While wind-energy companies wait for the federal Production Tax Credit to be extended by Congress, there are thousands of local tax- and rate-paying citizens who are eagerly awaiting the expiration – permanent expiration – of this subsidy of slightly more than 2 cents per kilowatt hour.
The tax credit is nothing more than a tax-shelter-generator for wealthy, multinational, rent-seeking corporations.
How does a business plan dependent on massive taxpayer-funded handouts for profitability make it past the drawing board in the first place? Any of the rest of us would have filed such a plan to its rightful place – the garbage can.
The American Wind Energy Association, with the help of political cronies in high places, has attempted and failed to push the PTC through in various bills five times in a little over a year. Congressmen were inundated with letters, emails and phone calls each of those previous attempts from thousands of folks across the country telling them to say no to the credit, which they did.
Yet, here it comes again.
We hope that our elected “public servants” understand that no means no. “We the people” do not want more wasteful spending on an inefficient, unreliable, antiquated energy source that ruins peoples’ lives, kills hundreds of thousands of birds a year, does nothing to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and has exorbitant costs to boot.
The sad reality is, however, that with 66 corporate lobbyists for every elected official roaming the halls in Washington, D.C., big corporate bucks are used to buy the legislation that best suits bottom lines – taxpayers and sound science be damned.
With 250 industrial wind turbines already strewn across Wyoming County, a number of our rural townships have been turned into industrial wind factories, devastating the quality of life and property values of many local residents. These peoples’ homes have been rendered virtually worthless. Many of these folks can’t afford to take a huge loss, so they end up stuck there – many suffering from the ill effects of “infrasound” known as wind turbine syndrome.
It is hard to believe that treating neighbors like this is actually going on in America today, but it is. All for the love of money – the root of so many kinds of evil.
Sadly, New York state officials have publicly acknowledged that infrasound is a problem from industrial wind factories worldwide, yet they have done absolutely nothing to stop this corporate assault on its taxpaying citizens.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has remained shamefully silent, despite lawsuits by citizens who are suing one wind company because of the noise issue, and calls to do a long overdue health study. (I wonder if Gov. Cuomo would buy one of these noise-damaged homes and move his family in there?)
The sad thing is that all of this devastation is for naught. Industrial wind is not economically, environmentally, nor scientifically sound energy policy – period.
The wind industry exists because of its claims that wind would significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thereby reduce global warming. After decades of giving billions of taxpayer dollars to rich, multinational corporations like GE, BP, Iberdrola, NextEra, AES, FPL, First Wind, Invenergy, etc., carbon dioxide emissions have not been significantly reduced – anywhere.
Since none of the volatile wind production is indexed to actual reductions in fossil fuel generation or carbon emissions (because it can’t achieve those reductions), the wind tax credit is useful only as a means of reducing tax obligations for equity partners.
Income generation through tax avoidance has been what the wind industry has been about since the days of Enron, once the nation’s leading wind producer. Massaging the tax code via phony calls for more “renewable energy” has yielded multinational corporations like General Electric and Florida Power & Light a fortune over the last decade.
To rally support for the corporate welfare program, the American Wind Energy Association is now focusing on its “jobs creation” claims – which are plain, unadulterated hogwash. As anyone who’s done an ounce of research on the wind issue knows, wind is actually a net jobs loser. On a per kilowatt hour basis, wind receives 80 times the public subsidies received by fossil fuels, but produces no reliable electricity capacity and very few American jobs. In fact, for every green job that wind supposedly creates, it destroys two to four regular jobs, in large part due to skyrocketing electricity rates.
Beyond all the “green” energy pie-in-the-sky promises that morally-bankrupt wind salesmen and their cronies may offer in the name of the wind-farm scam, the incivility of throwing up scores of useless machines (they would be considered lemons if they were any other sort of modern machine or appliance) is a sad testimony about how cheaply people’s values can be bought, and how little many care for the welfare of their neighbors.
For more information, see http://ptcfacts.Info/.
(Ms. Barton, of Silver Lake in Wyoming County, is a retired health educator and small business owner.)
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