The misinformation about tax credits and the wind farm industry continues.
The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) is an effective tool to allow developers to raise private capital in the marketplace and bring renewable energy projects to completion. Furthermore, the PTC applies only to actual electricity produced from utility-scale wind turbines. A wind project developer does not receive the credit until the wind turbine actually generates power. As a business tax credit, funding is based solely on project performance, not evaluation by government officials.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) points out the sensible reasons for supporting the PTC that have led 18 House and numerous Senate Republicans to call for action against raising taxes on this important source of American jobs:
“Low taxes in the form of the federal Production Tax Credit for wind power have driven as much as $20 billion of private investment a year into the U.S. economy. Wind power is now one of America’s biggest sources of new electricity and fastest growing manufacturing sectors. It has accounted for more than a third of all new U.S. electric generation in recent years.”
The cost argument is simply wrong. Numerous studies have shown that wind energy saves consumers money by reducing the use of expensive fossil fuels, thus driving energy bills down.
Attempts to imply government favoritism are misguided and false. As Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) notes, “The wind turbines industry has utilized a production tax credit, which has helped the industry see steady growth this decade.” The existing tax credit was regularly included in the federal budget under President George W. Bush.
Wind farm accounts for 35% of all new electric generation capacity in the U.S. since 2007 and is ahead of schedule to provide the 20% of all U.S. electricity by 2030. American wind energy jobs are poised to quintuple in 20 years.
Rep. King said it best: “Conservatives can and do support wind.”
Let wind finish the job.
By Kevin Haley, www.awea.org/blog