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PTC Dramatics of Governors Ignore Economic Realities

November 19, 2012

Wind Action’s Editorial, Governors Demand Wind PTC to Cover State Costs, brings home the wasteful realities of Federal incentives to the wind industry in the form of the Wind Production Tax Credit:

The production tax credit, which turns twenty years old this year, serves little purpose today other than to line the pockets of project owners and tax-advantaged investors and artificially mask the true price of wind power.

If the PTC were to expire, Renewable Energy Credit prices in states with Renewable Portfolio Standard policies would likely go up for a while until the industry can implement necessary cost-cutting measures. States will respond by reexamining ways to rein-in RPS-related energy costs. We will also likely see the industry shift their business plans away from those based on tax avoidance to plans based on energy production – as they should be. American taxpayers and ratepayers would be best served by letting the PTC expire.

The Governors’ self-serving pleas aside, there is no justification for wind projects eligible under any State RPS programs to receive the benefit of BOTH the State policies and the PTC wealth transfer from taxpayers. Congress has a responsibility to say NO.

The better answer is let the PTC expire. To weigh in on this, take the Wall Street Journal POLL: What should happen with U.S. government subsidies of renewable energy development? that accompanies the pro/con positions in the piece Do We Need Subsidies for Solar and Wind Power?

Wind Action’s editorial, the WSJ article and the poll all have space for comments.  Add your thoughts.
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The letter from the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition is described in a Bloomberg News article “Governors Lobby to Extend U.S. Wind Tax Credit Set to End” by Jim Snyder, filed on November 13, 2012.
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