Governors urge further White House support for wind energy industry

Letter to President Obama underscores long-term PTC renewal, transmission infrastructure boost

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In a letter to President Obama in late December, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the chairman and vice chairman of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, urged the President to take steps to expand the nation’s wind energy development. This is the third annual letter that the governors have sent to the President suggesting steps that his Administration can take to help the states harness the full potential of the nation’s wind energy resources.

The letter outlines “actions that your Administration can take to expand the nation’s wind energy production and improve the resilience of our energy system.” Those actions include the following:

• Support prompt Congressional passage of a multi-year extension of the renewable energy production and investment tax credits. These incentives made possible the growth of the American wind industry and clean energy jobs, with substantial economic return to the states and the nation. “Policy uncertainty continues to hamper…” further development of the nation’s wind resources, the governors wrote. Congressional action early in the next session is critically important to “spur…substantial economic development.”
• Support the governors’ efforts to expand national transmission development both off-shore and on-shore. The governors point out that “today’s transmission system is inadequate for the electrical demands of the states’ modern information-based economies. Revitalization of the electrical transmission system must be accomplished on a multi-state basis with leadership from both you and the governors… The call for transmission action today is as important to our states’ economic development as the nation’s interstate highway system was 58 years ago when President Eisenhower acted with the governors’ support…”
• Encourage Prompt Review of Transmission Applications Under Section 1222 (b) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The governors shared with the President a letter they sent to Secretary Moniz urging prompt review of transmission applications under Section 1222(b) of theEnergy Policy Act of 2005. “By using Section 1222(b) authority to approve eligible projects, policy makers can also send an important signal to the marketplace that the United States can successfully site and build innovative and major new high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission projects,” the governors wrote.
• Publicize and support the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2014 Wind Vision Report. The Department of Energy is expected to soon release an update to its earlier wind assessment report. Because the report will guide critical, ongoing discussions in the energy policy community, the governors ask the President to “broadly communicate its findings” to the nation.

 — Source: Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition