Top wind industry lobbyist to resign

The wind industry’s top lobbyist is resigning, The Hill has learned.

Denise Bode, chief executive with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), will leave her post Jan. 1 after four years at the head of the organization. She will return to private practice as a tax attorney.

The announcement comes in the midst of arguably the industry’s largest political battle. It is fighting to extend a 2.2-cent-per-kilowatt-hour credit for wind power production, which is set to expire Dec. 31.

In a Friday interview with The Hill, Bode said that she is "not going anywhere" until the credit extension "gets done."

Asked whether it would get extended, she said, "Oh yeah. Of course it will be."

The industry says the credit extension is key for getting wind power costs competitive with other energy sources. Nixing it this year would threaten the industry’s long-term health, AWEA has said.

AWEA floated a phase-out plan for the credit on Wednesday, ostensibly to secure support from Republicans who wonder when the industry plans to operate without the credit.

Bode told The Hill last month that she felt getting the wind industry self-sufficient would cement her “legacy.” She said getting the credit extension was crucial to realizing that goal.

“There is now a strong, bipartisan team of Congressional champions for the wind industry, and the all-important extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC),” Bode said in a Friday statement. “When that is secured, all of my goals from the AWEA Board will have been accomplished.”

Rob Gramlich, AWEA's senior vice president for public policy, will serve as interim CEO.

Bode said she felt she had fulfilled the four-year commitment she gave to AWEA. She said she accomplished what was asked of her, which was "getting AWEA a seat at the table." 

She added that the timing was right to leave, as she wants to represent energy and other firms in possible tax reform discussions during the next Congress.

"I really want to get back in the fray and be an advocate," she said.

Read more of The Hill’s profile of Bode here.

— This story was updated at 2:56 p.m.

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