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Should Congress extend the federal wind tax credit?

Re: “Act quickly on wind tax credit,” Aug. 6 editorial.

In your editorial, you urged quick action on the wind tax credit, arguing that “Federal support of an industry through tax credits is not necessarily wasteful spending, in our view. We see it as an investment.” In my view, federal support of an industry is always questionable, but doing it with tax credits is a terrible way to do it. First, we already have a tax code that takes 73,608 pages to explain. Then, when a corporation takes advantage of a tax credit, it makes headlines for not paying any taxes.

It’s time we use taxes for one purpose and one purpose only: raising revenue. And it’s time we let wind energy make it on its own.

Michael Hayes, Westminster

This letter was published in the Aug. 13 edition.

Your editorial argument that the production tax credit for wind power “keeps wind energy competitive with other types of power” just about sums up all the silliness: If a tax preference is needed, then wind power is not competitive, by definition. The production tax credit now is 20 years old; please spare us the argument from the industry and its supporters that competitiveness is just around the corner. No it is not: Wind energy is too diffuse, too unreliable, too demanding of vast amounts of land, too expensive in terms of transmission costs, and too much in need of conventional backup generation to be competitive. And those truths are separate from the very real environmental damage wrought by wind generation.

The production tax credit is a money pit for both taxpayers and consumers. It should be allowed to expire at long last.

Benjamin Zycher, Washington, D.C.

The writer is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

This letter was published in the Aug. 13 edition.