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Big Wind's Bogus Subsidies

Written by on | Modified 23 Dec, 2015 | Views 651

Giving tax credits to the wind energy industry is a waste of time and money.


Big Wind's Bogus Subsidies

Wind subsidiesGiving tax credits to the wind energy industry is a waste of time and money.

Warren Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "On wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit."

The credit's proponents say that tax breaks for green energy technologies will encourage innovation, but they fail to acknowledge that Washington’s history on these handouts and tax breaks for green energy have consistently failed. For example, we cannot control when or how much the wind blows, and it just so happens that it tends to blow when we need it least. On average, wind energy facilities operate at just 30 percent of their capacity and must be backed up by more reliable forms of energy such as natural gas. Instead of producing energy solutions that can survive and thrive in the marketplace, we’re left with botched green energy projects that have brought us no closer to our energy goals.

When lawmakers give special tax breaks to their friends and favorite industries, they shift the burden onto everybody left in the tax base. While subsidies may allow wind turbine makers to pump up their payrolls, the rest of the economy suffers as a result.

Not only are federal wind subsidies a colossal waste of money and detrimental to the economy, but they subsidize an industry that is actually harmful to the environment. The alleged goal of incentivizing “green energy” industries is to help protect the environment, but with wind energy comes a slew of environmental problems. For example, it is estimated that wind turbines in the U.S. kill up to 328,000 birds annually, and, last year alone, wind turbines killed 600,000 bats. What’s more, the amount of land needed for wind farms to be effective is staggering. For New York City to be powered by wind alone, every square meter of Connecticut would need to become a wind farm.

At the end of the day, competition and free markets should shape U.S. energy policy, not handouts or favors for special interests like Big Wind.

References

U.S. News http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/even-warren-buffet-admits-wind-energy-is-a-bad-investment


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