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Windpower Reconsidered: Testimony before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- April 25, 2012

This month, two subcommittees of the House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee [1] held a joint hearing,  “Impact of Tax Policies on the Commercial Application of Renewable Energy Technology.”

I was one of nine witnesses testifying. In addition to myself, the let-the-market-decide witnesses were Dr. Benjamin Zycher, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Tax and Other Subsidies for Renewable Energy Should Be Abandoned; and Margo Thorning, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation (testimony here).

The subcommittee Republicans were prepared, well informed, and interested in drawing out the facts. The Democrats, on the defensive, complained that the hearing was happening, argued the subcommittees lacked the jurisdiction to hold the hearing, and claimed that renewables were being short-changed compared to oil and gas.

A summary of my testimony (full version here) follows:

Background and Purpose

Energy policy in the United States calls for the aggressive deployment of renewable generation which has led to an explosion of expensive renewable resources that are variable, operating largely off-peak, off-season and are located in rural areas with limited transmission.