Wind Tax Break Going Before US Senate Again

DENVER (AP) – A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Thursday to extend a wind-energy tax break for two years, just two days after the U.S. Senate shot down a similar proposal.

The tax break will expire at the end of the year without an extension.

“What’s important is we’re not giving up,” said Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., one of the sponsors.

The Senate voted against a one-year extension on Tuesday, primarily because the sponsors hadn’t identified any cuts in federal spending to offset the cost of the break, Udall said.

Sponsors still have to identify cuts in the range of $6 billion to $7 billion, he said.

A two-year extension would provide the wind industry with a degree certainty while Congress tries to agree on a comprehensive energy policy, Udall said.

The revised proposal is more narrowly focused on the tax break for wind, hydro, geothermal and biofuels energy production, without some grant provisions that were included in the earlier version, Udall said.

Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., another sponsor, warned that the budding wind industry in their state would suffer a serious setback without the extension.

The state Office of Economic Development and International Trade estimates that about 5,000 people work in the wind energy industry in Colorado, the fifth-highest total in the country.

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas has four plants and 1,800 employees in Colorado.

In January, when Vestas announced it planned to lay off 2,335 people worldwide, it warned that 1,600 jobs in the U.S. could be at risk if Congress doesn’t extend tax breaks for renewable energy.

The tax break is called a producer tax credit. It helps offset the cost of electricity production during a wind farm’s first 10 years.

Other sponsors of the measure are Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada and Democrats Tom Harkin of Iowa and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

– By Dan Elliott, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Mary Kay Barton

    So why should taxpayers continue supporting these peoples’ paychecks for a product that costs more to put up and maintain than it will ever produce??? That simply makes no sense at all.

    When things do not work as claimed, their businesses go under — That’s capitalism. Wind does NOT work as they claim! The whole reason the industry even exists is because of their claims that wind will reduce CO2 emissions and thereby help stop Global Warming. With over 140,000 Industrial Wind Turbines installed worldwide, CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced — anywhere!

    Read: “The Wind Farm Scam” by Dr. John Etherington, and “Power Hungry: Myths of Renewable Energy & the Real Fuels of the Future,” by Robert Bryce.

  • billslycat

    WIND TURBINES DO NOT PROVIDE CLEAN ENERGY! Not one coal or gas plant the world over has been decommissioned because of IWTs…and eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels is their whole purpose. To quote an expert: “Because wind blows intermittently, electric utilities must either keep their conventional power plants running all the time to make sure the lights don’t go dark, or continually ramp up and down the output from conventional coal-or gas-fired generators (called “cycling”). But coal-fired and gas-fired generators are designed to run continuously, and if they don’t, fuel consumption and emissions generally increase.” This is happening worldwide, and in places like Colorado and Texas where CO2 and power plant pollution have increased since installing wind farms:–cost-of-green-energy-40-higher-than-government-estimates
    The wind industry is built on crony capitalism, it is the only way it can exist. Taxpayer money builds them and power companies are mandated to buy wind generated power at much higher rates than conventionally produced power. There is no true benefit, except to wind power companies, politicians and lobbyists. Extending this tax break would be a huge waste of taxpayer money.

  • frankohara

    Wind Projects are raiding the US Treasury…and our elected officials are promoting this. Industrial wind is not clean, its not green but it is expensive. Industrial wind represents a failed energy system. Since 1992, it has failed to produce. Industrial wind represents corporate welfare.

    • Cedar Point Wind, LLC received $145,596,213 on December 21, 2011. This is not a Christmas present but corporate welfare.

    • Northern Colorado Wind Energy, LLC received $99,900,326 dollars on November 20, 2009.

    • Lost Lakes Wind Farm, LLC was awarded $55,544,888 on April 21, 2010.
    • Garden Wind, LLC received $83,576,778 funds on April 14, 2010.
    • Crystal Lake Wind III, LLC collected $36,267,267 of US Treasury Funds on March 31, 2010.
    • Barton Wind, LLC pulled off $93,419,883 for their project on April 21, 2009.

    • Leaning Juniper Wind Power II, LLC secured a $110,997,989 award for their project.

    Source: US Treasury 1603 grants

  • Parke Ewing

    The destruction of undisturbed land is out of control. If these huge projects were not subsidized they would fail. The wind developers are in it for the money, period. Roof top solar at point of use is by far a more practical solution to cut fossil fuel usage, but it’s tough to find the government support. Maybe because our congressmen are still paying back their campaign contributions to the Big Boys…

  • Susan Osako

    The latest venture of Big wind that epitomizes al that is wrong with the subsidy is the proposed dynamiting of two entire Hawaiian islands…Lanai and Molokai to cover them with mega industrial wind turbines, thereby rendering the islands nearly uninhabitable. There is no scientific alternate energy reason for this except for the huge tax incentives to put up these eco unfriendly, people unfriendly monsters. These projects will cover our land and obliterate our history if the tax incentives continue to be used on this propeller wind technology. Money should be spent on R&D at this point…….not on this destructive technology that only benefits the Wind companies.

  • Cindy Severe

    When will these senators wake and realize that the American tax payer is not going to subsidize wind projects that will NEVER be viable. These senators will looking for another job come election time. The only ones benefiting from the PTC are the foreign power companies. Get real senators!

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