It is time for our federal and state governments to rethink their energy policies. First there was the rush to produce ethanol from corn to break our dependence on foreign oil with billions of dollars in subsidies. It has now become evident that our ethanol production will reduce our petroleum use by less than 2 percent. The federal subsidies are drying up. But we are stuck with the state mandate for 10 percent ethanol in our gasoline. That costs us more and we get poorer performance and greater maintenance costs.
Wind generation has proven to be another costly choice amounting to $5 billion annually in federal production tax credits. Additional subsidies come from state and local sources. It is unlikely that wind generation will produce even 1 percent of the nation’s electricity. With all the subsidies, wind power is still three to four times as expensive as hydro power. Just as with ethanol, the only reason to buy it is if we are forced to do so.
Hydro power is abundant and inexpensive in our region. Why should we degrade our environment for wind factories that produce electricity that is transmitted to other states?
Wind generation depends on the federal production tax credits. They are due to expire at the end of 2012. A bill designed to extend them through 2016 known as H.R. 3307 is now in the U.S. Congress. It is in the House Ways and Means Committee and that would be a good place for it to remain, forever.
You could contact your U.S. Representative to let your opinion be heard. Or you might go to: www.popvox.com; enter HR3307; and vote “oppose.” Or, you might do both. Let’s quit pouring money down the rat hole.
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