Report: Wind industry can stand on its own, end its wind tax credit

Extension has become a contentious political topic and pitted members of the same party against one another.

A group of freshman House members sent a letter in June to the Republican leadership to work to extend the wind PTC. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group including Republican Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Republican Rep. Rick Berg of North Dakota and Democrat John Carney of Delaware.

In contrast, 47 Republicans in the House, including Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, wrote a letter in September to House Speaker John Boehner asking him to allow the wind PTC to expire.

“We believe that the Solyndra scandal has demonstrated that it is time for the federal government to stop picking winners and losers in the energy marketplace,” according to the letter. “Twenty years of subsidizing wind is more than enough.”

Senate Republicans are split on the issue as well, as Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and John Boozman of Arkansas were among the Republicans who joined Democrats in a letter to Senate leadership urging them to take up the extension.

The Romney campaign has previously called for the federal wind PTC to expire at the end of this year, but recent comments in Iowa — a major wind power state — has muddled his position somewhat.

“Mitt Romney believes it is a time for a new approach to ensure our nation’s energy independence. He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” Romney spokesman Shawn McCoy said in July.

Gov. Romney said that subsidies in general should be phased out as industries mature, and that includes allowing the wind PTC to expire,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

Sixty-four free-market organizations, organized by the group Americans for Prosperity, have also come out against the wind PTC extension, including National Taxpayers Union, FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Energy Alliance.

“It is time to end special tax provisions that distort the energy market and increase energy prices. We urge you to let the wasteful wind PTC expire as planned at the end of the year,” says a letter sent by the groups to Congress.

“[I]t is clear the federal PTC should expire since it has morphed from an ill-designed temporary subsidy for a purportedly ‘infant industry,’ into an inequitable tax hand-out for what is clearly a well-established industry that distorts markets and allows wind to compete unfairly with both conventional generation resources and even other types of renewables,” the AEA report concludes.

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