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RMFU supports wind power initiatives

Denver – The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) board of directors, meeting this week endorsed legislation to promote small wind energy projects and locally owned commercial wind power. “This legislation provides incentives for family farmers and ranchers to invest in renewable and sustainable energy,” said RMFU Board Chair Jan Kochis, a Matheson, Colorado, farmer and rancher. “Residential and small-scale solar energy systems receive a 30 percent investment tax credit, and big power companies get tax credits as well. Small wind turbines and community wind power production will help support our growing energy needs with a sustainable local resource.”

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) introduced two bipartisan bills supporting rural energy projects. S. 672 would create tax-exempt bond financing to support small, locally owned commercial energy facilities, allowing rural communities to create revenue directly by adding renewable power to the grid.

The Rural Wind Energy Development Act (S. 673) is even more promising for the individual rural resident. This bill introduces a tax credit for individuals who purchase small wind turbines for their homes, farms and small businesses. This bipartisan bill will extend to individual taxpayers benefits similar to the tax credits currently available for solar energy projects.

“Local ownership is a strong tradition in rural America,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler. “Rocky Mountain Farmers Union urges Congress to support these initiatives. Renewable energy benefits our nation. These tools will move our new energy economy forward and promote local production of sustainable power in our rural communities, farms and ranches.