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Tax credit for wind power simply propaganda

Sen. Udall makes some interesting points for electric utilities using wind generation. Unfortunately, the tax credit is just more false conservationist propaganda.

Plainly speaking, wind generation is much more expensive than coal, oil, natural gas or even solar. Let us look at how this tax credit works: The electric utility joins with a wind energy producer to build a wind farm. The utility will buy up to 100 percent of the production from the farm.

The utility then charges the retail customer an extra $2.50 to buy 100 kilowatts of generation from the wind farm. That is 2.5 cents extra, in addition to the 10 cents per kwh the customer is already paying for the electricity he or she is getting from the same source. After all, once the electricity is in the line, it makes no difference where it came from, as far as the meter is concerned.

I am not sure of this, but I believe the wind Production Tax Credit is about 30 percent. Sen. Udall did not mention this in his article. If this credit is dropped, electric utilities will try to justify passing the 30 percent increase on to the consumer. (Let’s see … the average customer uses about 650 kwh per month, 650 kwh at 10 cents per kwh equals $65 per month, plus 30 percent equals $84.50 per month for an electric bill.) Might be time for everyone to install solar panels. That way the 6,000 jobs the senator talks about will be able to go to work installing panels and still make good money.

I worked for an electric utility and listened to our engineers talk about wind power and the fact that unless the federal government paid the biggest part of the cost, wind would never pay for itself. In that regard, nothing has changed.

JOHN S. REID
Grand Junction