Wyden's spilled much ink decrying corporate handouts and tax breaks. Congress just needs to apply that logic evenly, and throw this blatant and unfair corporate welfare to the wind.
Message Posted: Mar 7, 2014 10:54:06 PM
>>>The Senate Finance Committee's new chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden, has indicated his first order of business will be to extend tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013.
One break that should be excluded is the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) — the main handout for the wind industry.
Seemingly innocuous, the PTC gives wind companies $23 in a subsidy for each megawatt-hour of electricity they produce. But this money adds up quickly; it costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.
Rarely does an industry enjoy such disproportionate favoritism. Even though the wind industry produces only 3.5% of the country's electricity, it receives 42% of the federal government's electrical financial support.
Combined with other targeted incentives, the federal government gives wind producers $56.29 per megawatt-hour, according to the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas, oil and coal power, by comparison, only get 64 cents, while nuclear power receives $3.14.
In addition to all of this support at the federal level, wind power gets a lot of support at the state level. Currently, 30 state governments enforce purchase mandates called Renewable Portfolio Standards that require utilities to buy a certain percentage of their electricity from green sources.
The PTC, when combined with such standards, gives wind producers a gross advantage over other energy producers. It's so generous that it exceeds half of electricity's wholesale price in many areas of the country.
This subsidy is so high that it leads many wind farms to sell their electricity at a substantial loss, just to collect the credit. These companies are literally paying utilities to buy their product — and yet they're still turning a profit because the taxpayer foots the bill on the front end.<<<
Now lets see if the liberal types will decry this corporate welfare