The fiscal cliff legislation passed by Congress on January 1, 2013 extended for one year several clean energy tax credits, including the Production Tax Credit, which benefits wind, geothermal, and biomass energy development, and the biodiesel tax credit, which benefits Arkansas biodiesel producers. The bill also extended incentives for energy efficient homes and appliances, which will benefit the state’s energy efficient appliance manufacturers.  

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association Executive Director, Steve Patterson commented on the Production Tax Credit extension:

“The extension of the Production Tax Credit came at the 11th hour and unfortunately not in time to avoid layoffs last year among our state’s wind energy manufacturers.  However, it is encouraging because it gives wind manufactures in Arkansas a chance to compete in this growing industry and an opportunity to recover lost employment from last year. Importantly, the tax credit will apply to projects under construction by December 31, 2013. We are equally as encouraged that the biodiesel tax credit was extended retroactively from its date of expiration, January 1, 2012, through the end of 2013. This will benefit our state’s largest biodiesel producer, FutureFuel Chemical Company in Batesville, as well as small producers like Pinnacle Biofuels in Crossett and Delta American in Helena.  The continued development of energy resources in Arkansas creates jobs and offers more energy choices to our consumers. This decision by Congress recognizes the value of advanced energy and energy independence by maintaining federal investment in domestic energy. AAEA will continue urging Congress and the Administration to adopt a national energy plan for long-term stability in energy markets rather than lurching between one-year tax credit extensions.”

Arkansas is home to several wind component manufacturers and biofuel research, development and production. Energy efficiency is the largest sector of Arkansas’s advanced energy economy according to AAEA’s 2012 jobs study. Nearly 2,500 Arkansas jobs are found in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) and building controls – firms that improve performance of the largest drivers of energy use in buildings. The next largest number of jobs, nearly 2,100, is found in energy-saving consumer products – companies that make a wide variety of consumer products that meet higher performance standards, such as office products, computers, glass, and shades.