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December 13, 2012

End the Wind Production Tax Credit

December 13, 2012
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IER’s Senior Vice President Dan Kish writes for U.S. News on December 13, 2012

As Congress and President Obama negotiate over how to deal with the “fiscal cliff,” one important issue is whether or not to continue the wind production tax credit. This credit was created 20 years ago to help wind try to compete with affordable and reliable source of electricity generation such as coal, natural gas, and hydropower. Despite 35 years of subsidies, the wind industry claims they still need help from the taxpayer. But this begs the question—when will enough ever be enough for the wind industry? Twenty years is more than enough for the wind industry to stand on its own.

Even before the credit was created in 1992, wind promoters were claiming that the wind industry just needed a little leg up and then it would be low-cost and self-sufficient. In 1986, a representative of the American Wind Energy Association testified before Congress, “The U.S. wind industry has … demonstrated reliability and performance levels that make them very competitive. It has come to the point that the California Energy Commission has predicted windpower will be that State’s lowest cost source of energy in the 1990s, beating out even large-scale hydro.”

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