Dear Washington: Carbon Tax is not an option.

Carbon Tax

A carbon tax would greatly hurt the poorest Americans by unnecessarily raising energy costs and damaging small businesses. Carbon taxes won’t solve any environmental concerns, yet these destructive policies mean you would be forced to pay more for basic necessities for years to come. A carbon tax would also cause output from energy sectors to drop 15 percent, destroying millions of jobs in the process and making everything we do more expensive.


The PTC Has Overstayed Its Welcome

WASHINGTON – American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement responding to attempts to include the wind PTC in the Senate Finance Committee’s tax extenders bill:

“The death of the wind PTC in 2013 was a victory for taxpayers. Unfortunately, this wasteful subsidy is once again rearing its ugly head. Although not included in the initial extenders bill, Senator Grassley has made it clear that he intends to amend the bill to include the PTC. This is a case of cronyism trumping the interests of the American people.

“Rather than cutting wasteful handouts that would save taxpayer dollars, Senator Grassley and other PTC proponents continue to carry water for Big Wind’s well-heeled lobbyists who have been claiming for decades that the wind industry is on the cusp of economic competitiveness. Handouts like the PTC have serious implications for taxpayers and they should be debated out in the open, not behind the closed doors of the Senate halls.

“The notion that the wind industry is an infant that needs the PTC to get on its feet is simply not true. The PTC has overstayed its welcome and any attempt to extend it would do a great disservice to the American people.”


AEA Launches Major New Ad Initiative

WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance continues its carbon tax accountability initiative with television and online ads beginning today in West Virginia’s Third Congressional District and tomorrow in the State of Alaska. The West Virginia effort will run until April 12and the Alaska initiative will continue through April 23. These new ads hold Congressman Nick Rahall and Senator Mark Begich accountable for the positions they have taken on the carbon tax.
AEA President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

“Even though they are on opposite sides of the country, West Virginia and Alaska are quite similar in that they produce the abundant, affordable, and reliable energy resources that power the American economy and create good paying jobs in the process. Unfortunately, West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall and Alaska Senator Mark Begich are also remarkably similar in that they both have mastered the art of saying one thing at home and doing the opposite in Washington. In this case, it is their support for the carbon tax.

“West Virginia is coal country, and yet Nick Rahall voted for a budget that included a carbon tax, which in any form would kill coal and destroy the jobs West Virginia coal miners depend on. Congressman Rahall should be embracing his state’s energy resources instead of working with the liberals in Washington whose agenda would harm the well-being of the people who put him into office.

“Mark Begich has voted not once, but twice, to advance a carbon tax agenda and went even further by signing a letter urging his Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, to immediately advance legislation that would put a price on carbon. This is the same Harry Reid who believes that ‘oil makes us sick’ and insists that we must ‘stop using fossil fuels.’ A carbon tax would drive up energy costs and have a damaging effect on our already fragile economy. Alaska would truly be impacted by a carbon tax, and yet Senator Begich refuses to stand up to the liberals in Washington who are seeking to advance this harmful anti-fossil fuel agenda.

“The American Energy Alliance is committed to holding lawmakers accountable for their actions, especially when those actions raise energy costs on American families. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to educate and inform the American people of what their elected representatives are up to in Washington.”

To watch the West Virginia TV ads, click here and here.

To read the fact sheet for the West Virginia ads, click here.

To watch the Alaska TV ad, click here.

To read the fact sheet for the Alaska ads, click here.


AEA Calls on President to Get Serious about Ukraine’s Energy Problem

Start Sending them Wind Turbines, Solar Panels, and the Tiny Cars that no Americans Want to Buy

“It’s about time we really help the Ukrainians out of their energy jam by restricting access to their own oil and gas and making them subsidize expensive and unreliable energy.”

Washington, D.C. – As the President and leaders in Congress continue to discuss steps to help the Ukrainian people keep Russian President Vladimir Putin in check, Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance, today called upon the Obama Administration to get serious, step up his actions, and start sending Ukraine the vital help they need on energy.

“We need to send Ukraine every available wind turbine, solar panel, and tiny car that no American will buy. That is what the Ukrainian people want, and those are the sort of energy resources that will assist them in their struggle with the Russians.

“Additionally, it’s about time we really help the Ukrainians out of their energy jam by restricting access to their own oil and gas and making them subsidize expensive and unreliable energy.

“We should also deploy Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev to alert Ukraine that their real challenge is climate change – the world’s greatest weapon of mass destruction and the true and immediate enemy of the Ukrainian people.

“We also hope that the Secretary of the Navy can spare the Great Green Fleet and send it to the region to show the United States’ solidarity with Ukraine.

“The last thing we should do is to increase Ukraine’s dependence on oil and gas by exporting more of either to them. All that will serve to do is deepen their reliance on these inexpensive, reliable, abundant fuels.”


PYLE: Camp’s Proposal is Encouraging

WASHINGTON — American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued a statement today on House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-MI) draft tax reform legislation. Chairman Camp’s plan would repeal a number of green energy tax incentives, including the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). Pyle’s statement reads:

“Chairman Camp’s proposal is an encouraging step toward common sense tax reform that Americans deserve. The Chairman should be commended for his efforts to save taxpayer dollars by ending wasteful green energy subsidies, including the wind PTC. 

“The expiration of the PTC at the end of 2013 was a victory for taxpayers. Now, Chairman Camp’s attempt to slash this wasteful handout from the tax code provides another positive sign to the American people. For over twenty years, the PTC has put an unnecessary burden on taxpayers by forcing them to prop up the self-proclaimed ‘infant’ wind industry. The wind industry demands ‘policy certainty’ for wind energy subsidies. Chairman Camp’s plan answers those calls by providing certainty that taxpayers will no longer be forced to foot the bill for Big Wind.”


Pyle Urges Wyden to Examine PTC

WASHINGTON — American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle sent a letter today to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) urging him to initiate a full inquiry into past extensions of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). As the new Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Wyden has already expressed support for a tax extenders package that includes the wind PTC. American taxpayers deserve to know the full economic impacts of wind subsidies before Sen. Wyden even considers tax extenders. The letter reads:

As you know, Congress voted last year to give the wind industry another year of subsidies, which the Joint Committee on Taxation pegged at a $12 billion cost to taxpayers. Congress has a duty to consider the full impacts of last year’s expansion of the wind Production Tax Credit before committing billions more to an industry whose technology former Energy Secretary Steven Chu labeled “mature.”  In fact, AWEA proudly boasts that at the end of last year, “there were more U.S. wind power MW under construction than ever in history.”

The American people deserve a full airing of the cumulative economic impacts of wind subsidies, and the Senate Finance Committee has a unique responsibility to assess these impacts. We urge you, therefore, to initiate a full inquiry into the success of past extensions of the wind PTC to determine if taxpayers have received the benefit that policymakers and wind lobbyists promised.  We would also urge the Committee to investigate the other nations who have subsidized and/or mandated renewable energy and are now rapidly moving away from this model because of skyrocketing consumer energy costs.  By examining the experience of others, the U.S. may be able to avoid some of the same mistakes.

The American Energy Alliance welcomes a full discussion of this matter before the Senate Finance Committee and would eagerly participate in a meaningful conversation about the merits of the wind PTC, specifically, and all energy subsidies in general. A common sense U.S. energy policy should be guided by solid facts, sound science and an assessment of the impacts of these policies to the marketplace and the costs to consumers.

To read the full letter, click here.


No Stone Unturned at FERC

WASHINGTON — News broke today that the White House plans to nominate Norman Bay, the chief enforcement officer for FERC, as the agency’s next chairman. Bay is the second person the White House has nominated to fill the seat of former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. Last year, Ron Binz withdrew from consideration after a bruising confirmation battle, despite the assistance of high-paid outside communications advisors to help him through the process. AEA President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:
“The American Energy Alliance has monitored developments at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with increased interest due to the critical role that this bipartisan, independent regulator must play in the execution of President Obama’s agenda. The FERC is no place for anti-hydrocarbon ideologues like Ron Binz, and we stood strong with our coalition partners against his ultimately doomed confirmation. The announcement today that the White House will nominate Norman Bay is due the same level of scrutiny that was applied to Mr. Binz, and we are hopeful that his confirmation process will leave no stone unturned.”


POLL: Spending Issues Still Reign Supreme

WASHINGTON – With a number of spending issues on the horizon such as what to do with green energy subsidies and the $1 trillion farm bill, which is currently moving through Congress, the American Energy Alliance (AEA) today released a new poll focusing on government spending. MWR Strategies conducted the nationwide survey with a sample of 1000 likely voters and a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Results show that overall, voters—especially those who support Republicans—want Washington to remain focused on economic and fiscal issues. While other issues such as Obamacare continue to be top priorities, they are ultimately rooted in larger concerns about the nation’s fiscal and economic health.  An overwhelming 86 percent of Republican voters believe Congress can work on health care and spending issues at the same time.

AEA President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

“The message to lawmakers from this poll is that their constituents expect them to walk and chew gum at the same time.  They shouldn’t use the disastrous impact of Obamacare or other major issues as an excuse to abandon commonsense, fiscal responsibility.  Americans want Washington to get out of the way of job creators, increase our supply of affordable energy and cut wasteful spending regardless of the political calendar.  There’s no reason to trade our nation’s long-term fiscal health for a short-term political wins.”

Reducing spending is still a top priority on the minds of Americans and Congress can take important steps toward achieving that goal. For example, they must ensure there is accountability and oversight in the farm bill’s energy title and they must prevent the retroactive extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit.

In addition, they should work towards ending the billions in special interest giveaways to failing “green” energy companies and replace such harmful policies with pro-growth initiatives that encourage the development of America’s vast energy resources, which would create millions of new jobs and improve the nation’s fiscal and economic outlook well into the future.

Key Findings:

  • As voters look toward the new year, four out of five (79 percent) said that Congress and the President should make jobs and the economy one of their top priorities for 2014.
  • Other top priorities included health care (60 percent) and federal spending (59 percent).
  • 35 percent of voters thought attention should be on energy independence.
  • About one-quarter (26 percent) believed that the farm bill should be among top action items for Washington.
  • By a margin of 86 percent to 10 percent, Republican voters think it is possible for Republicans in Congress to work both on spending issues and health care issues at the same time.
  • Eighty-two percent of Republican voters think that Republicans in Congress should use the need to raise the debt limit as an opportunity to make progress toward meaningful reductions in government spending.
  • Only a plurality (47 percent) of Republican voters support the farm bill. By and large, Republican voters favor the House’s approach to the farm bill that makes much of the spending in the farm bill optional – as opposed to mandatory (54 percent to 19 percent).

This survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted using landline (n=535), cell phone (n=115), and online interviews (n=350). It was fielded Dec 29-30, 2013 and Jan 2-4, 2013.The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.1% at the 95% confidence interval.

To read the full memo, click here.
To see the results of the survey, click here.


AEA Suspends Carbon Tax Accountability Ads

WASHINGTON – Following a chemical spill in West Virginia’s Elk River, the American Energy Alliance has decided to temporarily suspend a $350K accountability initiative targeting Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) for his past support of a carbon tax. AEA President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

“Given the more pressing concern facing West Virginians as a result of the recent chemical spill in the Elk River, the American Energy Alliance is pulling our three week initiative to promote accountability for Rep. Nick Rahall over his vote to support a carbon tax. While we remain staunchly opposed to a carbon tax and committed to holding public officials accountable for the actions, now is not the time for this advertisement. Our efforts in the next several weeks in West Virginia are more rightly directed at helping the families in the affected region.”

The American Energy Alliance is encouraging its nationwide activist network to contribute to charitable organizations, like the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, who are on the ground in West Virginia helping to distribute water and other essential supplies to those affected by the chemical spill.

To help the families in West Virginia, click here.

To view the pulled AEA advertisement, click here.



AEA Holds W.V. Congressman Accountable for Carbon Tax Budget Vote

WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance began today airing three weeks of radio and television advertisements holding West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall (D) accountable for his controversial support of a budget that includes a carbon tax. West Virginia is the second largest producer of coal in the United States and the state’s electricity needs are met almost entirely by coal-fired power plants. If enacted, a carbon tax would be detrimental to Congressman Rahall’s constituents and the West Virginia economy.
AEA President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

“When Congressman Rahall cast his vote in favor of a carbon tax, he clearly voted against the interests of West Virginians. Coal is the lifeblood of the West Virginia economy, but a carbon tax would kill coal and harm West Virginia families and all Americans. Not only do West Virginians rely primarily on coal for affordable electricity, but the coal industry also provides tens of thousands of good paying jobs in the state. By supporting a carbon tax, Congressman Rahall has shown his disregard for these jobs and the well being of his constituents.

“Actions speak louder than words. And by denying his actions in support of a carbon tax, Rahall is not only hurting his constituents in coal country, but adding insult to injury. West Virginia families deserve better from their elected officials.”

The television advertisements will air in the West Virginia markets of Bluefield-Beckley-Oak, Charleston-Huntington, Clarksburg-Weston, and Roanoke-Lynchburg. The radio ads will air in Beckley, Bluefield, Huntington-Ashland, and throughout other parts of the state. The total cost of the ad buy is approximately $350,000.

To read the fact sheet supporting AEA’s “Let’s See” ad, click here.

To view AEA’s “Let’s See” television ad, click here.

To read the fact sheet supporting AEA’s “Play Straight” ad, click here.

To listen to AEA’s “Play Straight” radio ad, click here.

To view AEA’s previous carbon tax ads, click here and here.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Calls for an End to the Wind PTC

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), have joined today in opposition to another extension of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). In a letter sent to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Senators call for the permanent expiration of the wind PTC. AEA President Thomas Pyle released the following statement:

“The American Energy Alliance welcomes the efforts of this bipartisan group of Senators to put an end to the wind PTC. For decades, American taxpayers have bankrolled the wind industry, and the time has long past to allow the PTC to run its course. This tax credit was always intended to be temporary, but Big Wind has grown addicted to taxpayer subsidies, spending millions year after year to extend and even expand this unnecessary and expensive taxpayer giveaway and fleecing the American people out of billions of dollars along the way.

“Last year’s extension and expansion of the wind PTC alone cost the American people $12.1 billion dollars and another one year extension would cost another $6.5 billion. As Big Wind cries for another extension— even calling for its retroactivity in the event a measure isn’t passed before it expires as planned at the end of the year—this letter sends a strong message to the rest of Congress that it is time to put an end to wind welfare and ensure that the wind PTC blows away once and for all.”

To read the full letter, click here.

To read a comment from Thomas Pyle published today on the National Journal Energy Insiders Blog, click here.

To read IER’s study, “Estimating the State-Level Impact of Federal Wind Subsidies”, click here.

It’s Time To Act

The math doesn’t add up. Why force higher, more complicated taxes on American families and businesses? Don’t let this stand. The future of the millions of U.S. jobs, the standard of living for our families and friends, and the health of the American economy is at stake.

Tell Washington the Carbon Tax is not an option.

Take Action