Taxpayer Alert: Big Wind is pressing Congress for yet another bailout
By Mary Kay Barton
Taxpayers beware! While you were sleeping, enjoying your family and eating turkey, Congress has been busy.
Congressional Republicans are negotiating with Senate Democrats to extend the infamous wind energy Production Tax Credit through to 2017, after which it will supposedly be phased out, just as was supposed to happen in the past. This sneaky, dark-of-night “lame duck” session tactic should be flatly rejected.
While you’ve been busy just trying to make ends meet, wondering why the cost of everything is going up, and agonizing over how your children and grandchildren will ever pay the mounting $18 trillion dollar national debt – the wind industry lobbyists’ group, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), just sent Congress a letter seeking to extend the federal, taxpayer-funded wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).
The list of signers to AWEA’s letter include rent-seeking industries and “green” groups who’ve all benefitted by tapping into taxpayers’ wallets via the Big Wind PTC (aka: Pork-To-Cronies). It certainly isn’t hard to figure out why these corporations pay many millions of dollars to hire lobbyists and run national TV advertising campaigns geared at convincing crony-politicians to vote to continue these TAXES and higher energy prices on American citizens.
AWEA’a letter is typical of wind industry propaganda. It makes specious claims about creating jobs and reducing pollution, without providing a shred of evidence to prove any of their claims. AWEA apparently hopes Congressional officials are “too stupid” to understand what energy-literate citizens nationwide know: Industrial wind can NEVER provide reliable power. It raises electricity costs, even after subsidies are factored in. It kills more jobs than it creates. It defiles wildlife habitats and kills eagles, hawks, other birds and bats – with no penalties to Big Wind operators.
Here’s the reality: After 22+ years of picking U.S. taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ pockets, industrial wind has NOT significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions. It has not replaced any conventional power plants, anywhere. However, the $Trillions spent on these “green” boondoggles to date have significantly added to the $18+ trillion dollar debt that our children and grandchildren will have to bear.
AWEA’s own statements from years and decades past can be used against them. To cite just one example, 31 years ago, a study coauthored by the AWEA stated:
[American Wind Energy Association, et al.Quoted in Renewable Energy Industry, Joint Hearing before the Subcommittees of the Committee on Energy and Commerce et al., House of Representatives, 98th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1983, p. 52.]
In other words, the PTC should have ended 20 years ago, because wind energy would be self-sustaining by then. It wasn’t. It still isn’t. It never will be. We need to pull the PTC plug now!
Here are some details about the bill that is currently being negotiated during the lame duck session –before the newly elected, Republican majority Senate takes office and can do much about it.
In 2016, wind developers would be eligible for 80% percent of the PTC's value. They could also claim 60% of its value through the first nine months of 2017, after which it would supposedly expire.
The proposed congressional deal also seems to continue basing PTC eligibility on when project construction project begins. That opens huge doors for abuse.
The last time Congress extended the PTC, as part of its “fiscal cliff” deal in 2013, it said “eligibility” for taxpayer largesse covered projects “under construction,” rather than requiring that they be “placed in service” by a certain date. In practice, this means just a shovelful of dirt has to be moved by that date.
Remember too that the Production Tax Credit supposedly expired last year. But this clever language has allowed construction and expansion in the meantime. Meanwhile, Lois Lerner’s Internal Revenue Service has helpfully said projects that were started or “safe-harbored” prior to the PTC’s most recent pseudo-expiration can claim tax credits if they are in service by 2015. And then they can claim the $23-per-MWh credit for ten more years!
What a wonderful holiday gift for Big Wind and its political sponsors – at your expense.
Our government should not be in the business of picking and choosing the winners and losers in the energy marketplace – while assaulting and harming the very citizens they are forcing to pay for this “green” energy scam. It’s time for government to get out of the way and let the markets work!
The best solutions will rise to the top of their own accord because they will provide modern power at the best prices – thereby maintaining the reliable, affordable power that has made America great.
Citizens nation-wide have awakened to this massive “green” energy scam. Many have sent letters to Congress like the one below. You can join the fight by contacting your representatives and urging them to do the right thing: Protect American consumers, taxpayers and ratepayers. END Wind Welfare (#EndWindWelfare)!
Here’s a sample letter that you can use or modify:
Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator, New York State small business owner, Cornell-certified Master Gardener, and is a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for all Americans.