Environmental activists across New Jersey and the country are calling on Congress to extend two wind energy development tax credits, which are due to expire at the end of the year.

Environment New Jersey, along with the Environment America Research and Policy Center, released a report Wednesday that tries to quantify the economic and health benefits of wind energy produced in the U.S. since 2008.

Dan DeRosa, a field organizer with Environment New Jersey, said at a press event Wednesday that wind power is critical to replacing polluting sources of energy as well as bringing jobs through developing offshore wind programs.

Katie Vesey, director of research and development with the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, said the authority's partnership with the company that owns the windmills operating at the wastewater treatment plant off Route 30 has saved ratepayers $3.2 million since the windmills were built in 2006.

The tax credits that Environment New Jersey advocates are asking Congress to renew are for offshore wind energy developers and for renewable energy productions. The credits have been cited by analysts and wind energy developers as critical to moving the industry forward. One of the first offshore wind development proposals on the East Coast has been the Fisherman's Energy farm off Atlantic City.

DeRosa said New Jersey’s current wind power generation has the pollution reduction equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road.

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