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4/11/2014
Irresponsible Senate Finance Committee Action on Wind Energy Tax Break, by Glenn Schleede

Irresponsible Senate Finance Committee Action on Wind Energy Tax Break
April 11, 2013
Once again, the Senate Committee that manages to make life miserable for millions of tax-paying Americans with its manipulation of the US Tax Code, is acting to aid its friends, punish ordinary taxpayers, and load another $85 billion in debt on our children and grandchildren.
On April 3, 2014, by “voice” (no fingerprints) vote, the Senate Finance Committee reported out an $85 billion tax break ”extender” bill -- which the Committee calls the “EXPIRE Act.” [1] The bill includes billions in unwarranted tax breaks for special interests, including the wind industry.
As long as Congress fails to pass a balanced budget, every dollar provided to special interests in this $85 billion “Extender” bill is a direct addition to the national debt that will be dumped on our children and grandchildren. Further, each dollar that Congress adds to the national debt will be DOUBLED in about 15 years due to interest that will accrue on that debt.
An egregious example of an unwarranted special interest tax break in the Finance Committee’s bill is Senator Grassley’s wind and other renewable energy “Production Tax Credit” (PTC) and “Investment Tax Credit” (ITC). Grassley insisted on extending this 20-year old “temporary” tax break for another 2 years at a cost, according to the Joint Tax Committee, of more than $13 billion over the next 10 years (and more thereafter).
When Senator Toomey attempted to eliminate unwarranted energy tax breaks from the bill, Republican Senators Grassley, Cornyn, Thune, Crapo, & Portman[2] joined Finance Committee Democrats in voting to keep the massive energy tax breaks in the bill!
The votes for Grassley’s $13+ billion wind PTC and ITC extension to benefit “wind farm” owners would result in an equal addition to future generations’ debt burden! Under Grassley’s measure, owners of “wind farms” would be able to continue reducing their corporate income tax liability by $0.023 (adjusted upward for inflation) for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity produced by their wind turbines during the next 10 years.
The wind PTC was initially passed in 1992 as a temporary incentive to help a then fledgling industry – with the expectation that wind energy would be environmentally benign and would become commercially viable. However, after nearly 40 years of subsidies for wind energy R&D and 20 years of lucrative wind energy tax breaks -- together totaling over $100 billion:
  • Electricity from wind remains high in true cost and low in real value[3] – with the wind industry providing no evidence that electricity from wind will ever become commercially viable (i.e., without large tax breaks and subsidies).
  • Producing electricity from wind has proven to have numerous adverse environmental, economic, electric system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts not originally foreseen and still not admitted by wind industry advocates; and
Eight Republicans[4] (some claiming to be “conservatives”) and 110 Democrats in the US House of Representatives have signed a letter to House leaders urging extension of the wind PTC. The tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee hasn’t taken up the wind PTC, but one of the wind industry’s Washington lobbyists has bragged that the wind industry still has "very strong support from Democrats in the House and strong support from some, but not all, of the Republicans."[5]
Last December, Senator Grassley told constituents in Iowa that the costly wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) would be extended soon. “…Congress will come back after the New Year and approve four dozen or more tax credits.” “There are a lot of economic interests”…represented in the tax credits. Those interest groups collectively “put a lot of pressure on Congress to re-institute the credits’[6]
In addition to wind industry lobbyists, Grassley undoubtedly was referring to such Washington establishment organizations as the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and Business Roundtable. Organizations such as these once championed private enterprise but now seem to be heavily influenced by member companies that:
  • Have concluded that there is less risk and more profit in “mining” Washington for tax breaks and subsidies than in pursing truly innovative and productive activities in private, competitive markets.
  • Have no problem in accepting special interest tax breaks that load debt on future generations.
The April 3rd action by the Senate Finance Committee certainly helps explain why a recent Gallup Survey shows that Congress currently has a 13% favorability rating. If the nation’s “Millennials” understand how the Congress is adding to the debt that they and their children will bear, they may assign an even lower rating!
Glenn R. Schleede
Virginia
[1] Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act.
[2] See “Results of [Senate Finance Committee] Executive Session.040314” download 4/9/14 from: http://www.finance.senate.gov/legislation/details/?id=67094f10-5056-a032-52ff-257830e0a938
[3] Electricity is produced by wind turbines only when wind speeds are in the right range (starting around 6 MPH, reaching rated capacity around 32 MPH, and cutting out around 55 MPH). Electricity from wind turbines is, therefore, low in value because it is intermittent, volatile, unreliable, and most likely to be produced at night in colder months, not on hot weekday afternoons when most needed. Reliable generating using conventional energy sources must always be available to maintain stable electric grids and a reliable electricity supply.
[4] King (IA), Lucas (OK), Runyan (NJ), Fitzpatrick (PA), Gibson (NY), Latham (IA), Noem (SD). Cole (OK).
[5] http://www.snl.com/Interactivex/article.aspx?CdId=A-27696241-11565 (downloaded April 11, 2014)
[6] The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), December 11, 2013.
4/03/2014
Renewal of Wind PTC Will Lead to Big Boost in Carbon Emissions
A Warning to Congress: Renewal of Wind Energy 
Subsidies Will Lead to Big Boost in CO2 Emissions:
 


... For those who say this problem is more a product of rock-
bottom natural gas prices than the PTC, I say think again. Wind
tends to be nocturnal, blowing during off-peak hours for power
consumption, according to UBS and a 2012 Northbridge study. 
It’s when people least need the power, yet that’s just when the 
taxpayers are being hit in the pocket. Natural gas plants are not 
setting wholesale prices in the dead of night, but the wind turbines keep spinning.

So how does all of this connect to going backwards on climate
change? Easy. 

This PTC problem causes the erosion of our existing nuclear fleet, 
the low-carbon workhorse. As I mentioned, nuke plants are shutting 
down prematurely — Vermont Yankee in Vermont and Kewaunee in 
Wisconsin to name two — and more are in danger of following suit. 
When that happens, climate scientists say, carbon emissions will skyrocket.

Starting and stopping our thermal plants to accommodate these 
windy splurges also causes big increases in all contaminant 
emissions, including carbon. Just as the fuel economy in your 
car worsens when you’re inching along in traffic rather than 
cruising at a steady 55 MPH, the so-called ‘cycling’ of gas and 
coal-fired plants burns up more feedstock, pouring CO2 into the 
atmosphere. In fact, Bentek, a Colorado energy analytics firm, 
found that the 1,327 cycling incidents in the state in 2009 created 
up to 6.8 million pounds of ‘extra’ SO2, 3.1 million pounds of NOX 
and 147,000 pounds of CO2.....

Read the entire article at:

http://tinyurl.com/l4c7fmb
Serious adverse health effects associated with noise generated by wind turbines
A remarkable paper by Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus Belfast University 

In conclusion, there are serious adverse health effects 

associated with noise pollution generated by wind turbines. 

It is essential that separation distances between human 
habitation and wind turbines are increased.

4/02/2014
How much will the wind PTC add to the national debt?
See Energy Analyst, Glenn Schleede's letter on the PTC to various senators below. Glenn says, "Feel free to use it in whole or part with or without attribution" when contacting senators' offices, and to please don't forget their in-state offices. Their telephone and fax numbers can be found on members' web sites.

How much will Senator Grassley’s plan to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) add to the national debt we are passing along to our children and grandchildren?

by Glenn Schleede

April 2, 2014

How much will Senator Grassley’s plan to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) add to the national debt we are passing along to our children and grandchildren?

On Thursday, April 3, 2014, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider and report out to the full Senate a bill that would extend various federal tax breaks. 

Senator Grassley (R-IA) has announced that he will amend this tax break “extender” bill to continue for two more years the wind “Production Tax Credit” (PTC) that benefits corporations that own “wind farms.” Owners of “wind farms” would be able to reduce their income tax liability by $0.023 (adjusted upward for inflation) for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by their wind turbines during the next 10 years. 

The wind PTC was initially passed in 1992 as a temporary incentive to help a then fledgling industry – with the expectation that wind energy would be environmentally benign and become economically competitive. However, after 20 years of lucrative wind energy tax breaks and subsidies valued at over $100 billion:

· Producing electricity from wind has proven to have numerous adverse environmental, economic, electric system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts not originally foreseen and still not admitted by wind industry advocates; and

· Electricity from wind remains high in true cost and low in real value – with the wind industry providing no evidence that electricity from wind will ever be commercially viable (i.e., without large tax breaks and subsidies).

Grassley’s proposed 2-year extension of the wind PTC would add more than $20 billion to the huge national debt that Congress is loading on to our children and grandchildren. That $20 billion would be in addition to the hundred plus billions that have already been lavished on the wind industry since the wind PTC was instigated by Senator Grassley in 1992!

Further, since the Government must pay interest on the national debt and Congress has shown no intention of paying off the national debt the burden of tax breaks such as the wind PTC will grow and grow – more than doubling the debt over the next two decades even if interest charges average only 4% per year and there was no more annual federal budget deficits.

Clearly, it is time for all members of Congress, including Senator Grassley, to resist pressure from the wind industry and stand up for today’s tax payers – and even more so for our children and grandchildren who will bear – unfairly -- the debt that is being passed on to them.

Glenn R. Schleede
3/18/2014
The Poverty of Renewables
The Poverty of Renewables
by Bjørn Lomborg

MIAMI – According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Climate change harms the poor first and worst.” This is true, because the poor are the most vulnerable and have the least resources with which to adapt. But we often forget that current policies to address global warming make energy much more costly, and that this harms the world’s poor much more.


Solar and wind power was subsidized by $60 billion in 2012. This means that the world spent $60 billion more on energy than was needed. And, because the total climate benefit was a paltry $1.4 billion, the subsidies essentially wasted $58.6 billion. Biofuels were subsidized by another $19 billion, with essentially no climate benefit. All of that money could have been used to improve health care, hire more teachers, build better roads, or lower taxes.

Forcing everyone to buy more expensive, less reliable energy pushes up costs throughout the economy, leaving less for other public goods. The average of macroeconomic models indicates that the total cost of the EU’s climate policy will be €209 billion ($280 billion) per year from 2020 until the end of the century.


The burden of these policies falls overwhelmingly on the world’s poor, because the rich can easily pay more for their energy. I am often taken aback by well-meaning and economically comfortable environmentalists who cavalierly suggest that gasoline prices should be doubled or electricity exclusively sourced from high-cost green sources. That may go over well in affluent Hunterdon County, New Jersey, where residents reportedly spend just 2% of their income on gasoline. But the poorest 30% of the US population spend almost 17% of their after-tax income on gasoline.

Similarly, environmentalists boast that households in the United Kingdom have reduced their electricity consumption by almost 10% since 2005. But they neglect to mention that this reflects a 50% increase in electricity prices, mostly to pay for an increase in the share of renewables from 1.8% to 4.6%.

The poor, no surprise, have reduced their consumption by much more than 10%, whereas the rich have not reduced theirs at all. Over the past five years, heating a UK home has become 63% more expensive, while real wages have declined. Some 17% of households are now energy poor – that is, they have to spend more than 10% of their income on energy; and, because elderly people are typically poorer, about a quarter of their households are energy poor. Deprived pensioners burn old books to keep warm, because they are cheaper than coal, they ride on heated buses all day, and a third leave part of their homes cold.

In Germany, where green subsidies will cost €23.6 billion this year, household electricity prices have increased by 80% since 2000, causing 6.9 million households to live in energy poverty. Wealthy homeowners in Bavaria can feel good about their inefficient solar panels, receiving lavish subsidies essentially paid by poor tenants in the Ruhr, who cannot afford their own solar panels but still have to pay higher electricity costs.

The list goes on. In Greece, where tax hikes on oil have driven up heating costs by 48%, more and more Athenians are cutting down park trees, causing air pollution from wood burning to triple.

But climate policies carry an even larger cost in the developing world, where three billion people lack access to cheap and plentiful energy, perpetuating their poverty. They cook and keep warm by burning twigs and dung, producing indoor air pollution that causes 3.5 million deaths per year – by far the world’s biggest environmental problem.


Access to electricity could solve that problem, while allowing families to read at night, own a refrigerator to keep food from spoiling, or use a computer to connect with the world. It would also allow businesses to produce more competitively, creating jobs and economic growth.

Consider Pakistan and South Africa, where a dearth of generating capacity means recurrent blackouts that wreak havoc on businesses and cost jobs. Yet the funding of new coal-fired power plants in both countries has been widely opposed by well-meaning Westerners and governments. Instead, they suggest renewables as the solution.

But this is hypocritical. The rich world gets just 1.2% of its energy from hugely expensive solar and wind technologies, and we would never accept having power only when the wind was blowing. Over the next two years, Germany will build ten new coal-fired power plants to keep the lights on.


In 1971, 40% of China’s energy came from renewables. Since then, it has powered its explosive economic growth almost exclusively with highly polluting coal, lifting 680 million people out of poverty. Today, China gets a trifling 0.23% of its energy from wind and solar. By contrast, Africa gets 50% of its energy today from renewables – and remains poor.

A new analysis from the Center for Global Development quantifies our disregard of the world’s poor. Investing in renewables, we can pull one person out of poverty for about $500. But, using gas electrification, we could pull more than four people out of poverty for the same amount. By focusing on our climate concerns, we deliberately choose to leave more than three out of four people in darkness and poverty.

Addressing global warming effectively requires long-term innovation that makes green energy affordable to all. Until then, wasting enormous sums of money at the expense of the world’s poor is no solution at all.
‘The Road to Serfdom’ at 70: Hayek’s Relevance in the Age of Obama
‘The Road to Serfdom’ at 70: Hayek’s Relevance in the Age of Obama:
The fundamental insights and truths of his [Hayek's] analysis about the dangers from an ever encroaching paternalistic and interventionist government are no less valid now than when he wrote The Road to Serfdom in the midst of the Second World War.

Consider these things:

Mounting corruption from special interest groups feeding at the trough of government spending;

The misuse and abuse of intrusive power into people’s lives in the name of ‘national security’;


The imposition of a paternalistic scale of values concerning presumed ‘fair wages’ and ‘progressive’ redistribution of income and wealth;


A national health care plan that is so problematic that its short-term welfarism could turn into –single-payer’ (government) socialism;


An ‘all of the above’ energy policy that is rigged against consumer-driven dense energy and rigged for government-enabled dilute energy;


The misguided and dangerous presumption that those in political power know better how people should live than those people themselves; or


The arrogant discarding of the Rule of Law and constitutional procedures and restraints.


All of these fearful trends in modern-day America show why reading and learning the lessons offered in Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is as important now as it was in 1944, when the book first appeared in print.


Read the entire article:
http://www.masterresource.org/2014/03/29891/
WIND TURBINES ARE CLIMATE-CHANGE SCARECROWS
Wind Turbines Are Climate-Change Scarecrows

By Robert Bryce, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

For years, the wind-energy sector and renewable-energy advocates have repeatedly claimed that wind turbines are essential to the fight against carbon dioxide emissions and catastrophic climate change. Here’s the reality: Wind turbines are nothing more than climate-change scarecrows...

Over the past few years, the U.S. and other countries have been subsidizing the paving of vast areas of the countryside with 500-foot-high bird- and bat-killing whirligigs that are nothing more than climate talismans. Wind turbines are not going to stop changes in the earth’s climate. Instead, they are token gestures — giant steel scarecrows — that are deceiving the public into thinking that we as a society are doing something to avert the possibility of catastrophic climate change.

Read the entire article:
http://www.nationalreview.com/nro-energy/364885/wind-turbines-are-climate-change-scarecrows-robert-bryce
2/18/2014
EYE-OPENING INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HORNER re: EPA CORRUPTION

Chris Horner is Captain America in my Book



I get a news mag Military, that includes essays by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media (AIM).

An AIM interview of Chris Horner, an author and speaker I knew from his work on enviro and climate affairs caught my eye.

Now I am mad as hell.

The interview of Chris Horner is by AIM editor Roger Aronoff who just gets out of the way and lets Horner tell his explosive story of exposing the corruption in the US EPA and the administration of the Executive Branch.

I am still so outraged and alarmed it is hard to articulate.

Horner is a lawyer and investigator for Competitive Enterprise Institute who exposed the Richard Windsor scandal, Lisa Jackson, former Administrator of the US EPA was using the email internet alias Richard Windsor to run US EPA sensitive and probably illegal political projects and campaigns and only hard driving Freedom of Information Request efforts by Horner exposed the nature of the deceptions and misconduct.

The AIM interview discusses at length the Horner project to expose the political machinations of the current administration and the lead agency on regulatory and environmental affairs. Horner is smart enough to understand and explain the implications of his discoveries.

The interview is long so it requires a serious effort,but it is stunning. Horner knows the US EPA very well, in all its perfidy.

I knew Horner was doing important work because Milloy is working with him, but his interview will alarm the serious citizen to an extreme.

You care enough to find out how the government may be beyond redemption? The interview is very troubling.  

Hear the interview here:

2/17/2014
The Great American "S-WIND-LE" Not Clean, Not Green, Not Free!

Industrial Wind Turbines: The Great American "S-WIND-LE" 

Not Clean, Not Green, Not Free!
 
~ Industrial Wind turbines are being sold under the pretense that they will significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and thereby help avoid Global Warming. Yet, 30 years into subsidizing the building of wind factories off the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers has proven otherwise.

~ With approximately 250,000 industrial wind turbines installed worldwide today (45,100 turbines totaling over 60GW of installed wind projects in the USA, according to AWEA),
CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced, nor has a single conventional generation plant - including coal, been decommissioned thanks to industrial wind. (See:
Wind Turbines Are Climate-Change Scarecrows, by Robert Bryce)

~ Due to the unreliable, erratic, and volatile nature of wind, industrial wind turbines need constant "shadow capacity" from our reliable, dispatchable generators - that is, if you want to be sure the lights will come on when you flick the switch.  Thus, as Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein candidly admitted, "Consumers end up paying twice for the same product."


~ All things considered, including demand levels and import/exports - the more wind installations we add, the more we must add fossil-fueled generation. 

~ The TRUTH:
Wind generation locks us into dependence on fossil fuels.


~ Adding wind as a supplement to our conventional generating system requires so much supplementation that in many areas of the country, adding wind actually causes increased CO2 emissions in the production of electricity than would be the case with no wind at all.  Iowa exemplifies this -- As Iowa's installed wind capacity has increased over recent years, so has their
coal use and CO2 emissions.

~ ONE (1) 450 MW Combined Cycle Generating Unit located at New York City (where the power is needed in New York State), would provide more power than all of New York State's 16 installed wind factories combined, at 1/4 of the capital costs -- and would have significantly reduced CO2 emissions and created far more jobs than all those wind farms – without all the added costs (economic, environmental, and civil) of all the transmission lines that must be added across the state to New York City.  

~ Industrial wind supplies electricity, and therefore, has nothing to do with our "foreign oil dependence" created by gasoline and diesel fuel needs.

~ 4,000 - 6,000 pounds of rare earth elements are required per turbine, producing
disastrous ecological results in China, where the rare earth elements are being mined.

~
In many low-wind areas of the country (ie: New York State), Industrial Wind Turbines do NOT produce enough power to pay for themselves over their very short, 5 - 13 year lifespans.

~ The average output of many wind factories is
less than 25% - many days, providing nothing at all.

~ Studies from those long-invested in wind power in Spain and elsewhere have shown that
2 - 4 jobs are LOST in the rest of the economy, in large part due to the associated "necessarily skyrocketing” electricity rates President Obama forewarned would accompany his 'green' energy policy. 

~ Consider GE's Shepard's Flat Wind Factory, at which each 'job created' was shown to cost taxpayers
$16.3 MILLION - exorbitantly expensive jobs for a product which is neither "reliable," nor "efficient" - two professed requirements of the "sustainability" movement.

~ Wind technology has proven to be effective only as a tax shelter generator for large corporations in need of an increased bottom line - just as it was originally designed to do by ENRON, the trailblazer for industrial wind in the U.S. 

~ Two of the largest wind holding corporations - GE and Florida Power & Light - have paid NO federal income taxes in the U.S. in years, in large measure because of their "investment" in wind.

~ Studies have shown that
MILLIONS of birds and bats are being killed every year by these giant "Cuisinarts of the air," as a Sierra official dubbed industrial wind turbines in a moment of candor. 

~ President Obama recently gave industrial wind developers a 30 year free pass to slaughter eagles without penalty, while all other energy sources are fined tens of thousands of dollars and more per bird death.

~ The sprawling footprints of industrial wind factories cover vast swaths of land, causing massive Habitat Fragmentation.  


~ Industrial wind installations significantly interfere with both military and weather radar, severely compromising both homeland security and weather advisory systems that would otherwise serve to protect American citizens.

~ Big Wind Corporations looking to cut corners have been caught using old Bethlehem Steel brown-field slag as fill in access roads which run amongst croplands.
 

~ Mathematically, it would take more than 3000 wind turbines rated at 2 MW each, spread over 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles), to equal the energy from one 1600 MW coal or nuclear plant. Because these wind turbines can produce no effective (or firm) capacity, they can never replace the need for those conventional generating units.

~ Wind, paired with natural gas (the most flexible generating system), can offset a mere fraction more CO2 emissions than could be achieved with the gas unit alone - without any wind at all. Wind represents redundant generation, although it would generate capital costs more than triple the cost of the gas unit. With wind, the country gets one electricity production system for the cost of two.  

~ Wind can neither be a functional alternative, nor additive energy source. Wind energy is so diffuse that no machine can convert it to modern power.  (See: Understanding E = mc2)

~ Personal health and property value losses by those who end up stuck living within the massive footprints of industrial wind factories ARE significant and growing world-wide, yet are being ignored by most of the media, 'green' enthusiasts, and over 80% of the U.S. population who live within big city limits and are oblivious to the detrimental effects being wrought on rural America thanks to the 'green' "Emperor Who Wore No Clothes." 

~ Suggesting proper 'siting guidelines' for wind factories is akin to suggesting building larger closets for the "Emperor With No Clothes."


~ Let's be real - Would you buy and move YOUR family into a home surrounded by 450 - 500+ foot tall industrial wind turbines, with their 164 foot-long, 11-TON, bird-chopping blades spinning overhead - only hundreds of feet from YOUR home on all sides?  I have yet to meet anyone who would. 

~ Why would anyone in their right mind support imposing this torture on their fellow Americans???  It is shameful, criminal, and un-American!  These peoples' most expensive life investments - their homes, have been rendered virtually worthless.

~ Studies have shown, and any realtor worth his oats will tell you, there are significant property value losses (10% - 25% and more), depending on the proximity to the wind turbines. 
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!  Could you and your family afford to take that kind of loss on YOUR home? 

~ Would you take your family to vacation amongst the footprint of industrial wind factories?  Neither would most anyone else - which ruins the tourism trade many scenic rural areas across rural America depend on, especially in this flailing economy.  The only ones getting rich in this scenario are the multi-national wind developers.  The rich are getting richer at the rest of our expense for a useless product.

~ Besides rendering these folks' homes virtually worthless, the fact that American citizens are being assaulted with their own taxpayer and ratepayer dollars (which are subsidizing the building of these wind factories to the tune of 80% of the total costs), is blatant theft of both their money and their
Constitutional private property rights.  Again I say - It is shameful, criminal, and un-American! 


~ Corporate cronies push the "All of the Above" nonsense, while what U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers really need is an "All of the Sensible" energy policy. Industrial Wind does NOT make the cut!  

http://northeastwindmills.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/ask-more-questions.jpg

Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator, New York State small business owner, Cornell-certified Master Gardener, and is a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for all Americans. She has served over the past decade in local Water Quality organizations and enjoys gardening and birding in her National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.”


2/04/2014
Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal
Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal  

(Part I: Summary & Conclusions)   by Glenn Schleede  January 16, 2014
“Clearly, the wind industry would be a huge beneficiary of [this] proposed tax break scheme…. Almost certainly, lobbyists for the wind industry were heavily involved in the drafting of the Committee’s proposal…. It’s time for the Congress to consider the national interest, including the interests of citizens, taxpayers, and electric customers, before again extending tax breaks for the wind industry.”
MEMORANDUM FOR: Chairman and Members the Senate Finance Committee

SUBJECT
: Energy Tax Break Proposal announced on December 18, 2013

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the December 18, 2013, Staff Discussion Draft of the Senate Finance Committee’s
Energy Tax Reform proposal.

Your proposal to repeal all existing renewable energy tax breaks is a good one and it should proceed. Your proposal to adopt a new renewable energy tax break scheme should be scrapped.
This memorandum provides comments on the portion of the proposal dealing with energy used to generate electricity covered on pages 3 and 4 of the above cited document.
Executive Summary
The Committee’s proposal that would base the availability and size of the proposed tax break for energy used in producing electricity on “cleanliness” (specifically, “greenhouse gas emissions”) measured at a “generating facility” is faulty in three important respects; specifically:
· Considering emissions at a generating facility would not, in the case of wind turbines, produce an accurate measure of “cleanliness.”
· The proposed single criterion, “cleanliness,” ignores many factors that are critically important when attempting to develop an equitable energy tax break.
· Contrary to Committee assertions, the proposed tax would not be ”technology neutral.”
The large number of wind turbines and “wind farms” that have already been constructed as a result of nearly 20 years of wind production tax credits and other subsidies have caused significant adverse environmental, economic, energy system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts that cannot, realistically, be ignored when considering a new tax break for wind. These impacts include:
· Electricity from wind that is high in true cost and low in true value.
· Massive wealth transfers harming ordinary taxpayers and electric customers.
· Misdirecting billions in capital investments dollars.
· High electricity prices that are particularly hard on low income people.
· Adverse environmental, ecological, scenic, and property values impacts.
[Note: Part II will excerpt from the detailed analysis between the Summary and the Conclusions]

Conclusions
Without any doubt, massive federal and state tax breaks during the past 20 years have resulted in the construction of many wind turbines and “wind farms” in the United States. The tax breaks and subsidies have been provided because the wind industry and other wind energy advocates have greatly overstated the benefits and understated the true cost of electricity from wind. These parties have, to a great extent, misled the public, media and government officials.
Work done by analysts in the U.S. and around the world has, during the past five or six years, demonstrated conclusively that wind energy has many adverse environmental, ecological, economic, scenic, and property value impacts.
In fact, the many factors discussed above, and not just “cleanliness” as defined by the Senate Finance Committee should be taken into account when considering whether massive tax breaks and subsidies should be continued for the wind industry.
Despite 20 years of massive federal and state tax breaks and subsidies for the wind industry and the current availability of multiple suppliers of these uneconomic machines, the industry offers no sound evidence that wind turbines will ever be a commercially viable (i.e., without tax breaks and subsidies) source of electricity.
Clearly, the wind industry would be a huge beneficiary of the proposed tax break scheme announced by the Senate Finance Committee on December 18, 2013. Almost certainly, lobbyists for the wind industry were heavily involved in the drafting of the Committee’s proposal. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that the industry’s Washington-based lobbyists, the American Wind Energy Association, could have issued a statement commending Senator Baucus and the Senate Committee almost simultaneously with the Committee’s release of its tax break proposals.
It’s time for the Congress to consider the national interest, including the interests of citizens, taxpayers, and electric customers, before again extending tax breaks for the wind industry.

Read the entire series:

GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part I: Summary & Conclusions)

http://www.masterresource.org/2014/01/baucus-energy-tax-reform-1/


GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part II: High cost/low value of windpower)

http://www.masterresource.org/2014/01/bachus-energy-tax-reform-2/


GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part III: Environmental Issues)

http://www.masterresource.org/2014/01/backus-energy-tax-reform-3/


GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part IV: Negative Wealth Effects)

http://www.masterresource.org/2014/01/backus-energy-tax-reform-4/
Fenner, NY Wind Turbine Collapse



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