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And they call the wind, pariah 

Talk about a disconnect in U.S. energy policy.

Over the past few years, several U.S. states have imposed mandates requiring that electric utilities operating within their borders generate a certain amount of their juice from renewable sources. And over the past few years, the federal government has cooperated by serving up a tax credit that defrays the cost of that clean power.

The state and federal policy combination explains why wind power – the most economically viable among renewable energies –has grown as it has. The past three years have been blockbusters for U.S. wind because the tax credit has been in effect. And the biggest wind-power states aren’t necessarily the windiest. They’re Texas, California, Iowa, Minnesota, and Washington–all states that have told their utilities they have to buy wind power.

Those state-level sticks are still whacking away. But with the Senate’s decision yesterday not to extend the renewable-energy tax credit, the federal carrot (at least temporarily) is gone.

Renewable-energy advocates long have conceded they’ll ultimately have to survive without direct subsidies from the feds. Now comes their test – far sooner than they had hoped.

Posted by Keith Johnson

Environmental Capital

7 February 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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