Investing in Our Future—Renewing the Wind Production Tax Credit

Take Action!It couldn’t be clearer that we need more jobs and sources of energy that don’t bring doom and gloom to the planet.

Yet we are we are weeks away from losing one of the most successful programs to promote wind energy in the U.S., and tens of thousands of the jobs that have come with it.

The Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), which expires at the end of the year, has been an unequivocal success since it was enacted in 1992. In addition to helping lower the cost of wind energy by 90% and power the equivalent of 12 million homes, the PTC supports 75,000 wind jobs and helps raise $20 billion in private investment in wind energy each year.1

Tell Congress: Renew the Wind Production Tax Credit.

Take action now!

The PTC should be a no-brainer. But the Koch brothers-linked American Energy Alliance and Americans for Prosperity are waging a major campaign to sink it, and many Republicans are going along.2

These Republicans are cynically claiming that we can’t afford the $1 billion-a-year program, even as the very same Republicans vote repeatedly to protect billions more per year in tax cuts and giveaways for the oil industry.2

Their obstruction could cost an estimated 37,000 wind jobs over the next year, and already wind companies facing the changing economics without the PTC have laid off thousands of workers.3

The PTC is a bipartisan policy originally authored by Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Even the rabidly anti-climate U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers support the program because it has been and continues to be a terrific investment. So any elected leader who votes against the PTC is doing so for one reason only: to protect polluters, even at the expense of American jobs.

The potential for wind energy in this country is massive – 20% of all our energy could come from wind by 2030, supporting half a million jobs. But the industry can’t grow without predictable policies. The PTC has been allowed to expire three times since 2000, and each time, new installed wind capacity, and jobs in the wind industry, have plummeted.

It should come as no surprise that it is extremely difficult for emerging sources of energy to compete, as the oil, gas and coal industries continue to benefit from nearly a century of government investment, subsidies, giveaways, tax breaks and now even a political system that has been shaped by their influence and money.

But for the sake of our future, clean sources of energy must not just compete, they must surpass fossil fuels. The PTC keeps us moving in the right direction and Congress should renew it right away.

1. “Federal Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy,” American Wind Energy Association
2. “Koch-Affiliated Group Campaigns To Make Wind Tax Credit ‘So Toxic’ Republicans Won’t Back It,” Think Progress, 10/19/12
3. “46 Republicans Claim Wind Credits Are Too ‘Costly’ After Voting To Retain Billions In Big Oil Subsidies,” Think Progress, 9/26/12
4. “American Wind Manufacturers Lay Off 1,100 Workers In One Month, Citing Expiring Wind Tax Credit,” Think Progress, 9/27/12

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

BigOil TransCanada Attempting to Use Eminent Domain to Get Its Way

In Nevada, nothing can get folks riled up faster than messing with their guns, their water rights, or their property rights.   It’s absolutely unconscionable that TransCanada is trying to confiscate land from American citizens for its pipeline that hasn’t yet been approved.  They’re attempting top use eminent domain to sue landowners who don’t want their dirty tar sands sludge pipeline on their property.   The arrogance of TransCanada is shocking, even for an oil company.

Even while the White House has delayed the process for assessing a required permit for the Keystone XL, TransCanada is suing landowners who won’t sell their land in its preferred pipeline path.

That path includes the 600 acre working-farm that Julia Trigg Crawford’s grandfather bought in 1948, along the southern banks of the Red River on the Texas, Oklahoma border; just East of where the Bois d’Arc Creek — which waters the farm — runs into the Red.  Even though TransCanada doesn’t have a presidential permit to build the pipeline, the company has been threatening to confiscate properties like this from people like Julia Trigg; using eminent domain if the landowners don’t immediately accept the foreign corporation’s offer to buy an easement for the path of its pipeline.

It’s wrong for TransCanada to expect landowners to accept permanent damage to their land for the Keystone XL pipeline, or possible oil spills in the rivers and creeks they rely on. It’s doubly wrong to threaten these landowners and force them to comply for a pipeline that the company doesn’t even have permission to build!

Tell TransCanada: Stop using eminent domain to confiscate private property for a pipeline that hasn’t even been approved yet.  Click here to sign the petition.

Under eminent domain, the government can force landowners to accept monetary payment for the use of their land for certain public-good projects like highways and railroads.  This is a FOREIGN corporation who will take its profits at our expense … and that is not in the public interest of the ordinary citizens of this country!

Of course, TransCanada’s massive fuse to the carbon bomb of the tar sands shouldn’t qualify as one of these projects — it does great harm and only helps the profits of a foreign corporation. But regardless, the company doesn’t even have the permit to build it — in fact the White House just put a likely year-long hold on pipeline development after a massive grassroots backlash from environmentalists. But that hasn’t stopped TransCanada.

According to an article last month in The New York Times, the company has at least 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas, and 22 in South Dakota.1 And their threats to landowners in Nebraska2 helped spark massive public opposition and a special legislative session that were key in the decision to consider a different route.

Many of these landowners are being sued by the company, and told that if they don’t take the small monetary offering — sometimes less than $10,000 in exchange for the permanent damage to their land, and huge risk of spills — their land will be condemned and TransCanada will seize the easement.

Many landowners, like Julia Trigg, are fighting back and doing everything they can to oppose TransCanada’s land grab.

Let’s make sure that TransCanada is being called out for these reprehensible tactics, and that landowners who are taking on this foreign corporation know that we’ve got their backs.

Tell TransCanada: It’s beyond arrogant to confiscate land for a pipeline that hasn’t even been approved yet. Stop using eminent domain to sue landowners who don’t want a dirty pipeline on their property. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Save Bryce Canyon from a Proposed Coal Mine

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is on the verge of approving a massive 3,500 acre coal mine right next to Bryce Canyon National Park.1

The BLM’s own analysis shows that the mine will cause major adverse environmental impacts like increased water and air pollution,2 devastating a huge area directly next to Bryce Canyon’s unique ecosystem.

Despite these concerns the BLM just released its environmental review proposing that the mine be approved. BLM is currently accepting public comments on its proposal and strong public opposition is needed to convince the BLM to reverse course and reject this dirty coal mine.

The Bureau of Land Management’s review identified more than a dozen negative impacts this proposed mine is likely to have. These include water quality degradation, increased hazardous air pollution, loss of wildlife habitat, increased coal truck traffic and noise levels, adverse effects to recreation resources and an increased risk of fuel leakage, solid waste spills and wildfires.

In addition to the problems the BLM identified, burning coal from the proposed mine would also be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, which experts say are now growing faster than previously anticipated worst case scenarios.3

Given all of the problems this mine is expected to cause, it simply isn’t in our best interests. Yet the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed action is to allow this dirty, 3,500-acre coal mine to move forward.

National Parks and federal lands belong to all of us, and BLM needs to hear from people who don’t want these special recreation areas and wildlife habitats — especially not Bryce Canyon — to be endangered in order to mine for dirty coal.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Don’t allow coal mining next to Bryce Canyon National Park.

  1. Dirty Coal Should Stay in the Ground, Natural Resources Defense Council, November 3, 11
  2. Alton Coal Tract Lease by Application Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Bureau of Land Management
  3. Biggest Jump Ever Seen in Global Warming Gases, Associated Press, November 4, 2011