Lawmakers looking to renew the wind production tax credit that just won’t die

posted at 5:31 pm on March 22, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Unfortunately, we knew this was coming. The wildly generous wind production tax credit that provides 2.3 cents/kilowatt-hour of energy during the first ten years of a project’s operation, as well as the investment tax credit worth up to 30 percent of the costs of developing wind turbines, have been allowed to lapse multiple times over the years, only to be resurrected — zombie-like — shortly thereafter. The well-monied wind lobby has its hands full with the industry-wide freakout that ensues every time the tax credits near their expiration dates, since wind energy is so thoroughly reliant on federal special treatment for survival, and credits’ expiration at the end of 2013 resulted in a whole lotta’ wind project proposals making it in under the wire during last year’s fourth quarter.

But that expiration was never going to be allowed to stand for long. Via The Hill:

A group of 144 members of the Congress sent letters Friday urging their colleagues to renew tax credits that help the wind energy industry. …

“Like all businesses, the wind industry seeks certainty and predictability so that long-term project decisions and investments can be made,” said the letter signed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), along with 24 other senators.

“Without that stability, we once again risk losing many of the jobs, infrastructure and investment that the wind industry has created,” they wrote.

Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) sent a similar letter along with 116 of their colleagues. …

“We look forward to Congress, in particular the Senate Finance Committee, acting quickly to extend the PTC and ITC so that the U.S. remains a global leader and our businesses can continue building, expanding and hiring,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a Friday statement.

Dear Tom Kiernan and wind’s Congressional apologists (Democrats and “small government, free-market” Republicans): Since, as you say, the wind industry cannot “continue building, expanding and hiring” without these tax credits in place, maybe you are in the wrong industry. At this stage, by your own admission, wind energy cannot yet compete with alternative sources like natural gas — so maybe instead of throwing gobs of taxpayer money at building political preferred energy infrastructure that has yet to achieve competitive price efficiency, you could maybe throw some of that cash into R&D, or at least just stop wasting it? I absolutely agree that the wind industry needs some stability to work with, which is precisely why these subsidies should be eliminated once and for all instead of going along in this costly, torturous shame cycle of special-interest pandering.


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Lawmakers looking to renew the [pick your boodoggle] that just won’t die

Fenris on March 22, 2014 at 5:36 PM

How much are Grassley and King receiving from the wind industry?

Still not sure why Iowa is given such a predominate role in electing our GOP candidates.

Iowa sucks.

ladyingray on March 22, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Follow the [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

Murphy9 on March 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM

“A Bright Shinning Pork/Fraud Lie”

The “Two Party Evil Money Cult” in Washington D.C. thinks we are to dumb and lazy to stop the graft and shake down.

Climate Change, Global Warming, CO2 Kills is a total fraud.

Every cent of this crap is theft of our tax money.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

Just say no , R or D who supports this con must be voted out.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 22, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Big Wind is at it again.

rbj on March 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM

These freaking windmills are ugly and don’t produce much electricity. Pull the plug.

oldennis on March 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Boondoggle.

pat on March 22, 2014 at 6:03 PM

The damn wind turbines kill the birds. Is a bird’s life worth 2.3 cents per KH? Where are the greenies on that issue?

COgirl on March 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

What ya gonna do about it? Nothing is what. It is what happens when you self impose slavery on yourself. They will screw you over, you will get upset, they will be on the ballot, and you will slavishly vote them back into office.
Then you wonder why they do all these awesome things for people they do not represent. You are wrong, these are precisely the people the represent, because those people offer them something of value. Whether it is their vote or campaign kickbacks. What do you offer them? They already own your vote in total. So what do you offer them?

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

The damn wind turbines kill the birds. Is a bird’s life worth 2.3 cents per KH? Where are the greenies on that issue?

COgirl on March 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Sparrows less, crows it is a benefit, but it is not just those birds that get killed. It is the large predator birds that keep ecosystems in check that are getting killed off. If I am not mistaken, don’t they kill off huge numbers of bats as well? Yup, they estimate 600,000 and I would bet the numbers are far larger, as the noise they produce screw up their hunting and their resting.

Here is a lovely quote by the guy who made that estimate.

“I am not against wind energy. It’s clean, it reduces pollution and it creates jobs. But there are negative impacts,”

How do you define energy as clean when it is directly killing off nature? This guy has a real sick sense of clean.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 6:19 PM

obama stash

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2014 at 6:20 PM

It is “clean” insofar as all the ores and elements are mined elsewhere, refined elsewhere, manufactured elsewhere, then transported by “unclean” energy to the installation site where they are assembled and installed utilizing “unclean” energy. Then they are maintained and repaired by “unclean” energy until they are past their serviceable life.

I guess as long as you are outside the hum radius you can sleep smugly, I mean peacefully knowing that your iphone juice came out of “the sky.”

Murphy9 on March 22, 2014 at 6:23 PM

The damn wind turbines kill the birds. Is a bird’s life worth 2.3 cents per KH? Where are the greenies on that issue?

COgirl on March 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Here in NH, the Far-Left Appalachian Mountain Club (the Far East version of Sierra Club) did not object when a 24-tower (each 400 feet tall!) wind farm was built in 2012 directly across the valley from one of the only Peregrine Falcon nesting sites in the entire state.

But now in 2014, they are opposing a similar project by the same foreign developer.

Why?

Because the new wind farm will be in their own back yard.

Del Dolemonte on March 22, 2014 at 6:26 PM

In Missouri, a company called Wind Capital Group (WCG) is more than well connected. In the photo to the right is the firm’s CEO is Tom Carnahan. His brother is Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and his sister is Robin Carnahan, the Missouri Secretary of State. His father was governor and his mother a U.S. Senator.

WCG applied for a whopping $90 million in Obama’s stimulus package. In addition, WCG has successfully sought property tax exemptions where it is putting up windmills.

http://nlpc.org/stories/2010/05/24/crony-capitalism-carnahan-style

In the article it goes on to say that they did not receive the initial loan, but got many extra bennies from their connections. I’m sure it was like this for many wind projects.

Murphy9 on March 22, 2014 at 6:31 PM

This is where conservative activists need to be more aggressive. There needs to be hundreds of thousands of angry phone calls & letters coming into DC to shut this crap down. Those subsidies are a waste of money and more importantly serve as a way to “kill” oil & gas & nuclear energy, which will only make the country weaker. “Green” energy people are nothing more than lefty crony capitalists, make no mistake about it.

Outlander on March 22, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Every farmer used to have a windmill on his far. There’s a reason you don’t see them anymore. There’s a reason we don’t use horses to deliver mail.

crankyoldlady on March 22, 2014 at 6:52 PM

…kill it!

KOOLAID2 on March 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM

…kill it!

KOOLAID2 on March 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM

The wind farms have leverage, they give back between 1 and 5% of the money the politicians hand them. Where is your leverage at to change the politicians actions? Is there any chance you would ever use it?

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:01 PM

‘Aston…’ has it right. Money talks, peons walk. The Sierra Club, et al, blow a fuse anytime there’s a gas burp, but the ‘mills kill millions of migratory, local birds and raptors every year, without a ‘peep’ from Bird Lovers of Amerika and other like-named Enviro-Nazis. Their hypocrisy and hubris know no bounds. My plan: Gather the addresses of every enviro-idjit and pseudo scientist Global Warmist nutjob in the country and use their favorite law (eminent domain) to erect windmills in their backyards, with the proviso that they have to eat every bird killed by their energy source of choice. After all, the protein source will be au natural…

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Thirty years ago I helped document wind power deals in California. At that time, the only way they made economic sense was because they qualified for tax credits both in the US and in Denmark where the generators were built.

Thirty years of living off tax benefits. And still going…

Over50 on March 22, 2014 at 7:10 PM

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:02 PM

With respect to the Sierra Club it is not money they are after. Their goal is reducing the human population to somewhere south of a hundred million people. They are nothing more than a bunch of Malthusians dressed up as environmentalists.
My argument is with respect to the politicians. Your power is your vote. Money to them is the ability to advertise to buy votes. Their votes for or against policies and law are their buying of votes. Of course, if your vote is already staked out and not malleable in any way, it has no value to the politician, whether you vote for him or vote for his opponent. Only votes that are not pledged are negotiable and thus have any value. The Republicans know they have certain people’s votes, thus they can freely ignore them.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:13 PM

At this stage, by your own admission, wind energy cannot yet compete with alternative sources like natural gas — so maybe instead of throwing gobs of taxpayer money at building political preferred energy infrastructure that has yet to achieve competitive price efficiency, you could maybe throw some of that cash into R&D, or at least just stop wasting it?

Not just natural gas but nuclear. That’s were we should be focused. Why there isn’t new nuclear plants being built in every state is almost criminal.

lowandslow on March 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Not just natural gas but nuclear. That’s were we should be focused. Why there isn’t new nuclear plants being built in every state is almost criminal.

lowandslow on March 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/15/study-shows-wind-turbines-killed-600000-bats-last-year/#comment-1478535

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Any organization needs money to use to buy votes/gain power. They are one and the same. The Sierra Club may be modern day Malthusians, but once a country’s population heads south (by 2/3 according to above) there is no stopping it – it cannot be reversed. Perhaps their real goal is to be the last two humans on the N American continent. Ideology is, indeed, the driver of ‘captured’ votes, but if you piss off an individual (purposefully, or otherwise) the vote may be changed, or not cast at all. Some people are single issue voters, many are not, and they cannot be predicted or categorized to any great degree. That’s why political pundits abound and editorial pages go for broke. Votes, cast or otherwise, have value. EACH political party believes (with some accuracy) that a certain percentage of the electorate will vote for them, regardless (re the black vote for O’). No political party has a monopoly on votes, hence, political parties. And that is why a country that tries to define itself as a diverse body of ‘groups’ to be manipulated for political purposes, instead of as a multitude of sovereign individuals, is doing a great disservice to the concept of freedom.

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:13 PM

AS much as it disturbs me to admit it, in this case, this guy is mostly right. astonerii has a tendency to pile on ad homs to destroy his own arguments. It is extremely hard for him to be civil. However, that, in this case, does not affect the validity of his arguments, just drives people away from reading him.

Old Country Boy on March 22, 2014 at 7:39 PM

You want some certainty in your business model? How about the certainty of not having government subsidies. Go find your own d**n money, you sorry bunch of leeches.

ss396 on March 22, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Crony “Capitalism”.

Every beneficiary of these “green energy” boondoggles have been well connected to the Regime in DC.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:45 PM

You want some certainty in your business model? How about the certainty of not having government subsidies. Go find your own d**n money, you sorry bunch of leeches.

ss396 on March 22, 2014 at 7:43 PM

So very true, so very very true.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Every member of Congress who votes for this crap should be tied to a windmill blade.

GarandFan on March 22, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Every member of Congress who votes for this crap should be tied to a windmill blade.

GarandFan on March 22, 2014 at 8:05 PM

No, we do it the right way. We simply refuse to vote for them. Primary them, if they win, then vote for someone else in the general. Either his primary opponent you agree with or a third party. Preferably we would have votes for none of the above that can actually win the election and force new candidates onto a special election ballot.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Pure insanity….investing any money in energy sources dependent on the weather.

Mollymaloo on March 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Follow the [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

Murphy9 on March 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM

It’s all about the Benjamens?

Count to 10 on March 22, 2014 at 8:58 PM

KILL IT!

Wind and Solar!!

Kill off ethanol as well!

WE desperately need good, cheap clean energy to grow!

Subsidized energy is stupid energy!

Without the subsidy it would be worthless!

Obamatrix on March 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Obamatrix on March 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM

How do you feel about exporting our new found cheap natural gas?

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Every farmer used to have a windmill on his far. There’s a reason you don’t see them anymore. There’s a reason we don’t use horses to deliver mail.

crankyoldlady on March 22, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Still lots of windmills pumping water in West Texas. Very handy where there is no electricity available. I’ve never seen one that appears to be less than 50 years old, though. And when they break down, they get replaced with an electric pump.

iurockhead on March 22, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Cars that run on Windmills are really really efficient and they save our God the Planet. So There

kenny on March 22, 2014 at 10:43 PM

The windmills are located where the wind blows. Just happens that the birds use the winds to migrate. Yes, we are killing hundreds of the predatory birds. We desperately need them. Windmills are terrible and the government just gave the wind farms a 30 year reprieve on paying fines for killing endangered species. When was the last time they gave a fossil fuel facility any kind of reprieve? And the number of bird deaths from the wind farms is far greater. Who will speak for the birds?

COgirl on March 22, 2014 at 11:12 PM

This technology has been around for DECADES.

It is as good as it can get.

Wind farms that can’t sustain themselves have become eyesores and relics wherever the subsidies have dried up.

If it needs subsidies to keep it alive, it isn’t stable.

If it were profitable it wouldn’t NEED the damned subsidies.

Zero out the line item and the program.

Let us see just how capable this ‘renewable’ energy source is WITHOUT constant propping up.

ajacksonian on March 23, 2014 at 6:47 AM

I thought we tried to protect habitats of animals. I just don’t get it. Is a caribou more important than and eagle?

tomas on March 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Windmills have been around for hundreds of years and still can’t show a profit and need govt help to survive. The fact that they kill hundreds of eagles and bats is proven, but the greenies still think fracking causes well water to burn and carbon to burn the planet. They have a combination of stupid and stubborn that defies reason.

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2014 at 8:28 AM

tomas, right you are. This is the hypocrisy of the environmentalists. They don’t care about the eagles. Audubon Society pays lip service to the death of these beautiful creatures. It ought to be a priority to them. This issue is clearly a hot button to me and it breaks my heart.

COgirl on March 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Let us see just how capable this ‘renewable’ energy source is WITHOUT constant propping up.

ajacksonian on March 23, 2014 at 6:47 AM

The bad part is that the goofy subsidies are putting sever pressures on Gas and Nuclear assets, putting them in serious danger of shutting down in the Midwest region.

whbates on March 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM