Letter to the Editor: Wind energy receives fewer tax credits

Source: By Rob Gramlich, Washington, D.C., Letter to the Editor, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Contrary to the claims of Thomas Pyle¬†[“As taxman cometh, wind producers get a windfall,”¬†April 14], whose group is funded by the fossil fuel billionaire Koch brothers, wind has received far less in tax credits and other government support than other energy sources. Its primary federal incentive, the Production Tax Credit, has been successful in attracting more than $100 billion to the U.S. economy since 2008 and increasing the amount of electricity provided by clean, affordable wind power.

The wind industry supports more than 73,000 well-paying jobs, including more than 6,000 in Iowa alone. When the tax credit has expired in the past, it has cost the country up to 30,000 jobs. It has also led to a drop in wind projects, which provide economic benefits for surrounding communities through millions of dollars in added tax revenue that can be used to upgrade critical infrastructure such as roads, schools and emergency services. That is why polls regularly show that wide majorities of Republican, Democratic and Independent voters support the tax credit, despite a well-funded campaign against it.

Pyle cites an industry-funded study about Spain’s support for renewable energy that the U.S. and the Spanish governments have rejected as extremely flawed.

Unfortunately, Congress recently allowed the Production Tax Credit to expire once again, creating uncertainty for the wind industry while many other energy sources enjoy permanent tax incentives. Congress should rapidly extend the tax credit for the longest practical period to create a level playing field for wind power to keep scaling up, and let U.S. workers make more of our own energy right here at home.