Big Wind's Recurring Nightmare
motherjones.com — Jacob Susman is frustrated again. Sitting in the bright green conference room of his company's trendy industrial office, overshadowed by the Brooklyn Bridge, he's a clean-cut poster child for the "green economy": Since 2007, Susman's OwnEnergy, which installs wind turbines, has grown to be one of the nation's most prominent wind installers. But he's plagued by a recurring nightmare: "Every few years the industry has to drop everything for six or nine months and focus exclusively on having the credit passed." He's talking about the Production Tax Credit, the federal subsidy that gives a 2.2-cent per kilowatt hour break to wind energy producers. Those pennies add up to about $1 billion per year, no chump change for the burgeoning industry. The subsidy, a touchstone issue in the presidential campaign, is set to expire at the end of this year, and uncertainty about whether Congress will extend it has led to layoffs and much anxiety in the industry.