The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

December 8, 2012

Politicians refine their stances on wind power

JOHNSTOWN — It is uncertain what the differences will be, if any, between the 12th Congressional District’s outgoing and incoming representatives concerning the federal wind production tax credit.

U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, is a strong supporter of the incentive, which provides producers of wind energy a 2.2-cent tax reduction for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. Republican Keith Rothfus, an Allegheny County attorney who defeated Critz in the recent general election, has yet to state an opinion.

House and Senate members are debating the issue during a current lame-duck session.

The credit is set to expire on Dec. 31 before Rothfus takes office on Jan. 3.

Critz supports the measure, which has helped bring hundreds of windmills and a Gamesa blade manufacturing plant to the region.

“The financial impact is obvious,” said Jim Penna, Critz’s district director. “There is the energy impact and the impact on the environment. From the congressman’s standpoint, these are good-paying jobs, steady work in a growth industry. Sometimes, in a growth industry, you kind of have to walk it through its infancy, and the production tax credit has successfully done that.”

For Rothfus, the tax credit is one of many issues he has been learning about since winning the election.

“I’ll take a look at it,” Rothfus said. “I really haven’t looked at that. I need to be beefed up on it.”

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, whose 9th district includes parts of Cambria and Somerset counties, where the wind industry has grown rapidly in recent years, wants to keep the credit in place at least during the short term.

“I support an all-of-the-above energy plan and the production tax credit and recognize the positive impact it has on jobs and production,” said Shuster. “I also believe there must be a plan in place on how to get the wind industry off of the tax credit, so they can eventually succeed without government assistance.”

Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, the current 4th district congressman who lost to Critz in the 12th primary when their districts were drawn together, recently took to the House floor to support the measure. “Investing in renewable energy is key to creating new jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and promoting economic growth,” Altmire said. “In Pennsylvania, the wind industry supports 4,000 jobs and powers 180,000 homes, including homes in the Pittsburgh area.”

Pennsylvania’s two senators disagree on the matter.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey wants to let the credit expire. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, supports its extension.

“Senator Casey believes Congress should work in a bipartisan way to help wean the U.S. off foreign oil because it will reduce the price at the pump, create Pennsylvania jobs and grow the economy,” said John Rizzo, Casey’s press secretary. “Becoming energy independent means fully taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas resources, the country’s supply of domestic oil and wind energy, which can be done by extending the production tax credit.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads