AEA Enlists New House Leaders to End Wind Welfare

WASHINGTON – American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle sent a letter today to House Leadership congratulating the newly elected Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The letter also urges them to remain opposed to an extension of the recently expired Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). AEA also ran a full page ad in today’s edition of Politico as part of a broader paid initiative that includes digital and social media.

Excerpts from the letter:

The PTC expired as of January 1, 2014. However, green pressure groups and the wind lobby are working to revive this costly policy as part of a tax extenders package and also have it be retroactively reinstated. We urge you to oppose such an action.

We agree with Majority Leader McCarthy that subsidies for wind have “had their time”. Majority Whip Scalise, you have similarly condemned the PTC. In late 2012, you joined with 44 fellow Representatives in a letter stating, “Twenty years of subsidizing wind is more than enough.” This decades old subsidy has far outlived its usefulness. The wind industry should be left to compete in the free market based on its own merits, not rely on taxpayer dollars. We ask that you stand by your previous positions and remain in opposition to an extension of this wasteful subsidy.

The effect of providing a subsidy worth half or more of the wholesale price of electricity has already negatively impacted electricity reliability, because the artificial price structure created by the PTC encourages the development of uneconomic wind while undermining the economics of reliable full-time generation such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear. Investor Warren Buffett made this fact very clear when her recently said, “…On wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

To read the full letter, click here.

Rahall is Not Doing Enough

“President Obama’s war on coal is really a war on West Virginia families and Nick Rahall simply has not done enough to protect West Virginia from Washington’s anti-coal regulations.” -AEA President Thomas Pyle
WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance continued today its energy accountability initiative with another round of television and online ads in West Virginia. These ads come on the heels of the EPA’s recently proposed rules for existing power plants—one of the costliest regulations in history. The ads hold Congressman Nick Rahall accountable for shielding this and several other of President Obama’s anti-coal regulations from facing an up or down vote in Congress. The total ad buy is for $140,000 and the ads will air for three weeks.
Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, released the following statement:

“When coal takes a hit, so do West Virginia families, and the EPA’s anti-coal policies are having very real and devastating impacts on the state, including higher energy costs and lost jobs. But instead of protecting West Virginians from these threats, Congressman Rahall voted to shield the Obama Administration’s radical anti-coal agenda from the scrutiny of Congress. Rahall’s vote against reining in EPA’s regulatory power and his support for budgets that advance the carbon tax agenda prove that when push comes to shove, Nick Rahall stands with President Obama instead of standing up to him.

“President Obama’s war on coal is really a war on West Virginia families and Nick Rahall simply has not done enough to protect West Virginia from Washington’s anti-coal regulations.”

To view the ad, click here.

To read the fact sheet for the ad, click here.


Pyle Urges Senate to Cut Red Tape on Energy Development

WASHINGTON — American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle sent a letter today to Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell urging them to use the debate over the Shaheen-Portman bill to discuss policies that would cut red tape on American energy development. The letter reads:

The Shaheen-Portman bill will not grow the economy nor will it reduce energy prices for American families. At best, it will increase the government’s micromanagement of our daily lives, something Americans are growing increasingly concerned about. If the Senate intends to debate the Shaheen-Portman bill, it is imperative that there be a thorough discussion of policies to end the red tape that is shackling energy development in America. Here are some important issues that should be part of any discussion of an energy bill:

  • Electricity Security and Affordability Act. EPA’s GHG regulations will drive up electricity prices and according to EPA itself will not affect climate change in any meaningful way. Congress must step in to stop these regulations that provide no gain, but will further imperil our struggling economy.
  • American Energy Renaissance Act. Oil production increased by an impressive 61 percent on private lands between 2009 and 2013, but oil production fell on federal lands over the same time period.  Federal lands contain the largest known energy reserves in the world, but the federal government keeps these resources off limits. The AERA will allow for the development of some of these resources and rein in the red tape that is strangling our economy.
  • Encourage the exports of LNG to ensure that production of natural gas in the United States will remain strong, which will, in turn, keep prices low for American consumers.
  • Allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built. Getting more oil from Canada is in the national interest. It is that simple. It should not take five years to figure out if transporting oil from Canada in the most environmentally sensitive and economic way possible is a good thing. We cannot sit by and let the Obama administration continue to play politics when we could be getting people back to work.

To read the full letter, click here.

No More Wind Welfare

WASHINGTON — The American Energy Alliance joined today with 30 other organizations in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee urging them to oppose an extension of the wind Production Tax Credit. The letter comes as the committee prepares to examine a tax extenders bill. The letter reads:

“Choosing to extend the wind PTC further will only serve to place more burden on taxpayers. The projected cost of another one-year extension is $6.1 billion dollars and a five-year concession would cost $18.5 billion. The American people deserve a full airing of the cumulative economic impacts of wind subsidies.

“What is so dangerous about the wind PTC is not only that we are choosing to throw away money on a technology completely incapable of keeping the lights on, but the PTC is designed to harm reliable sources of energy like nuclear and coal  through predatory negative prices that the PTC enables. The PTC is so large that it allows wind producers to pay the electricity grid to take their electricity and still make money.

“The PTC has been a failure for taxpayers and ratepayers. In exchange for tens of billions of dollars in handouts to wind producers, the states with the highest wind production have seen their electricity rates increase nearly five times faster than the national average. In fact, states with at least 7 percent wind power have seen their electricity rates increase at an average of 17.4 percent over the last 5 years compared to an increase of only 3.5 percent for the U.S. as a whole”

To read the full letter, click here.


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.”