Pat Quinn on Energy & Oil
You know, fast trains are the wave of the future. Our president is committed to this. Our state has invested $400 million dollars. We look forward to a high-speed rail network where our state is the center for the whole network for the Midwest. I've worked with other governors across the Midwest, both Democrat & Republican. We understand that rail can create a lot of new jobs, and we're very committed to that.
We want to use an inland port, that whole idea, to create new high-wage jobs in Illinois. We are creating an intermodal [system] that is going to create thousands of jobs for hard-working people.
Related to this: the whole area of wind mills and wind turbines. I think this is something that all of us will embrace as we go through this next few years. We've invested money in our capital bill in this. We have investment also in opportunities for credit for those who develop wind power. We make sure they have contracts and so on. But what's important about wind power is it's clean, and it's all from our own back yard and it's all American.
I've been to Iraq; I've been to the combat zone. And I think it's our duty back home to try and be as energy independent as we can.
Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2016 the tax credit for electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal or solar energy, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.
Proponent's Comments (Governor's Wind Energy Coalition letter of Nov. 15, 2011 signed by 23 governors):Although the tax credit for wind energy has long enjoyed bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended. If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit's benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy. We strongly urge Congress to adopt a more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development, such as H.R. 3307.
The leading wind project developers and manufacturers are slowing their plans for 2013 and beyond due to the current uncertainty. The ripple effect of this slow down means reduced orders for turbines and decreased business for the hundreds of manufacturers who have entered the wind industry in our states. When Congress allowed the tax credit to expire in 1999, 2001, and 2003, the development of new wind installations dropped significantly, between 73% and 93%, and thousands of jobs were lost. Providing renewable energy tax credits in order to provide consistency with conventional energy tax credits is the right policy to move the nation forward in an energy sector that offers global export opportunities and the ability to modernize a segment of our electric production infrastructure.