TOPEKA - (AP) A Kansas congressman said it's time to end a federal tax credit that has helped make his state a leader in the wind energy development industry.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Wichita Republican, said he is urging colleagues to let the wind energy production tax credit - which was renewed earlier this year as part of a fiscal cliff budget deal - expire at the end of the year, the Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/1fWFJCs ) reported.
With the help of the tax credit, the wind energy industry has invested nearly $3 billion in Kansas during 2011 and 2012.
Even so, tying wind production to benefits delivered by the Internal Revenue Service is an intrusion in the domestic economy, Pompeo said.
"There's lots of Republicans who have a different view of that here in Washington, and I'm working to try to convince them we'll be far better off when we get the tax code out of trying to pick amongst winners and losers," Pompeo said Wednesday in a conference call from Washington, D.C.
At least 50 House members agree with Pompeo, including at least Kansas representatives.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback - who was part of a national coalition last year that successfully pressed to preserve the tax benefit - was among Kansas leaders who disagree with Pompeo's position. U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, both Republicans, also supported extension of the incentive.
The governor continues to believe the federal government should offer the credit to enhance domestic wind development, with the credit gradually reduced as the wind industry expands capacity and transmission ability.
The credit, initiated by Congress in 1992 and renewed this year, provides utility-scale wind producers 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour.
In an interview Wednesday, Moran said wind farming in Kansas serves the economic interests of rural areas of the state and advances national security goals related to energy independence.
"I support the production tax credit," Moran said. "We believe it makes our country more safe and secure."
The free market, rather than tax policy, should determine where wind turbines are located in the U.S., Pompeo said.