Mark Udall wind-tax-credit plan: Address Senate every day 'til he gets it

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This could get tiring.

Senator Mark Udall has announced that he will head to the Senate floor every day to push the same piece of legislation -- the Wind Production Tax Credit -- until Congress responds and passes it.

That means speech after speech after speech on the same issue, until, you know, enough people hear him?

It's an interesting tactic and one that seems pretty rare. The bill is about energy and jobs, and his office is clearly trying to create traction on it; in the last two days, staffers have sent out numerous press releases and news alerts on the topic. And apparently he'll actually be talking about it quite on the regular.

When asked how unique this kind of push is, representatives from Udall's office told Westword that members of the Senate floor staff said this was the first time a senator had asked to reserve time on the floor every morning.

"It is one thing for Congress to take the time to consider a new proposal and have an open, honest debate, but the Production Tax Credit is widely supported, will create jobs and has already helped our economy grow," Udall said in the release announcing the talk-about-this-every-single-day plan. "Until Congress acts, businesses here and across the country will shed jobs and take our economy backward.... It is unacceptable for Congress not to pass this common-sense and badly needed piece of legislation. I plan to remind my colleagues of that every morning until the Production Tax Credit passes."

His office also has a special place online for folks to follow this specific effort. And you should tweet about it, too! "Please include the hashtags #WindJobsNow! and #windenergy #PTC on all related tweets," a follow-up release announced.

The issue here is about a specific tax credit for wind energy that is set to expire this year. Udall says the tax credit has helped attract clean energy businesses to invest in the U.S. -- and in Colorado, he said the credit has attracted nearly 2,000 jobs in manufacturing facilities at a company called Vestas. In his view, investors are holding back millions of dollars in capital and choosing not to make new commitments until Congress acts.

Udall's reps told us the senator is taking this drastic action because of the jobs at stake, adding that this may be the most important thing Congress can do for Colorado between now and Election Day.

In his speeches, Udall will be talking about how different states are impacted by the credit, starting today with Colorado.

His team also sent us this additional statement:

Every senator can speak to his colleagues on the Senate floor about the issues important to them, and the wind PTC extension is important enough to keep bringing up until Congress passes it. Members of both parties have agreed that the PTC is vital for the continued economic strength of our country. The wind energy sector employs 75,000 hard-working Americans in good-paying jobs, including 6,000 jobs in Colorado. Those jobs have a tremendous positive ripple effect in the communities where they are based. Unless we in Congress act now to extend it, we risk losing the wind industry -- as well as the jobs, investment and manufacturing base it creates -- to our competitors in China, in Europe and other countries. That is the last thing our economy needs and that's why I'm going speak about it every morning to point out just how much is at stake if Congress doesn't extend the PTC.

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