Monday, November 19, 2012

As PTC Extension Is Debated, Wind Layoffs Hit Pennsylvania & Other States

The failure to timely extend the wind production tax credit could cause 37,000 layoffs in the US wind business. Some of that pain has hit Pennsylvania, where Gamesa first laid off some workers during the summer.  Last week, Gamesa announced another round of layoffs at its Ebensburg, Cambria County factory where 92 of 154 employees have been laid off or given notice of layoff.

The linked to article also reports 600 wind layoffs by Siemens and 179 by Clipper.  The toll is mounting.

Unfortunately, Governor Corbett refused to defend Pennsylvania's wind jobs, when he pointedly refused to sign a bi-partisan letter supporting the extension of the wind production tax credit.  His refusal sent the message that he will defend some energy jobs but not those held by wind and renewable energy workers.

Despite Corbett's inaction to extend the wind tax cut, the odds, however, are improving that the wind production tax credit will be renewed soon.  Yet, at this point, at least temporary damage has been done to good, hard working people in Pennsylvania and around the country.


  1. Hooray for Gov. Corbett and common sense. This is why he is rated as one of the nations top Govs. by The Cato Institute. Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin would be proud! If Wind power can't compete in the marketplace without subsidies, tax incentives, and mandated forced purchases then it should perish. When you prop up a failing technology you are stifling development of superior products and holding back progress. CRONY CAPITALISM is ruining our country and the promoters of Wind and Solar Power are mostly leeches on society who are trying to make quick buck at the expense of others.

  2. I would totally agree with "Anonymous" above here if ONLY the rest of the energy industry would give up their many subsidies.

    Capitalism rocks if the playing field (market) is open and level.

    That has not been the case for energy for a very long time.

    Stan Scobie, Binghamton, NY

  3. I concur with Stan's qualifiers above. Let's get rid of all the public subsidies. Wind and solar (along with the more established energy sources), have had several years of assistance. It's time to take the training wheels off and let them: a.) Roll on their own; OR b.) skin their knees, get up and do it again.

  4. Note that even if all energy subsidies were eliminated today, new generators, like wind and solar, would still compete at a disadvantage. This because all existing power plants recovered their capital costs through government guaranteed regulated rates of return or federally mandated contracts like PURPA. In restructured electricity markets, like Pennsylvania's, new wind and solar resources, even with government subsidies and mandates, are subjected to far more competitive pressure than existing fossil and nuclear power plants ever were, plants that had their profits guaranteed by government for decades.

    Eric T.