American Wind Energy Association

Are the yanks finally waking up?

We’ve flogged this horse plenty of times on this blog and we don’t have to tell you how wind power is uneconomical, expensive, inefficient and heavily subsidised. None of these four things matter to the Green Taliban of the world, who are hell bent on pushing ahead on this expensive con job even when it is a drain on taxpayers, and detrimental to trees and birds. Could it be the tide is turning in the US?

Congress failed to extend generous tax credits to wind power producers this year after conservatives spent months campaigning to let the subsidies die.

In a reversal of fortune, the wind industry was unable to get another extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit, which pays wind producers to generate wind energy for ten years. The credit was heavily opposed by conservative groups and many Republicans who saw it as a 20-year taxpayer handout.

“The wind industry has very little to show after 20 years of preferential tax treatment; it remains woefully dependent on this federal support,”  reads a letter signed by 102 conservative groups, led by Americans for Prosperity, to Members of Congress. “Yet despite this consistent under-performance, Congress has repeatedly voted to extend the PTC, usually in 1- or 2-year increments.”

The wind PTC expired on Tuesday night after Congress failed to pass legislation extending the tax credits. However, this does not mean that wind tax subsidies are dead.

The wind PTC has not been extended at least twice in the past, but has eventually resurfaced after lawmakers were able to negotiate an extension. At the end of 2012, wind PTC supporters in Congress were able to attach extending wind subsidies as part of a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of sharp tax increases and spending cuts.

However, this year there was no such deal and Republicans in the House and Senate made efforts to make sure the wind PTC was ended.

“Our nation’s energy policy must make economic sense for taxpayers and not manipulate markets,” wrote a group of 10 senators to the Senate Finance Committee. “Continuation of the wind PTC not only picks winners and losers, it is distorting our energy markets and it’s past time to end a temporary tax credit that was put into law in 1992.”

Later this month, lawmakers could hammer out a deal that would extend the wind tax credits, especially since comprehensive tax reform efforts have not been finalized.

Energy tax reform drafts by Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus would continue tax credits for renewable energy production, including wind power. Baucus’s plan would give renewable power producers 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour for the first ten years of production — virtually the same as the recently expired wind PTC. The only difference is this tax credit would be given to wind farms that come online before 2017.

“We commend Chairman Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee for putting forward a sound policy option to provide domestic energy producers with stability for the years to come,” Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for public policy at the American Wind Energy Association, said in a statement.

“The tax code has a century-long history of incentivizing American-made energy, and we must continue to ensure that we have plentiful, secure, clean, affordable energy to power our economy,” Gramlich continued. “Wind energy has already proven that it can deliver in these areas and it must continue to be a critical part of the U.S. energy mix.”

According to AWEA, the wind PTC generated $25 billion in private investment in 2012 and supported 80,000 jobs.

However, free market advocates have pointed out that the wind PTC primarily benefits a few states at the expense of many.

“According to our calculations, taxpayers in 30 states and the District of Columbia paid more to the federal government in 2012 to support wind subsidies than wind producers in those states received,” reads a report by the free-market Institute for Energy Research

“Of those 30 net losing states, 11 states and the District of Columbia had no wind production and received zero subsidies but still paid their share of the tax burden related to federal wind subsidies,” according to IER , which opposes extending tax subsidies for wind energy.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the wind PTC is expected to cost $7.7 billion between 2013 and 2017. The Congressional Research Service says the credit will cost $9.7 billion over that time. – The Daily Caller

The US needs to permanently cut the purse strings on this wind powered con job and let it sink under it’s own weight. If it can’t be sustained on its own or by private enterprise, then it is a poor investment.

Wind Turbines kill more birds p.a. than total killed by Exxon Valdez oil spill.

According to the American Wind Energy Association more birds are killed by wind turbines every years than the number of birds estimated to have been killed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The estimate of wind energy related bird losses attributed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the column is in fact the opinion of one biologist and not an official agency statistic. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, a collaboration of government officials, conservationists and industry representatives, more accurately estimates, based on actual data collected from over 100 wind farms nationally, the loss to be 200,000 birds annually.  Read more »

Breaking Wind

The relentless, daily, news about the collapse of every dingbat Green environmental policy is getting hard to endure.

And reading this, (in the New York Times mind you) together with every other report about Green political failures in ethanol, carbon tax, electric cars and solar energy at the same time as polls show these fools might be in government in NZ is pretty hard to take.

At its peak in 2008 and 2009, the industry employed about 85,000 people, according to the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s principal trade group.

About 10,000 of those jobs have disappeared since, according to the association, as wind companies have been buffeted by weak demand for electricity, stiff competition from cheap natural gas and cheaper options from Asian competitors. Chinese manufacturers, who can often underprice goods because of generous state subsidies, have moved into the American market and have become an issue in the larger trade tensions between the countries. In July, the United States Commerce Department imposed tariffs on steel turbine towers from China after finding that manufacturers had been selling them for less than the cost of production.

And now, on top of the business challenges, the industry is facing a big political problem in Washington: the Dec. 31 expiration of a federal tax credit that makes wind power more competitive with other sources of electricity.

It would be nice if the MSM in NZ picked up some of the load from bloggers and informed people about this useless party and their failing policies.