By Sarah MacFarland
Special to The Globe
ST. LOUIS —
Most folks agree that clean energy like wind power is an important part of Missouri’s energy future. It provides pollution-free energy that keeps our economy going and our air clean, while creating thousands of production and manufacturing jobs right here in our state.
Rock Port, Mo., is the first community in the country to get 100 percent of its energy from wind power. The wind industry employs more than 1,400 people across the state, and wind power production is set to triple in the next year alone. As the industry expands, it will need supporting manufacturing, construction and maintenance services and expertise, creating more Missouri jobs. At least 12 facilities in Missouri currently manufacture components for the wind energy industry, and two new facilities have already been announced.
However, the future of these facilities and the corresponding jobs is uncertain in the face of expiring tax credits. Nationwide, the wind industry could lose up to 37,000 jobs if these credits are not renewed. While most Americans support these clean energy tax credits, politicians receiving fat checks from the coal and oil industries are clamoring for their expiration.
Now is the time to build on our progress and set a path forward. Sen. Claire McCaskill can be a voice in Congress for regular Missourians who support a cleaner environment while protecting sustainable, homegrown jobs by working to extend the renewable energy production tax credit.
State field associate for Environment Missouri