Clean Power AFP lobbies against PTC for wind

Published on October 2nd, 2013 | by Tina Casey


Wind Power Turns Oil-Funded Group Against Oil Subsidies

October 2nd, 2013 by  

Our old friends over at Americans for Prosperity must have had an epiphany of sorts. In its effort to lobby against a federal tax credit for wind power, the group has come out with a policy statement that calls for an end to oil subsidies. Specifically, AFP argues that energy producers should “make it on their own in the marketplace.”

It should be no stretch of the imagination to assume they mean to include oil and gas production in that statement, since those industries have many decades of federal largesse under their belts. Unless, of course, you simply ignore all that stuff.

AFP’s Statement On Federal Energy Tax Credits

In the statement, AFP is careful to avoid other kinds of subsidies, including technology support, and focus on “preferential tax treatment.”

AFP lobbies against PTC for wind

Michigan wind farm by Jetta Girl.

Here’s the money quote, from an editorial in The Hill by AFP energy policy analyst Christine Harbin Hanson:

Americans deserve energy solutions that can make it on their own in the marketplace—not ones that need to be propped up by government indefinitely. Washington’s long-time policy of giving preferential tax treatment to special interests simply isn’t working.

That’s a key omission, since federal subsidies can come in many forms. Take technology, for example. The Department of Energy has long supported technology advances for the oil and gas industry, modern hydraulic fracturing technology being one standout example.

More recently, the Energy Department’s new REMOTE initiative has pumped millions into developing cutting edge technology that will enable cost-effective gas extraction in outlying fields.

The funny thing is, if AFP was sincere about energy subsidies – which it isn’t – then it would be in good company with another conservative oil-friendly group, the American Enterprise Institute, which also seems to have had an epiphany. Just last week, AEI organized an event to promote a new study slamming oil dependency for dragging down the US economy.

Production Tax Credit For Wind In Trouble Again

Whenever the federal government cranks up again, wind power is in for a big fight. Our friends over at The Hill inform us that the Joint Committee on Taxation has just come out with a new report on the cost of the production tax credit for wind, and it ain’t pretty — although, we’re guessing that if there was a similar report for the oil and gas industry, wind would come out smelling like roses.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • And don’t forget the hidden subsidies as in: ‘I get to use the atmosphere as a free dumping place for my soot and toxins’. That is as always the elephant in the room that these advocacy groups try so hard to deny.

  • Bob_Wallace

    And the new report will say that wind (and solar) are receiving a lot of dollars.

    (They’ll say that even though wind and solar don’t receive dollars. They’re just allowed to pay less in taxes.)

    They won’t point out that if nuclear was being installed at the same rate as wind and solar then, it too, would be receiving the same amount.

    • Let’s begin start off with the Manhattan Project. How much did that cost?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Historically nuclear and fossil fuels have received massively more in subsidies than has renewable energy in the US. And biofuel has received most of what has gone to renewables, wind and solar are very minor recipients.

        But that’s not how the anti-renewable energy crowd will play it. They will talk about today’s subsidies. And with solar and wind installation soaring tax benefits for wind and solar are soaring as well.

  • mk1313

    It should be a condition that if something like this is being done for 1 element of the energy industry it should be done for all elements. Fossil fuels and nuclear would get bounced hard!

    • Felix Hoenikker


    • agelbert


  • Ivor O’Connor

    These days the best way to push RE is via economics. Fortunately. Somebody with the latest numbers and the dollar amounts of help coming from government could do the fossil fuel and nuclear industries lethal damage.

    • Ross

      The fossil fuel vested interests are fighting a losing battle.

      • Bob_Wallace

        But they can delay their expiration. Every day in business is money made.

        • Ross

          Hence we have to keep fighting them.

    • agelbert

      Agreed. The world class hypocrisy of the fossil fuel industry is underlined by the fact that they were never really cost effective when the full cost without subsidies is compared with renewable energy technology.
      Fossil Fuelers Complaining About RE Subsidies

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