Huffpost Politics

John Boehner Pressured By Conservatives To End Wind Production Tax Credit

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Forty-seven Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing Speaker John Boehner to eliminate the wind production tax credit, a tax break that has split Republicans and drawn criticism from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Democratic President Barack Obama has urged Congress to extend the credit, which dates to 1992 and has support from Republicans in states that are home to wind farms and manufacturing plants, such as Iowa and South Dakota.

The credit has other powerful proponents in big companies that buy wind energy. Heavyweights including Microsoft Corp, Sprint and Hewlett-Packard have urged renewal. The industry calls it vital to ensuring jobs, including wind turbine tower manufacturing in a broad swath of U.S. states.

Republican opposition to renewable energy tax breaks has been galvanized by anger over a failed solar project backed by the Obama administration. Republicans referred to that project, a start-up company called Solyndra, several times in the letter.

"The Obama administration has poured billions into subsidizing its favored green energy sources," reads the letter dated Sept. 21 from House Republicans to Boehner, also a Republican. "Twenty years of subsidizing wind is more than enough."

Signers of the letter include Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee, but does not include members of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, which is led by Representative Dave Camp.

A spokesman for Boehner said the issue will be addressed after the election.

Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican rival for the presidency in elections on Nov. 6, irked some members of his party when he backed ending the subsidy earlier this year.

Prominent Senate Republicans including Charles Grassley of Iowa are big wind credit supporters and extension is included in Senate legislation still pending.

The House and Senate are expected to make a decision on the wind credit, along with a slew of breaks known as "tax extenders" and the larger issue of individual tax rates, after the elections and before the extenders expire at year's end.

The wind industry says 37,000 jobs would be lost if the tax credit expires and some big companies have already attributed layoffs to the uncertainty, including Siemens. The credit costs about $11 billion a year.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

Also on HuffPost:

John Boehner Cries
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Money in politics: Big oil's ties to Washington

The Kasich Excuse

big question from the 'grand bargain'

Obama Win Wouldn't Change Republican Tax Position, Boehner Says

Breaking blue? Will Romney-Ryan troubles give Dems shot at House Majority ...

Boehner: Ohio's success not helping Romney

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote