At the end of this year, the production tax credit for wind energy is set to expire. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has stated he would allow the tax credits to expire, and President Obama has said he would continue the tax credits.
However, the decision has to go through Congress first, and it appears Republicans in the House of Representatives would be more than pleased to see the tax credits end.
This week, 47 House Republicans urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to let them expire, metaphorically hammering a nail into the coffin of wind power.
Despite 81 percent of the nation’s wind power capacity held in GOP districts, Republicans are still split on investing in wind. Further, Boehner’s home state supports up to 6,000 wind jobs; Republicans have been touting job creation for years, yet they will cut jobs based on ideology.
The GOP is much less divided and much more supportive of Big Oil though, which should come as no surprise. 46 of the 47 House Republicans who asked Boehner to end the tax credits for wind power voted in March 2011 against closing tax loopholes allowing Big Oil to collect $4 billion in annual subsidies.
Additionally, according to OpenSecrets, these representatives have received a total of $2.2 million from the oil and gas industry. Knowing they received money to vote in favor of oil, it is clear why wind power is having such a hard time getting legislative action.
In a statement which is as audacious as it is insulting to common sense, these House Republicans claimed wind is too expensive for investment, alleging investment in wind “would not only be costly to taxpayers but ultimately would hurt consumers by distorting energy markets.” Not coincidentally, the arguments set forth in the statement echo Americans for Prosperity’s campaign against wind tax credits.
It appears these 46 House Representatives are far more costly and hurtful to consumers than wind tax credits could even dream of being.
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