The Production Tax Credit allows owners of wind projects to take a tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of a project’s operation. Many wind development companies admit that without this and other taxpayer subsidies, their projects would not be viable.
Consequently, developers like First Wind and Iberdrola and powerful lobbying groups such as the American Wind Energy Association have applied pressure to see that these subsidies are kept alive. These programs cost taxpayers dearly – and the resulting product increases costs to electricity ratepayers. Our pocketbooks are taking multiple hits.
I’ve asked each member of our delegation to vote against any extension of this expensive endowment of our citizens’ money to the corporate conglomerates that are its beneficiaries.
Many other citizens have done the same. To one such request from a Maine resident, Sen. Angus King stated unequivocally, “I support an extension of the Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit in order to facilitate investment certainty and advance the development of promising, clean, renewable energy sources.”
Is there a conflict of interest? One of King’s sons is vice president of First Wind. King himself was a wind developer (owner of Record Hill Wind, which received a $102 million Department of Energy loan guaranty) until he divested himself of this controversial business upon entering the race for Congress.
How many citizen requests would the senator need before he placed the will of the people of Maine (his employers) over the needs of an industry with a low-value, high-impact product that cannot stand on its own?
Maybe he doesn’t really represent citizens. Perhaps Sen. King sees us as his subjects and will vote his personal preferences, disrespecting our ability to make decisions about what is best for our own rural environment, our homes and our pocketbooks.
Karen Bessey Pease
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