WINNEBAGO, Neb. | An important new chapter in the history of tribal economic self-sufficiency is being written on Winnebago tribal land in Thurston County, Neb. The Winnebago Tribal Council has entered into an agreement with Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha to construct four to six wind turbines on tribal land that will provide enough power to supply 3,500 homes and employ several people on the reservation during construction and operation.
Wind energy enjoys broad, bipartisan support in our region and across the U.S. But unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., the most productive and time-tested federal program to encourage investment in wind power is due to expire.
The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a tax incentive that helps keep electricity rates low and encourages development of proven clean energy projects. Experts say that if we keep the PTC in place, over 500,000 more jobs will be created in the next 20 years. By then, wind will generate 20 percent of America’s electricity.
But if Congress fails to renew the PTC before the end of the year, developing wind here at home, and across the nation, will be significantly tougher. We cannot let a vibrant and maturing industry fail due to this uncertainty.
As Winnebagoes, we believe that when we work together, nothing can prevent us from achieving our dreams and visions to once again be self-sufficient and economically self-reliant. Wind energy can play a vital role in our future, but time is running out for Congress to stand with us in harnessing the power of wind. - John Blackhawk