Franken wants renewable energy credit renewed

U.S. Sen. Al Franken has urged his colleagues to extend for four years a renewable energy tax credit that especially would help wind-powered electrical production.

The Minnesota Democrat said the tax break would save thousands of jobs, create new ones and cut the country’s need for foreign oil.

“If Congress lets the renewable energy production tax credit expire, we will let down the 80,000 people working on wind farms and manufacturing facilities across the nation, and we may cost this country $10 billion in lost investment,” Franken said.

In a Senate speech, Franken talked about a letter he received from Terry and Janet Carlson, Parkers Prairie farmers who are developing a wind-power project.

“Our family believes in renewable energy and the benefits it can provide to our local community,” the Carlsons wrote. “Besides being environmentally friendly, wind energy has proved to be a great economic benefit to the state of Minnesota and small communities such as ours.”

But, Franken said, if the tax credit expires this year as planned, the future of wind power will be uncertain.

“Terry and Janet have good reasons to be concerned,” Franken said. “A Navigant Consulting study found that if the production tax credit is not extended, construction of wind turbines will drop by 75 percent in 2013.”