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Subsidies the wrong solution  

Credit:  The Seattle Times, seattletimes.nwsource.com 16 November 2011 ~~

When the current tax credits for wind power were first passed in 1992, one of the arguments was to provide turbine manufacturers time to bring lower-cost technology into the market. [“Fight ahead: Keep giving tax credits for wind power?” page one, Nov. 14.]

Predictably, the subsidy became an entitlement. Projects became much larger and more costly, and none of the major industry participants – financial institutions, project developers, turbine manufacturers and to a lesser extent utilities – had any incentive to try anything new or different. Why should they? The subsidy was/is sufficient to allow wind projects to be profitably developed.

Unfortunately, Rep. Dave Reichert is mistaken. Extending this tax credit is all about picking winners or losers. If it is extended, the winners are existing suppliers and the losers are U.S. taxpayers. If Congress wanted to try something novel, it might consider how to best promote the introduction of innovative technology that could compete in the electricity generation market without subsidies.

Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo is closer to the mark. Don’t subsidize anything and tax what is undesirable.

— Larry Miles, Bellevue

Source:  The Seattle Times, seattletimes.nwsource.com 16 November 2011

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 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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