LETTER: Wind energy saves New Jerseyans’ money

Source: By Rob Gramlich, Asbury Park Press • Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thomas Pyle’s Nov. 17 oped “Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare” ignores the benefits of American wind power and distorts its costs, while omitting any mention of Pyle’s work for anti-renewable energy special interest groups.

Wind has been good for New Jersey. It has attracted $10 million of capital investment into the state and supports 500 jobs and 13 factories that build components. New Jerseyans will save more than $335 million on electric bills through 2050, and billions more will be saved by holding down natural gas prices.

The Production Tax Credit has attracted more than $100 billion in private investment just since 2008 and is only awarded once wind farms start generating electricity.

American taxpayers have spent more than $500 billion subsidizing conventional fuels, dwarfing renewable energy investments.

Wind is increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuel electricity, and now supplies enough energy for 18 million American homes. However, the electricity market still favors heavy reliance on an aging fleet of power plants with unpredictable fuel costs that don’t cover their impacts.

Wind’s costs have fallen 66 percent over six years, benefitting consumers. Extending the tax credit will continue lowering costs and avoid throwing this American success story off a cliff. The last time Congress didn’t provide policy certainty, the economy lost $23 billion and 30,000 jobs in one year.

To keep saving New Jerseyans money and keep the U.S. the world’s top wind energy producer, it’s critical Congress extend the tax credit this year.

Rob Gramlich, American Wind Energy Association