A Free-Market Energy Blog

Americans for Prosperity: Keep the PTC Expired (Obama supply-side energy strategy on the ropes)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 11, 2014

“A vote for the PTC is a vote in support of President Obama’s destructive climate action plan.”

You can’t beat something with nothing, the anti-consumer, anti-taxpayer environmental Left knows. So even they must have a supply-side strategy to go along with their demand-side strategy of conservationism, or less usage for its own sake.

The anti-fossil-fuel strategy is not nuclear, despite efforts by James Hansen, Breakthrough Institute, and others to legitimize this mass, low-carbon energy source. It is not hydropower either. Biomass is out for the most part.

What is left? There is tiny solar with barely any central station plants (Ivanpah is one of the controversial few.)

That leaves windpower! And this is why resurrecting the expired Production Tax Credit for the umpteenth time is so critically important for the mirage of climate stabilization to continue.

Here is the November 10th letter to sitting Senators and Representatives from Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a two-million-member “nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity.” [1]

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write to express our strong opposition to the wind production tax credit (PTC). We urge you to reject efforts to extend this handout for the wind energy industry as you consider tax extender legislation. A 1-year extension would cost $13 billion over the next decade.

This past April, AFP sent letters to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, strongly urging members to oppose the PTC. “American taxpayers and ratepayers have seen little return on this forced investment in wind energy over the past 20 years. We see wind power continue to break its promises of long-term job creation, economic activity, and affordability,” we stated in the House letter, and our concerns remain.

Currently there are efforts to introduce new phase down schemes to the tax credit over a period of time, but these efforts are misguided and would instead function as full extensions. The tax credit has an existing phase-down built in under current law—even though the tax credit was allowed to expire at the end of 2013, current beneficiaries will continue to receive the tax credit for 10 years. Furthermore, the goal of these phase down proposals may be diluted by ongoing actions of the IRS to expand the definition for eligibility for the PTC.

While discussions about restoring the wind production tax credit are reemerging on Capitol Hill, there remains strong opposition from your constituents and taxpayers to extending it. This past June, AFP led a broad coalition of 110+ organizations representing millions of Americans in calling on Congress to allow the wind PTC to remain expired. In addition, over the past two years, tens of thousands of Americans for Prosperity activists have contacted their elected officials, urging them to oppose extending this costly subsidy.

In particular Congress should reject efforts to extend the wind PTC during lame duck session before the members the American people have chosen in the recent elections are seated.

Americans for Prosperity requests that you reject any package that includes the expired wind production tax credit. A vote for the PTC is a vote in support of President Obama’s destructive climate action plan.

Brent Wm. Gardner,  Director of Federal Affairs, Americans for Prosperity

[1]Americans for Prosperity® (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional  limits. AFP has more than 2 million members, including members in all 50 states, and 36 state chapters and affiliates. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org.”

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