Heartland Institute Comments on
Renewal of Wind Production Tax Credit
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee today approved a bill that included a renewal through 2013 of the Wind Production Tax Credit, which gives the industry a $1.2 billion subsidy every year. The vote was 19–5.
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“Today’s Senate Finance Committee approval of a huge tax bill including a renewal of the Wind Production Tax Credit is disappointing. With more than 35,000 wind turbines operating in the U.S., the wind industry is long past any need for infant industry subsidies.
“If further action by Congress does not stop this renewal, taxpayers will be socked twice – first with higher tax bills and second with higher electricity rates – from continuing subsidization of the U.S. wind industry. As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.’”
“Tax credits to boost one industry harms competing industries. Congress should end targeted tax credits and subsidies and let all energy producers compete on an even playing field. Ultimately consumers and taxpayers would be the winners.”
“Taxpayer funding for wind turbines is a serious mistake. It is driven by the unsubstantiated belief that, by expanding the use of wind power, we will reduce greenhouse gases that are supposedly driving dangerous climate change. This is wrong on all counts: Current climate change is not unusual and it is not being driven by man’s greenhouse gas production.
“Even if it were, wind turbines require conventional power sources to back them up when wind speed is too low or too high. Consequently, in most applications, the use of wind power does not reduce emissions. These machines do kill millions of birds and bats every year and so cause more environmental harm than benefit.”
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