PTC opponents target lawmakers from non-RPS states

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Opponents of a key renewable tax credit are urging lawmakers whose states do not require renewable energy to oppose an extension of the credit, arguing it leads their constituents to subsidize activity in other states.

The letter comes as Congress continues to deliberate the fate of the wind production tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of this year. Supporters remain optimistic the credit will win an extension as part of a “fiscal cliff” deal, but it is attracting intense opposition from fiscal conservative groups that argue it is too costly.

Six conservative groups, including the American Energy Alliance, Heritage Action for American and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, today are sending a letter to 158 members from states without renewable portfolio standards urging them to let the credit die.

“[A]s a member of Congress serving a state that does not have a renewable energy mandate, you should be aware that the PTC essentially transfers taxpayer dollars from your constituents and subsidizes the states with such mandates,” the groups write.

The PTC provides wind developers 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce. Industry supporters say thousands of jobs will be lost without a renewal.

Opponents say the credit distorts energy markets and costs too much to support an intermittent source of energy. For states without existing RPS requirements, “the stakes are much higher” because they are not reaping the benefit of the credit, the opponents’ letter says.

“Extending the wind PTC ensures that your constituents will continue to subsidize wind power in other states that have made political decisions to force consumers to buy more expensive and less reliable forms of energy — like wind,” the letter says.