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December 2, 2014

Time for Wind Production Tax Credit To End Once and For All

 

DALLAS— Thanks to the dramatic increase in U.S. fossil fuel production, there is no longer any need for wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) subsidies, and Congress should not renew it, saving billions in taxpayer dollars.

Renewing the PTC for one year will cost the government an estimated $6.1 billion, and $18.5 billion for five years. Not only does the U.S. not have the money, but the country has abundant, less-expensive and more-reliable energy sources at its disposal, says a new publication from the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), “Wind Production Tax Credit Imposes High Costs.”

While the U.S. has subsidized wind turbines for two decades, subsidies have only succeeded in wreaking havoc on taxpayers and consumers, writes IPI resident scholar Merrill Matthews, Ph.D. 

  • The PTC costs taxpayers billions, and the wind energy industry would hardly exist without it;
  • Consumers are forced to pay higher electricity bills because wind energy costs more to produce.
  • Numerous state legislatures are complicit in imposing those higher electricity costs because they force utilities to include wind energy;
  • Higher wind prices hurt the poor, who spend a disproportionate share of their income on utility bills; and
  • Wind energy kills half a million birds each year—a record so bad that the Obama administration has had to exempt wind farms from federal penalties for harming federally protected species.

"Bipartisan forces want to revive the wind PTC because they benefit financially from it,” writes Matthews. “But thanks to the U.S. energy boom from fossil fuel production, energy for electric power generation is both abundant and affordable—and cleaner than ever.”

The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) is an independent, nonprofit public policy organization based in Dallas. Copies of “Wind Production Tax Credit Imposes High Costs” are available at www.IPI.org. Resident scholar Merrill Matthews, Ph.D. is available for interview by contacting Erin Humiston at (972) 874-5139, or erin@IPI.org


 

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