A Free-Market Energy Blog

‘Wind PTC Action Hub’: Time to End Energy Cronyism

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 9, 2015

“Without the PTC, any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.”

Congress enacted the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) in 1992 as a temporary measure for an “infant” industry. Decades and nine extensions later, it is time to eliminate the PTC.

Subsidized wind power inflates electricity costs, compromises taxpayers, and destabilizes the electric grid (wind-generated electricity is intermittent). The huge tax credit allows pricing that ruins the economics of steady, conventional generation sources. Wind power, indeed, is the perfect imperfect energy.

The PTC It is most beneficial to wealthy wind developers who are able to reduce their tax rate at the expense of the rest of us. It is past time to end corporate welfare for this mature, and in their own words, competitive, wind industry.

Obama Needs the PTC

President Obama and the EPA’s aggressive regulation of existing power plants amounts to a federal takeover of the electricity system. One of the goals of this regulation is to shift electricity from affordable and dependable sources like coal toward expensive and unreliable sources like wind. (On-grid solar does the same thing.)

Without the PTC, any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.

Extending the Wind PTC helps Obama/EPA get away with this phase of their forced energy transformation. It is past time to let wind producers stand on their own merit. In short, a vote for the PTC is a vote for the President’s federal energy takeover.

To this end, the American Energy Alliance has launched a Wind PTC Action Hub. Yesterday’s press release follows:

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Energy Alliance launched www.EndWindWelfare.org—a resource and activist hub aimed at eliminating the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). With this new tool, which includes a legislative tracker and an action center, AEA will encourage lawmakers to support efforts to end this taxpayer-funded handout. One feature of the hub is a video illustrating how the PTC is tied to President Obama’s new carbon dioxide regulation.

The goal of this regulation is to shift electricity generation from affordable and dependable sources like coal toward expensive and unreliable sources like wind. Obama’s plan will unavoidably raise electricity rates—hurting poor and middle class families the most. But without the PTC, mandating industrial wind power is a much more difficult task, as wind power needs handouts to survive. Thus, Congress can take meaningful action against the Obama’s administration’s anti-energy agenda by eliminating the PTC. Watch the video below:

The hub’s legislative tracker shows which representatives have publicly taken a stand against the PTC, allowing Americans to thank their elected leaders for opposing this handout, or hold them accountable for supporting wind welfare. Our action center will also serve as a resource for policymakers and activists by providing recent reports, blog posts and ongoing advocacy efforts on the PTC.


  1. James Rust  

    Great posting. I have signed up with the American Energy Alliance and hope many others do the same. We need to stop the nonsense waste of tax payer and rate payer dollars and here is a mechanism to do it.

    James H. Rust, professor of nuclear engineering


  2. Jim McGinn  

    The issues you mention are rather minor in most people’s eyes. I am a meteorologist and I didn’t become concerned about wind turbines until I realized that are causing drought.

    The real problem is political. The real problem is that meteorology has thoroughly dumbed down our understanding of storms so make it easier to sell to the public.

    The energy of storms comes from above. It comes from the jet streams. Distinct, long, smooth boundary layers are necessary for the jet streams to find a pathway to deliver the energy of storms to a region. If these pathway are destroyed the jet streams have no path to follow. Wind turbines remove the smoothness. The result is that every place that has windmills also has drought.

    Unfortunately, the notion the energy of storms comes from below (convection) has become a sacred belief. Meteorologist won’t talk about it. They are only concerned with protecting their reputation. They hide.

    People aren’t going to abandon wind mills just because they aren’t as green or efficient as they were led to believe.

    We (humans) are going to keep installing wind mills. The droughts will continue, ten years, twenty years, thirty years. Maybe eventually humans will start to take notice of the evidence. Then and only then will they give up on wind mills.

    If you want to defeat wind mills you will help educate the public to the fact that meteorologists are deceiving the public about what the understand about storms. And that the energy of storms comes from above, the jet streams and boundary layers are pathways that deliver the energy to regions.

    Don’t take my word on this. Look up the facts. Study the drought maps and compare them to the wind mill maps. Ask a meteorologists to explain logic of upwelling warm air causing low pressure, storms of cold swirling air. Watch them cringe and deflect your question.

    Jim McGinn


  3. Thomas  

    Let’s end all of these subsidies now. The wind PTC, the nuclear PTC, the solar ITC, the tax incentives for coal, oil, natural gas, biofuels. End the mining, wind, solar, oil, gas production on federal lands without competitive auctions. End all support for energy industries. Let’s also end the liability protections for oil spills and other accidents, nuclear meltdowns, etc. End federal infrastructure support for shipping routes and transportation hubs. Let’s end research dollars for all energy types and end loan guarantees for nuclear and other projects. Let’s end MLPs for fossil fuel projects — or allow all energy projects to participate. End it all and let’s level the playing field and let the markets decide. Quit picking winners and losers.


  4. Barbara Durkin  

    The PTC is a tax credit that along with public subsidies form a magnet that attracts organized criminals, world-wide, according to experts.

    Christine Duhaime is a corporate and regulatory lawyer and certified anti-money laundering specialist, a U.S. designation, and author of the below article about Europol’s reports about organized crime ongoing in the renewables sector.



    Europol report ties mafia to renewable energy
    By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D.

    “This week, Europol released yet another report tying the financing, development and operation of renewable energy projects, particularly wind energy infrastructure projects, to organized crime in Europe.

    The involvement of organized crime in wind energy and renewable energy generally, poses significant legal, reputational and financial risks. The latter arises from, among other things, the potential forfeiture of assets acquired in whole or in part from suspected proceeds of crime, whether directly or indirectly.

    The latest Europol report follows on the heels of an earlier one, the “Serious & Organized Crime Threat Assessment 2013′′, which similarly found that organized crime is involved in, and in some instances controls, renewable energy financings and project developments for the purposes of laundering proceeds of crime…”

    cut, Duhaime’s article continues…

    “Generous subsidies are attractive to organized crime

    Organized crime is attracted to wind energy for three reasons: (a) generous government subsidies and feed-in tariffs; (b) corporate tax credits; and (c) the ease with which they can launder proceeds of crime as a result of the lack of knowledge of the mafia, money laundering and forfeiture risks on the part of financing and governments participants in the wind and renewable energy sectors.

    In the current global market, organized crime is uniquely situated in that they have an abundance of cash that they need to invest (hence, launder) at a time when credit is hard to come by for corporations. The renewable energy sector provides the perfect money laundering vehicle to legitimize criminal operations because of the multi-layered corporate and financing structuring required, and the lack of money laundering awareness within the sector. Given that renewable energy is expected to grow by at least 20% by 2020, the problem is expected to get worse not better….”

    [cut] continue reading:

    Experts of law and international law enforcement agencies are warning that renewable energy serves as the perfect money laundering vehicle. Should this information be ignored?

    The World’s largest renewable company, SunEdison, bought First Wind (UPC). UPC is of record subsidiary and affiliate of IVPC subject of anti-mafia police asset seizures for wind energy fraud in order to obtain public subsidies. Should this information be ignored?

    The below link is to a Hawaii Free Press front page article about First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor they referred to as the:
    ‘Hawaii Wind Developer tied to the Largest-ever asset seizure by anti-Mafia police’



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