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Tax Credit in Doubt, Wind Power Industry is Withering
New York Times ^ | September 24, 2012 | Diane Cardwell

Posted on 09/21/2012 12:25:39 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

........At its peak in 2008 and 2009, the industry employed about 85,000 people, according to the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s principal trade group.

About 10,000 of those jobs have disappeared since, according to the association, as wind companies have been buffeted by weak demand for electricity, stiff competition from cheap natural gas and cheaper options from Asian competitors. Chinese manufacturers, who can often underprice goods because of generous state subsidies, have moved into the American market and have become an issue in the larger trade tensions between the countries. In July, the United States Commerce Department imposed tariffs on steel turbine towers from China after finding that manufacturers had been selling them for less than the cost of production.

And now, on top of the business challenges, the industry is facing a big political problem in Washington: the Dec. 31 expiration of a federal tax credit that makes wind power more competitive with other sources of electricity.

The tax break, which costs about $1 billion a year, has been periodically renewed by Congress with support from both parties. This year, however, it has become a wedge issue in the presidential contest. President Obama has traveled to wind-heavy swing states like Iowa to tout his support for the subsidy. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has said he opposes the wind credit, and that has galvanized Republicans in Congress against it, perhaps dooming any extension or at least delaying it until after the election despite a last-ditch lobbying effort from proponents this week.

Opponents argue that the industry has had long enough to wean itself from the subsidy and, with wind representing a small percentage of total electricity generation, the taxpayers’ investment has yielded an insufficient return. .........

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cronycapitalism; energy; environment; green

1 posted on 09/21/2012 12:25:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
My hotair comment: Master Resource just released an excellent and detailed analysis of the costs of wind power, with the conclusion that the true costs of wind generated electricity is as high as 38 cents a kilowatt hour (versus ~ 12 cents normal cost). The main point is straightforward: wind plant implementations cannot be sustained because they divert a large portion of national wealth into unproductive debt-laden investments. My comment:
Exactly. Look at Europe, on the verge bankruptcy after spending bundles of money on heavily-subsidized green energy. So, when the Democrats passed their cap & trade bill in the House in 2009 that mandated insane 83% CO2 cuts by 2050, if the bill had made it to Obama, we wouldn’t have seen wind and other fanciful green energies making up more than an iota of this lost energy. Our country, already in a fiscal mess, could not maintain such prodigal spending.

Moreover, as far as the full cost to society of wind power, consider also the documented health problems and loss in property values in the vicinity of windmills. And the thousands of pretty little birds, and Bald Eagles, killed by these monsters. Wind power is truly a monstrous proposition.

2 posted on 09/21/2012 1:07:34 AM PDT by Hokestuk
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To: Hokestuk
The Wind Energy sector was doing fine prior to the PTC. The PTC distorted the market into a government centered boom and bust cycle based on its renewal.

I am in the industry and want it gone.

3 posted on 09/21/2012 2:42:30 AM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Just wait until Texas Rate payers start seeing the PUCT approved CREZ line adder on their monthly electric Bills.

CREZ is the new transmission lines being built from where they think new wind generators will be built to load centers.

4 posted on 09/21/2012 3:14:09 AM PDT by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’ve been arguing that if all these massive wind blades could be retooled and retrofitted on Ben Bernanke’s army of helicopters, then QE4 watch out.

5 posted on 09/21/2012 3:28:42 AM PDT by HannibalHamlinJr
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To: hadaclueonce

The $2.21 smart meter on your electric bill is for 11 years.

The Smart Meters cost about $300.00 each.

The CREZ project total cost is about 8 Billion Dollars.

Your Hero’s in Austin thought “if they build the line, the Wind Generators would come.”

No Tax Credit, No Generators.

6 posted on 09/21/2012 4:58:19 AM PDT by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: hadaclueonce

OK, I might have been a billion high.

7 posted on 09/21/2012 8:23:46 AM PDT by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Let the market deside! Wind turbines are a looser.

8 posted on 09/21/2012 8:59:54 AM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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