The League joined members of the environment community by sending a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives expressing strong support for H.R. 924. This bill  would extend the Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind and encourage investment in the growing industry.

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March 18, 2013

Dear Representative:

As organizations with millions of members and supporters, we write to express our strong support for H.R. 924, Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act.  This important piece of legislation extends the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) specifically for offshore wind in order to incentivize much-needed investment in this growing industry.

As environmentalists and clean energy advocates, we support the development of offshore wind in the United States as a way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels both foreign and domestic, create long-term and good paying American jobs, combat climate change, and become leaders on the global clean energy stage.  Although offshore wind has thrived in Europe, creating thousands of jobs and clean, renewable energy for its citizens, the United States has yet to install its first offshore wind turbine.  We believe that the United States is capable of not only meeting but surpassing the success experienced by Europe and we are eager to see this nascent industry thrive on our shores.

One of the biggest impediments to offshore wind development is financing.  Offshore wind farms, with their high capital costs and long lead times, will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to finance without more certainty about the applicability of the ITC to these projects.

Under current law, an offshore wind project will be eligible for the ITC if that project “commences construction,” as that term will be defined by the Treasury Department, before the end of 2013.  While this is a good step in the right direction, such a short-term extension does not provide the requisite certainty to the financial sector that offshore wind is a viable industry that is able to be developed in the U.S.  That is why the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, introduced by Congressmen Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), is so important. This bipartisan bill would provide a 30% ITC for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind placed in service, incentivizing development and rewarding the first movers in the industry.  This bipartisan bill sends a clear signal to investors that America is open for business and committed to producing clean and domestic energy.

We urge your support and cosponsorship of H.R.924, Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act. This bill is vital to creating a thriving new job-creating industry in this country and sending a signal to the rest of the world that we can be leaders on the global clean energy stage.

Sincerely,

Corry Westbrook
Federal Policy Director
Oceana

Nat Mund
Legislative Director
Southern Environmental Law Center

Rob Sargent
Energy Program Director
Environment America

Chelsea Harnish
Policy and Campaigns Manager for Energy and Climate
Virginia Conservation Network

Mike Tidwell
Director
Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Rev. Meredith Moise
Christian United Church/Apostolic National Catholic Church
Baltimore, Maryland

Gerald Stansbury
President
Maryland State Conference NAACP

Joelle Novey
Director
Interfaith Power & Light (MD, DC, Northern VA)

David Hackett
Coordinator, Climate Change and Clean Energy
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland

Kathy Phillips
Executive Director
Assateague Coastal Trust

Debbie Sease
Legislative Director
Sierra Club

Jennifer Rennicks
Director of Policy & Communications
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Seth Kaplan
Vice President for Policy and Climate Advocacy
Conservation Law Foundation

Franz A. Matzner
Associate Director of Government Affairs
Natural Resources Defense Council

Catherine Thomasson,
MD Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Yvette Pena Lopes
Deputy Director
Blue-Green Alliance

Toni Larson
Advocacy Chair
League of Women Voters of the United States

Emily Figdor
Director
Environment Maine

Jessica O'Hare
Program Advocate
Environment New Hampshire

Anika James
State Field Associate
Environment Massachusetts
 
Channing Jones
State Associate
Environment Rhode Island

Chris Phelps
Director
Environment Connecticut

Eric Whalen
Field Director
Environment New York

Doug O'Malley
Interim Director
Environment New Jersey

Tommy Landers
Director
Environment Maryland

Sarah Bucci
Federal Field Organizer
Environment Virginia

Elizabeth Ouzts
Director
Environment North Carolina

Jennette Gayer
Director
Environment Georgia

David Masur Director PennEnvironment

Julian Boggs
State Policy Advocate
Environment Ohio

Tiernan Sittenfeld
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
League of Conservation Voters