Conservative groups urge governors to resist extension of wind tax credit

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A coalition of conservative groups is using today’s tax-filing deadline to continue its campaign against a key wind industry tax credit. Read PTC Governor Letter here.

The American Energy Alliance, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks and other groups sent a letter today to 21 governors whose states do not have renewable portfolio standards to urge them to lobby against an extension of the national wind production tax credit, which expires at the end of this year. The groups argue that the credit amounts to a subsidy for states with renewable energy requirements, paid for by taxpayers in states without such requirements.

“Unfortunately for non-renewable mandate states like your own, having this one-size-fits-all federal policy means that your constituents pay disproportionately for a lavish tax credit that does not benefit them,” the groups write. “Instead of helping your constituents, the PTC leads to energy production in other states that is unsustainable without the mandates and federal subsidies.”

The 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour PTC was extended in January for wind, biomass, geothermal and select hydro energy projects that begin construction by the end of this year, and it has become a focus of conservative efforts to end government support for clean energy technology. The extension is projected to cost at least $12 billion over the next decade.

Renewable industry supporters say the credit is needed to promote carbon-free energy sources and that it spurs private development to create jobs. The American Wind Energy Association last week released its annual report showing that more than $25 billion in private investment last year, supporting an industry that employs more than 80,000 people (Greenwire, April 11).

The conservative groups’ letter was sent to the governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.