Tom Joseph, Public News Service-PA
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Hunters and anglers from Pennsylvania are among those urging national lawmakers to extend tax incentives that encourage the production of clean wind energy. The Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit promote renewable-energy production and energy efficiency, and are due to expire at the end of the year.
The director of policy for the National Wildlife Federation's Climate and Energy program, Joe Mendelson, says 37,000 jobs related to wind energy will disappear if the credits are not extended.
"We need Congress to act now, and they're sitting on their hands. It's time to take action, pass these credits, extend them so the industry can continue, the jobs can continue, and we have clean energy for the rest of the country."
The wind industry currently provides approximately 75,000 jobs nationwide.
In a letter to Congress today, 118 sportsmen's and conservation groups encourage lawmakers to continue the tax credits. They say investment and growth in clean energy and conservation are the best ways to fight climate change, sustain communities, create jobs and promote economic growth.
Ed Perry is Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. He says hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts understand the value of conservation better than most. He says aside from the 4000 jobs and power to 180,000 homes tied to wind energy in Pennsylvania, he supports developing clean, renewable-energy resources that are protective of fish and wildlife habitat.
"The reason I, as a lifelong fisherman and hunter, am so interested in wind power is that I'm concerned about the effects of climate change on our natural resources. "
A September poll released by the National Wildlife Federation found that 72 percent of hunters and anglers back renewable-energy solutions.