Wind power undermined
Wind energy manufacturers in the U.S. have laid off 1,130 workers because of the looming expiration of the production tax credit — set to lapse at the end of this year.
That temporary credit offers owners of wind farms 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of wind generated.
The American Wind Energy Association states the credit has helped raise $20 billion in private investment over the last five years, supporting 75,000 jobs. Eighty-one percent of wind projects are in Republican districts.
Earlier this month, 47 House Republicans asked Speaker Boehner to kill the production tax credit for wind.
Forty-six of them voted last year against closing tax loopholes that let oil companies collect $4 billion in annual government support.
Extension of the credit is an issue in the presidential campaign. President Obama wants it extended; Mitt Romney wants to end it.
A New York Times analysis found that pro-fossil fuel groups have spent $153 million on TV advertisements pushing coal, oil and natural gas or attacking renewable energy during the campaign.
Most of the techniques used in fossil fuel industries were developed by the government, at taxpayer expense. For decades, the most profitable industries on earth have received many billions of dollars in permanent subsidies and tax breaks.
Congress refuses to create permanent subsidies for renewable technologies, making them a political football and victim of violent market swings.
As long as the fossil fuel industries are in control, we will be unable to progress to safer and more sustainable forms of energy.
Peggy La Point,