U.S. House Representatives Pascrell (D-NJ-8) and LoBiondo (R-NJ-2) of New Jersey today proposed an extension of the investment tax credit for offshore wind power, produced in either state or federal waters. The proposal is the heart of a bill entitled the "Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act." Passage of this House bill could help get a small, yet promising Fishermen's Energy 25-megawatt offshore wind project installed in Atlantic waters 2.9 miles off New Jersey's coastline as early as 2012, creating clean energy jobs. Offshore wind power development has been strongly supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who signed the "Offshore Wind Economic Development Act" into law in August 2010.
“If passed, this bill would help transition America off fossil fuels, stimulate a new manufacturing sector and put people back to work,” said Oceana senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz. “Clean energy is something both sides can agree on, so this has a good chance of actually getting done this year, giving the Congress a success story,” Savitz added.
Under current law, the investment tax credit for offshore wind expires at the end of 2012. This unrealistic deadline currently makes the financing of offshore wind projects nearly impossible. The “Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act” would do away with this deadline and instead provide a 30 percent investment tax credit for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind placed in service.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), incentivizes investment in offshore wind projects, while prioritizing those projects that are furthest along in the development process. By doing so, this bill creates tax certainty for the first movers in the budding domestic offshore wind industry.
"I am pleased to announce the introduction of the bipartisan Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act. Our legislation will help to achieve the twin goals of job creation and increased renewable domestic energy production," said Rep. Pascrell, a member of the Committee on Ways and Means and the House Budget Committee. "The heart of our economic recovery must look towards new technologies and sustainable industries that will assist in the resurrection of domestic manufacturing and bolster a future green jobs economy here at home in the United States. I am pleased that my friend from South Jersey has joined me in introducing this legislation. We know that New Jersey is poised to be a leader in offshore wind production and the supply line that follows," added Pascrell.
“For several years, we have looked to the Jersey Shore as a potential source of renewable wind energy,” said Rep. LoBiondo. “In South Jersey, projects continue to move forward with the promise of increased domestic energy and creating jobs. Our legislation will further encourage the nation to follow New Jersey’s lead and move towards renewable energy, thus reducing our reliance on foreign oil,” added LoBiondo, a member of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.
Offshore wind development has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of long-term jobs in the U.S. Among the domestic jobs that could be created by a new U.S. offshore wind power sector are component manufacturing jobs, turbine assembly, transport and installation jobs, as well as maintenance and operation jobs. Greater tax certainty for investors in offshore wind projects encourages their development, which in turn will create jobs and sustained domestic economic growth from a clean, infinite energy resource.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 500,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.