WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the Senate Finance Committee voted 23-3 to approve legislation to extend expired temporary tax provisions, which includes a two-year extension of the wind production tax credit through 2016:
“The committee voted to support the Obama administration’s national energy policy that amounts to a national windmill policy. Last year, extending this wasteful wind subsidy for one year costs taxpayers more than $6.4 billion over 10 years, which is about the amount that the United States government spends on its entire basic energy research budget,” Alexander said. “We need to stop picking winners and losers in the marketplace and instead let our free enterprise system provide the abundance of cheap, clean, reliable energy we need to power our 21st-century economy.”
Alexander continued, “Our country uses about 25 percent of the electricity in the world. Relying on windmills to produce that electricity when nuclear power is available is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when nuclear ships are available. After 22 years of billions of dollars in subsidies, wind still produces only 4 percent of our electricity and the windmills work only about 35 percent of the time. Nuclear power produces 20 percent of our electricity and 60 percent of our clean electricity. For more jobs and cheap, reliable power, our country needs more nuclear reactors—not more windmills.”
The tax extenders package now awaits action by the full Senate. The bill will also need to be passed by the House and signed by the president before becoming law. Alexander is chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
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