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    Source:  Vermonters for a Clean Environment

    Vermonters’ Plea: DO NOT REINSTATE the Wind Energy PTC  

    Source:  Vermonters for a Clean Environment | Action alerts, Campaigns, Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Letters, U.S., Vermont

    Dear Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch:

    We, the undersigned, join many thousands of U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers nationwide in urging you and your colleagues to eliminate the 22-year old wind production tax credit (PTC).

    You should know by now that development of wind power in the United States does not reduce our need to maintain and build reliable generation, nor does it add materially to employment in our country. The small amount of energy it generates is intermittent, and hugely landscape-intensive. And this degree of landscape disruption is highly destructive to wildlife, including federally protected species such as eagles and endangered bats.

    Renewable energy tax policy also has fostered a generation of developers who are rewarded for siting turbines on every free acre that has transmission access, no matter how much environmental destruction it requires. The negative effects of erecting turbines too close to where people live are real and ongoing with an unknown number of Vermonters experiencing health problems because of poorly sited wind turbines. Unsurprisingly, more than twelve active lawsuits are pending against wind projects in as many states, including Vermont. More are sure to follow.

    The issues associated with wind power expansion also negatively impact energy prices and disrupt otherwise functional markets. The PTC provides project owners with a significant out-of-market revenue source [1] which invokes predatory pricing practices that unfairly harm the economics of reliable generators. There is no justification for a government program that manipulates otherwise healthy, competitive businesses.

    Attached to this letter are detailed facts supporting the need to end the PTC. After more than two decades, the wind industry is well situated to stand on its own without the PTC. It is time to put an end to this subsidy.

    After 22-years of tax credits, the business of big wind is not about energy production. It’s about tax avoidance. Indeed, an entire financial-market “ecosystem” has evolved around these subsidies. Warren Buffet recently reminded us that wind investment makes no sense without handouts from taxpayers. Wind energy will never be competitive with the price of the fuel it saves and would not sell but for the PTC.

    We respectfully request that Congress resist any temptation to reinstate the expired PTC or associated investment tax credit (ITC). Vermonters’ lives literally depend on you exercising your vote to protect Vermonters from predatory developers.

    [1] At 2.3¢/kWh, the subsidy’s pre-tax value (3.5¢/kWh) equals, or exceeds the wholesale price of power in much of the country.

    Vermonters:  Send your name and address to elizabeth/vce.org to add your name to this letter.

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