Wind PTC: Facts vs Fluff
“AWEA says that Congress should provide a tax credit for high-income earners to pay less than their “fair share,” while middle-class taxpayers borrow $12+ billion from China to subsidize an expensive, unreliable, environmentally destructive, alternative energy source, based on unsubstantiated claims, that will actually result in net job losses! Exactly why is that a good idea?”
Last week, head wind lobbyist, Denise Bode (AWEA), waxed eloquently about why extending the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a splendid scheme that some of our legislators are supposedly supporting.
This immediately brings to mind Upton Sinclair’s insightful observation: “A man cannot be expected to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it.”
Put another way, when a salesperson says their product is the cat’s meow, be careful that you don’t get caught in the claws.
‘All of the Above’: Caveat emptor
Denise says that an “All of the Above” energy policy is a terrific plan — but is it?
Let’s skip the hype and do some critical thinking about this for a minute, and see if this superficial sound-bite is sensible.
If we use all energy sources, that would include expensive sources — how is that a good idea?
If we use all energy sources, that would include unreliable sources — how is that a good idea?
If we use all energy sources, that would include environmentally destructive sources — how is that a good idea?
If you are connecting the dots here, you can now understand why Denise loves the “All of the Above” slogan — as (surprise!) such a lax directive would qualify her expensive, unreliable and environmentally destructive product to be included in our energy mix!
It’s not paying sufficient attention to details like these that gets us into trouble. We then spend a lot of money, time and effort — and 20 years down the road we say: how come we have so little to show for our sacrifices?
We have many conscientious and competent representatives, but they repeatedly get bamboozled. How come? It’s not really rocket science: they are flim-flammed because they have been inundated by incessant one-sided, unverified, marketing propaganda. Most of us would be fooled too.
Energy is a technical matter and our policy decisions should be based on real science, not sales pitches from peddlers. So far (with regards to our energy policies) genuine science is being held scoreless.
What Are They Not Talking About?
Here are some other PTC tidbits (see PTCFacts.Info) that those smooth-talking AWEA hucksters won’t be mentioning…
A one year extension of the PTC will cost taxpayers over $12 Billion — how is that a good idea?
All that $12+ Billion will put us that much further in debt — how is that a good idea?
Almost all of that $12+ Billion will be borrowed from China — how is that a good idea?
A large part of that $12+ Billion will go to foreign conglomerates — how is that a good idea?
Yes, we know that the PTC is a tax credit — but what is that really? Basically, a tax credit enables high-income taxpayers to pay less tax. But wait a minute! Aren’t the Democrats committed to having higher income taxpayers pay more tax to carry their “fair share”? Extending the PTC does exactly the opposite — so how can Democrats say that this is a good idea?
And the AWEA job numbers bandied about have never been transparently presented, or independently verified to be accurate. For instance, while they claim that there are 7000± wind jobs in Iowa (the most for any state), independent experts have only been able to identify around 2000.
When AWEA is asked to prove their numbers, they decline to provide the evidence. So Congress should simply take a hustler’s word for something as important as jobs? How is that a good idea?
Wind energy often provides less than 30% of its rated capacity — but their salespeople deceptively imply that puff power has some equivalence to full-time sources of electricity (e.g. that it will replace coal facilities).
Interestingly, the Iowa employment figure of 2000 vs 7000 appears to be less than 30% accurate. Evidently AWEA thinks 30% is close enough to 100% to call it even with performance and jobs.
Even if their wildly speculative job claims were true, a one year PTC extension would amount to some $325,000 per job — how is that a good idea?
Actually, even more to the point, independent experts have repeatedly shown that wind energy is a net jobs loser! (This is due to a variety of proven consequences — like the higher actual costs of wind electricity resulting in other businesses laying off employees.) Isn’t the NET jobs situation really important?
So let’s discard AWEA’s palliative pablum and condense this down to the prime points here…
AWEA says that Congress should provide a tax credit for high-income earners to pay less than their “fair share,” while middle-class taxpayers borrow $12+ Billion from China, to subsidize an expensive, unreliable, environmentally destructive, alternative energy source, based on unsubstantiated claims, that will actually result in net job losses! Exactly why is that a good idea?
So what should be our energy policy? How about “All of the Sensible”?
Since the real consequences of extending the PTC are anything but sensible, you can be sure that AWEA will not be advocating that strategy!