5-21-14 – Big Wind Subsidies

by John McClaughry

Last Tuesday’s Caledonian Record editorial on how our Congressional delegation is aggressively backing Big Wind is worth sharing with a wider audience. It read:

“Back in December senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders signed a letter to the Senate Finance Committee urging extension of the now expired [tax] credits — particularly the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which subsidizes Big Wind to the tune of 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity produced.

“On March 21 Rep. Peter Welch signed a similar letter to House Speaker John Boehner, urging extension of the PTC and an associated Investment Tax Credit for Big Wind.

“Without the PTC, there will likely never be another ridgetop wind turbine installed in Vermont… or anywhere else in the United States. But while a growing number of Vermonters distress at the proliferation of enormous wind turbines, our delegation in Congress is actively working to keep Big Wind in business…

“The subsidy has bizarre effects. When the wind is blowing at night, and power demand is low enough so that it is met by baseload generation, the wind producers actually pay the utilities to accept the wind power. Only the PTC subsidy allows them to do this.

“Voters in Vermont should start telling Leahy, Sanders and Welch to abandon the subsidy-sucking renewable-industrial complex. Big Wind doesn’t do much to reduce our nation’s carbon footprint but it makes big financial contributions to the politicians who support it. It’s time for energy policies that actually work.”

John McClaughry is the founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Donka May 26, 2014 at 4:14 am

It is time to stop subsidizing these big wind projects. Not only do they destroy our ridge-lines in VT. But they are helping us add to our national debt. When the government stops subsidizing the Big wind projects our rates are going to up. We are already paying some of the highest electric in the country. How much more can Vermonter’s afford? Ask your representatives. They will help the Big Wind, there campaigns depend on it.
Mark Donka
Donka for Congress 2014


Marion Clegg May 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I believe John is right about these projects. Our government doesn’t seem to mind what project they take on as long as they are spending money. It doesn’t matter if the taxpayer is the one that is feeling the crunch. Our electric bill even now is way too high. I am all for finding a way to reduce the cost of electricity but when you put Vermont Yankee out of business it shows what our government is really looking at. Why don’t they send out a survey or start calling people, like candidates do, and find out exactly how we feel about these bright ideas they have?


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