Credit is due Gov. Sam Brownback for continuing to call for extension of the federal tax break for wind energy – a position that puts him at odds with many fellow conservatives. Wearing a tie depicting wind turbines, Brownback delivered that and other messages in a Monday address at the American Wind Energy Association’s convention in Atlanta. “Kansas understands the positive impact that wind energy can make,” Brownback said. “More than 1,200 new, high-paying manufacturing jobs have been announced in Kansas in the last two years directly related to renewable energy. Kansas also has more wind-energy construction projects under way than any other state, with at least 663 new turbines set to be installed and nearly $3 billion of new investment from 2011 to the end of 2012. To harness the potential of this industry, we have made the tax code fairer and flatter for small business, as well as allowing businesses to expense investments in the year that they make them. People want to use clean energy – we have to make it feasible for them to do so.” An extension of the production tax credit – the 2.2-cent-a-kilowatt-hour credit for electricity from wind turbines, biomass, geothermal and landfill-gas plants – is stuck in Congress. Unlike some extension proponents, Brownback advocates a four-year phase-out to let the wind industry prepare to operate without it.
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