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Wind Power Turns Oil-Funded Group Against Oil Subsidies

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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Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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