No win for taxpayers
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
To rebut the letter “Wind, environment win” (Jan. 8 and TribLIVE.com) by Mary Kate Ranii, Western Pennsylvania field organizer for PennEnvironment: First, so-called “global warming” is not proven science. It is a scheme generated by environmental extremists and liberals as a United Nations global redistribution of wealth.
How can she prove wind power is reducing global warming emissions equal to 218,000 cars, and what are the current emissions rates?
Facts that she fails to disclose:
• The wind industry has benefited from this egregious subsidy for 20 years. If it can't survive on its own for 20 years, wind energy is not self-sustaining.
• Wind-industry firms have laid off approximately 2,800 employees, one-third of them from Siemens alone since September.
• Wind power is not reliable for consistently producing energy. “Wind” says it all, and when the wind doesn't blow, then what? Run off batteries?
• The tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour lasts for 10 years. A wind farm built in 2012 will continue to receive the subsidy until 2022 at an approximate cost of $12 billion in tax money.
Failed “green” energy projects subsidized by the Obama administration — Solyndra, A123, Tesla, Chevy Volt, etc. — have cost taxpayers billions.
It's not government's role to pick winners and losers. Wind power is another failed taxpayer subsidy that must end. Drive to the Johnstown area and see how many wind turbines sit idle.
- Bad situation made worse
- Malak thanks
- Successful? Tax it!
- ‘Small’ comfort
- Pay it forward
- Unfair to Corbett
- Concept corrupted
- BSA’s constitutional right
- Head Start & future
- More than security, sales
- More ‘research’ needed
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This letter contains more spin than factual content. Unlike other energy sources, whose incentives are often permanent fixtures in the tax code, the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) has always been a short-term policy mechanism, extended in one- to three-year increments. In fact, the PTC has been allowed to expire several times before being renewed. This type of short-term planning horizon has limited our industry from achieving its full potential. Yet despite the uncertainty through the years, the wind industry has thrived. Over the last five years, the PTC has helped wind power attract over $15 billion in annual private investment. Elected representatives from both parties recognize that using tax incentives such as the PTC to encourage domestic energy development and lower costs for consumers is simply smart policymaking. In the words of Republican strategist Karl Rove, “[the PTC] is a market mechanism, you don’t get paid unless you produce the power, and we’re not picking winners and losers.” In some cases, wind power has proven more reliable than traditional sources. In fact, in February 2011 when cold temperatures caused dozens of fossil-fired power plants to unexpectedly fail, the Texas grid operator publicly praised wind energy for producing power as expected and helping to keep the lights on. Finally, across the country, many different states have successfully integrated large amounts of wind power into their portfolios without effecting utility reliability. Xcel Energy’s utility in Colorado has reliably obtained more than 55% of its electricity from wind on some occasions and in Texas, wind power recently set a new record by providing 26% of the state’s electricity needs. For more facts on wind power, visit: www.truthaboutwind.com