Wind Production Tax Credit
In 2013, Congress renewed the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) which will cost taxpayers more than any other subsidy Wind PTC in the past 10 years. Congress said this subsidy would be temporary, back in 1993. After more than 20 years of this failed subsidy, it’s time to #EndtheEnergyGiveaway and take the training wheels off Big Wind.
WASHINGTON – A new survey released today by the American Energy Alliance found that most American voters have serious reservations about the federal government’s involvement in their energy choices—specifically with regard to policies like the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the EPA’s proposed power plant rule.
“The American people don’t have faith in the federal government to make their energy choices for them—and for good reason,” said AEA president Thomas Pyle.
“The federal government has been giving special treatment to green energy for decades, either directly through handouts like the wind PTC or indirectly through red tape like EPA’s proposed power plant rule. These types of policies have led to higher energy prices, eroding the states’ ability to make their own energy choices. The survey makes clear that Americans are growing weary of the blatant cronyism that runs rampant through our political system, and the failed federal policies that stifle innovation and increase the cost of the reliable energy we need to move America forward,” Pyle added.
“Voters are pretty skeptical of all facets of the wind production tax credit,” said Mike McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, which conducted the survey.
The survey indicates that the majority of voters are skeptical of preferential subsidies like the two-decades old wind PTC:
- 81 percent of respondents do not think foreign companies should get tax breaks from the federal government.
- 65 percent believe that 20 years’ worth of tax credits is long enough.
- 77 percent do not trust Congress to hand out tax advantages in the most efficient and effective way.
- 56 percent think that companies who are already turning a profit should not get tax breaks for using or producing that technology.
The survey also indicates that many Americans are skeptical of EPA’s proposed power plant rule:
- 60 percent of respondents indicated it was a bad thing that the EPA’s proposed power plant rule would impose a mandate on citizens to buy certain amounts of renewable energy.
- 52 percent said it was mostly a bad thing that EPA could punish States that did not comply.
Lastly, the survey indicates that there is skepticism among the American people about who should be driving innovation and who should be making public policy decisions:
- 46 percent of respondents said that the most likely way to develop and improve alternative sources of energy was to rely on innovators developing new technologies; just 18 percent said that federal tax credits were the way to go.
- 68 percent said that they did not trust the federal government to be responsible for the entire electrical system of the United States.
- 65 percent said that States should be responsible for deciding how electricity gets generated and used.
MWR Strategies conducted the nationwide survey with a sample of 1005 likely voters and a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
Click here to see the full survey results.
“With North Carolina’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing set to be lifted next year, Kay Hagan should embrace America’s energy revolution that will create good paying jobs, protect access to affordable energy, and provide added revenue to strengthen local communities,” said AEA President Thomas Pyle.
“For over 60 years, hydraulic fracturing has been used to unlock our energy resources. But for too long, the powerful national environmental lobby has strong-armed public leadership into siding with more red tape, which has led to fewer jobs, higher energy costs, and reduced opportunity. Sen. Hagan should stop playing politics, stand up to the special interests, and fully commit to supporting American innovation and ingenuity,” he added.
Hydraulic Fracturing Helps Local CommunitiesDuke University Research Finds Hydraulic Fracturing Helps Local Government Coffers; Revenues Exceed Costs: “The researchers found that the net impact of recent oil and gas development has generally been positive for local public finances.” (Richard Newell & Daniel Raimi, “Local Government Financial Impact of Recent Oil and Gas Development,” Duke University Energy Initiative, Accessed 8/18/2014)
Hagan Opposed North Carolina’s Efforts to Advance Affordable EnergyHagan Opposed State Legislation That Would Lift The Moratorium On North Carolina’s Hydraulic Fracturing For Shale Gas In 2015: “In her speech, Hagan blasted the Republican legislature for rolling back environmental regulations.” (John Frank & Renee Schoof, “US Sen. Kay Hagan and her challenger House Speaker Thom Tillis at odds over climate change,” Raleigh News & Observer, 5/31/2014)Hagan Is Trying to Have It Both Ways On EnergyHagan Is a Skilled Politician Who Knows Her Audience: “In a speech to an environmental group in Raleigh last week, Hagan expressed support for the EPA’s role [in regulating power plants].” (John Frank & Renee Schoof, “US Sen. Kay Hagan and her challenger House Speaker Thom Tillis at odds over climate change,” Raleigh News & Observer, 5/31/2014)But Days Earlier, With A Wink & A Nod To Environmentalists: “Hagan expressed concern about the timeline for implementing the rules, asking in a letter to the EPA that the public comment period be doubled to 120 days. She declined to sign a stronger-worded letter backed by 45 senators asking for the same extension.” (John Frank & Renee Schoof, “US Sen. Kay Hagan and her challenger House Speaker Thom Tillis at odds over climate change,” Raleigh News & Observer, 5/31/2014)Fearing Blowback From Environmentalists, Hagan Has Been Reluctant to Support Sensible Energy Policies for North Carolina: “Hagan took a more careful approach to describe where she stands on energy issues, straddling a line that may frustrate environmentalists.” (John Frank, “Hagan blasts Tillis on environment,” Raleigh News & Observer, 5/27/2014)
Hagan Also Flip-Flopped On Her Support For A Carbon TaxFLIP: The Hill: “Hagan Campaign Says She Opposes Carbon Tax.” (Zack Coleman, “Hagan Campaign Says She Opposes Carbon Tax,” The Hill, 9/6/13)FLOP: Sen. Kay Hagan Urged Harry Reid To Make A Carbon Tax A Top Priority. On July 16, 2010, Sen. Kay Hagan, along with 11 other senators, sent a letter to the Majority Leader calling for a “price on greenhouse gas emissions.” (Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 7/16/14)
“Because of the size and the quality of the resource we have for the project, this project can be done without the production tax credit.“Quite frankly, though, it would be very beneficial to the project and the market if it were available, but it is not necessary for it to be viable. There are probably not a lot of projects today that could say it doesn’t matter. It does matter, but it is not absolutely required.”
“This reinforces what we have known all along—the wind industry is no longer an infant and should not be treated like one,” said AEA President Thomas Pyle.
“For over two decades, Americans have been pouring their tax dollars into propping up an industry that has been around for over a century. Extending this handout will cost American families billions of dollars. Congress has a decision to make: Will they stand with American families or with Big Wind’s high-powered lobbyists?” He added.
WASHINGTON – A new survey released today by the American Energy Alliance found that the majority of American voters oppose EPA’s recently proposed power plant regulations when confronted with the real world impacts of the rule. The survey was conducted among registered voters in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, and North Carolina.
“At a time when Americans are struggling with cost of living and still asking the question ‘where are the jobs’, there is concern about the proposed EPA regulation and the economic impact it will have,” said David Winston, President of the Winston Group, which conducted the survey.
Highlights from the survey:
- The majority of voters in all five states believe that improving the economy and creating jobs should be the top priority of the Obama administration.
- Before receiving any information about the regulations, no less than 57 percent of voters in any state supported the regulations. But after listening to key facts about their impact (both positive and negative), no more than 44 percent in any state supported it.
“When faced with the harsh economic reality of the EPA’s new rule, the majority of Americans reject this unprecedented attack on American energy security,” said AEA President Thomas Pyle.
“From the start, the Obama administration has not been forthright with the American public about the exorbitant costs of this rule. Unfortunately, this has become the norm for the ‘most transparent administration in history’: regulating from the shadows and deliberately hiding the consequences of their actions from the American people. And the myriad consequences of the EPA’s new rule are all too real. From lost jobs to rising electricity bills, the EPA’s most recent effort to undermine affordable energy hurts low income families the most.”
“The American people, especially those who live from paycheck to paycheck, cannot afford higher energy costs. Unfortunately for Americans, President Obama seems intent on delivering on his promise to make electricity prices ‘necessarily skyrocket.’”
The survey was conducted for the American Energy Alliance by the Winston Group among 500 registered voters in each of the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, and North Carolina, and 503 registered voters in Montana for a total of 2,503 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 per state.
To view the results, click here
WASHINGTON — American Energy Alliance Vice President of Policy Daniel Simmons penned an op-ed for Roll Call titled “Lessons Congress Can Learn from Australia’s Carbon Tax Debacle.” The text of the op-ed follows:
“Lessons Congress Can Learn From Australia’s Carbon Tax Debacle”
By Daniel Simmons
For the past few years, Australia has been lauded by environmentalists as an example other countries should emulate. The adulation began in 2012, when the country enacted its “carbon tax” — a $21.50 charge (in U.S. dollars), increasing annually, on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted by the country’s power plants. Australia’s list of admirers extended all the way to the White House, where President Barack Obama described the country’s actions as “good for the world.”
Yet Australia is now the first country to eliminate its carbon tax. In so doing, it struck a blow in favor of sound public policy — and American legislators should pay attention.
Last September, the Institute for Energy Research released a comprehensive study on the effects of Australia’s carbon tax. The tax was a disaster. In its first year of existence, the tax increased household electricity prices by 15 percent — the highest quarterly increase in the country’s history. Businesses fared no better — their electricity prices jumped 14.5 percent in a single year.
It doesn’t take an economist to see how this stifled the country’s economic growth. Rising electricity costs mean higher prices for almost all goods and services. They also mean fewer future job opportunities for businesses trying to stay in the black. Australia’s unemployment rolls rose by an astounding 10 percent over the course of a year — the equivalent of the United States adding 950,000 people to the unemployment line by next July.
Meanwhile, there was no environmental benefit to speak of. According to the Australian government’s own data, carbon emissions actually increased after the tax was enacted. Even if the carbon tax were still in operation, the country’s emissions levels weren’t expected to fall below current levels until 2045.
No wonder Australians turned against the tax. They’d have to endure three decades of fewer jobs and higher prices on every day goods just to achieve negligible environmental gains.
But this isn’t just a lesson for Australia. For years, American environmentalists have clamored for a similar carbon tax. They have been joined by a dozen U.S. senators, who several years ago sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demanding Congress levy “a price on greenhouse gas emissions” — a carbon tax by another name.
Among the letter’s signatories are several Democratic senators facing re-election this year, including New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, Alaska’s Mark Begich and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan.
Yet the effects would be little different in America than they were in Australia. The Heritage Foundation, using data provided by the Energy Information Administration, recently estimated the effects that a slightly more aggressive carbon tax would have (the EIA data assumed a $25/ton tax, compared to Australia’s $21.50/ton rate).
Heritage found that America could be looking at an economic disaster.
In its first four years, the tax could cut a family of four’s income by nearly $2,000 a year. It could raise the same family’s electricity bills by more than $500 per year and increase gas prices by 50 cents per gallon. Finally, it could eliminate more than a million jobs in the first few years.
Yet Americans’ economic despair would ultimately be for naught. Using assumptions from the data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s assessment report, a recent analysis found America could eliminate all of its carbon emissions and still only lower global temperatures by 0.137 Celsius by 2100 — a statistically insignificant amount.
Put another way: A carbon tax is all economic pain and no environmental gain. Surely we can agree that sapping the economy and stifling innovation won’t make it any easier for us to promote a healthy environment.
Australians learned that the hard way.
It only took them two years of higher prices, fewer jobs, and no environmental benefits before they abandoned their carbon tax. America’s environmentalists and the legislators who listen to them should take note. There’s no need for history to repeat itself in a different hemisphere.
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