May 26, 2012 12:14 PM by Marnee Banks (Helena)
Governor Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) is pushing U.S. Congress to pass an extension of the production tax credit.
Currently, companies generating wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy can get a tax credit for the first 10 years the facility is operating. However, the credit is set to expire at the end of this year.
Schweitzer says without it many companies would not be interested in operating in Montana.
"In Montana it has meant $1.5 billion worth of investment. We have gone from 1 megawatt of electricity from wind energy to over 500 megawatts," Schweitzer says. "We have more than 50 wind farms that are planned or would go forward if we had these production tax credits, billions of dollars of investment, thousands of jobs created."
Some Republicans in Congress claim the tax credits haven't created jobs so the legislation has been stalled in Washington. The credit equates to just over 2 cents per kilowatt hour.