighting to eliminate wind policy, we powered through and gained at least an extension through this year of the wind policies vital for clean energy growth.
We’ve proven that we can counter the well-funded voices of the anti-wind movement. However, we have our work cut out for us. In January, we will need your help to:
- Educate our legislators – especially the 78 who are newly elected – about the difference that wind power is making today, and potential we’re seeking to unleash,
- Fight for the energy policies that will drive more American families’ access to clean and affordable power, and
- Counter the misinformation that wind power opponents are continually spreading.
If you haven’t already, please sign up at PowerofWind.com to communicate with your elected representatives (we make it easy!), and join thousands of others in becoming part of the reason common-sense wind policy can carry on.