Romney camp: Let wind energy tax credits expire

Finally. You may know that I’m generally irked by subsidies in all of their many forms, since subsidies always and necessarily serve to distort free-market signals in some regard — but the elimination of these particular subsidies are particularly dear to me, seeing as how I’m one of those darn “libertarian free-market fundamentalists” the wind lobby hates so very much. President Obama is obviously a major proponent for making sure that federal incentives for green-energy production are here to stay, and I’ve been waiting for Romney to distance himself from this little money-wasting feat of government stupidity and stick to the free-market line.

Campaign aides confirmed that Romney wants the quick demise of the credits, which will lapse in less than six months absent congressional action, ending uncertainty about how he wants to phase out the credits.

“He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, said in a statement to The Des Moines Register.

“Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results,” McCoy said

Heh. The wind lobby will have a hissyfit. (‘And I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling libertarian free-market fundamentalists!’) Wind’s influential supporters are already upset because uncertainty over the tax credit is causing layoffs in the wind industry, and the end of the subsidies would cause a major contraction for them. But proponents might want to ask themselves, why is it that wind energy’s future is so inextricably linked to the extension of these subsidies?

Oh, that’s right — because wind energy is perhaps one of the dumbest things the government has ever spent our money on, ever. Shouldn’t the fact that the industry has been so dependent on these tax credits for so long send up some red flags? As The Hill article states, “The number of new wind power installations have fallen off sharply in the past when the credit has been allowed to lapse, which last happened in 2004.” Wind is not yet capable of surviving on its own in the free market, and it’s been sucking up our money for far too long.