Renewing federal tax credits for wind energy would blatantly waste taxpayer dollars on a manifestly unsustainable industry that's wholly dependent on government subsidies.
Wind power first received tax credits in 1992 but still isn't ready for prime time. Yet the Senate Finance Committee has approved a two-year renewal that would cost taxpayers about $13 billion over a 10-year lifespan, worth 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced.
The last renewal, for 2013, allowed tax credits for projects under construction. The credits previously applied only to finished projects. American Wind Energy Association figures show installations rose sharply as 2012 ended and spiked again in 2013's fourth quarter as the industry took advantage of that change. It all prompted Erika Johnsen to write for the website Hot Air: “Could the wind industry's utter dependence on ... taxpayer help ... be any more apparent?”
There are better uses for taxpayer dollars than subsidizing wind energy, which “undercuts” more reliable coal and nuclear plants that are critical for meeting electricity demand, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., writes in The Wall Street Journal. He also notes wind turbines' noise and unsightliness. And don't forget the toll they take on birds.
“A mature technology should stand on its own in the marketplace,” Mr. Alexander says. After 20-plus years of tax credits, wind energy remains far short of such maturity and glaringly undeserving of more taxpayer largesse.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police vests & big hearts
- Saturday essay: Mother’s message
- Death on the range: A fatal lapse
- Public records: Updates needed
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- The IRS scandal: Do the Lois Lerner emails still exist?