Environmental advocate urges Congress to extend wind energy tax - NBC40.net

Environmental advocate urges Congress to extend wind energy tax credits

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Environmental advocates are touting a new wind energy report released Wednesday that highlights the benefits of wind energy and urges congress to extend two wind energy tax credits.

"Now more than ever New Jersey needs to invest in clean and renewable energy," expressed Environment New Jersey field organizer Dan DeRusa.

Advocates of renewable energy along with representatives from Environment New Jersey presented a new wind energy report Wednesday at a news conference to highlight the possibilities that wind power could have right here in New Jersey.

"For the first time it quantifies the benefits for not only the wind power we already have here in New Jersey and across the country, but the expected wind power over the next several years," explained DeRusa.

"Wind energy is renewable, it's sustainable, it's clean and if built in the right economic circumstances can be less expensive for the right payers," explained Katie Vesey, Director of Resource and Development at Atlantic County Utilities Authority.

According to the new energy report, wind energy will also help the state in other areas like reducing pollution and water consumption.

Wind energy has already proven to be successful in New Jersey and with the new energy reports Environment New Jersey is hoping that congress will extend the tax credits before they expire at the end of the year.

"There are many wind projects that are proposed here in New Jersey as well as across the country and these projects are in jeopardy by not extending these wind tax credits," said DeRusa.

The Atlantic County Utilities Authority is one utility company that has experienced the benefits that come from wind energy production, which is why they support the renewal of the two tax credits.

"About 60% of the power needs of ACUA is met by the wind turbines, we buy about 50% of the output so it's a little bit confusing but we buy about 12 million kilowatts a year and I believe the turbines produce about 22 million kilowatts hours per year," Vesey explained.

And with time running out in the fiscal year advocates say there is no better time for Congress to get behind renewable energy.

"This is the time, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to be investing in clean air and reducing extreme weather by investing in clean and renewable energy," DeRusa expressed.

Congress will have until the end of the year to determine if they will extend the renewable energy production tax credit and the offshore wind investment tax credit.

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