Recent Press Releases

Thune's Wind Energy Legislation Moves Forward in Senate

Includes Incentives for Development, Promotes Transmission Infrastructure

June 19, 2007

Washington, D.C. —  Today, the Senate Finance Committee approved a revenue measure that includes legislation introduced by U.S. Senator John Thune earlier this year to extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy. The Finance Committee proposal will be added to the energy bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.

This afternoon, the Senate will also vote on a Thune amendment, designated No. 1609, to the energy bill, which would promote the development of energy transmission infrastructure. Senator Thune commented, "This legislation is critical to promoting the development of wind energy in South Dakota and around the country. As the windiest state in the nation, South Dakota would greatly benefit from these provisions."

Extension of the Production Tax Credit is critical to the long-term development of the wind energy industry. "Unfortunately, in the past, Congress has failed to provide the necessary stability in the tax code to promote wind energy development. Congress should act now to extend the Production Tax Credit and provide certainty to those investing in wind energy," Thune said.

Thune's energy transmission amendment, which will be voted on by the Senate this afternoon, would promote the creation of energy corridors that would facilitate the transference of wind energy generated in South Dakota to high-demand areas. "We have the wind energy in South Dakota that the major power consumers in our nation need; the missing link is transmission infrastructure to deliver this power," Thune said.

Dusty Johnson, chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, said, "Senator Thune's wind energy legislation provides important incentives for the development of wind energy in South Dakota. The legislation also promotes the development of the transmission infrastructure necessary to carry the wind energy produced in South Dakota to large out-of-state markets."