Dear Members of the Senate Finance Committee:
On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write to express our strong opposition to extending expired wind subsidies. I urge you to reject Senator Grassley’s amendment to extend the wind production tax credit as part of a broad tax extenders plan that your committee will consider this Thursday.
The wind PTC is corporate welfare, plain and simple. The PTC provides an enormous amount of subsidy for very little production, compared to other forms of electricity generation. Of the total federal financial support for electric power, 42 percent went to wind power in 2010, even though it generates only 2.3 percent of our electricity nationwide. Eligible wind power projects receive a subsidy of $23 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced.
This handout for the wind energy industry has been around since 1992, yet the industry has woefully little to show for it. We see wind power repeatedly break its promises of long-term job creation, economic activity, and affordability. The PTC also leads to giant distortions in the energy market. Studies show that the federal subsidy for wind is so generous that some areas actually run negative electricity rates, meaning that wind producers literally pay utilities to take their electricity so that they can collect the subsidy.
The private sector should lead the development of new energy technologies, not government favoritism with handouts to politically-connected industries. Americans deserve energy solutions are economically viable, not ones that rely on government subsidy indefinitely. Americans for Prosperity urges you to reject the Grassley amendment to extend the wind production tax credit.
Christine Harbin Hanson
National Issue Campaign Manager
Americans for Prosperity