The PJ Tatler

Wind Lobby Getting Nervous That Its Subsidy May Go Away?

According to Politico Pro (link goes behind a pay firewall) Big Wind is fighting hard to keep its tax breaks:

Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers still aren’t giving up on extending the wind production tax credit, which expires at the end of this year.

Supporters had hoped an extension could be included in the payroll tax cut deal that cleared Congress on Friday, probably the last must-pass bill of the year. Now they’re looking for other opportunities.

“There’s very strong support for it, and we still have time to deal with it,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said last week. “I wish we would have dealt with it in this bill, but there are a lot of tax credits, tax provisions, that needed to be extended.”

“We’ve got to bring it back up again, and we’ve got some time yet, but the vehicle is gone,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said.

Asked about a roadmap, King said he would need time to figure out his next steps.

Don’t mistake what King is trying to do here. He’s not a fan of the subsidy.

King isn’t necessarily up for a four-year extension, however.

Instead, he’d like to see a phase-out so the industry learns to stand on its own two feet.

“Here’s the ask, really, of them: We extend your wind credit for a year. You come back to us in that period of time with a plan to phase the credit down so that the industry can stand on its own,” he said.

He sensibly wants the tax break done away with and for Big Wind to stand on its own. We need wind and solar as part of a rational “all of the above” energy strategy. But wind, like the others, has to be able to stand on its own economic merits, not subsidies.