For at least the past six months there has been a relentless campaign to do away with the production tax credit(PTC) for wind energy. This effort, waged largely under the conservative banner, is not at all what it seems. The groups and people that attack the tax incentive for wind energy often frame their concern as protecting taxpayer wallets or supporting a level energy playing field, yet they are completely silent on the plethora of tax breaks and other goodies showered on coal, oil and natural gas.
A philosophical stance against government subsidized energy production that looks honestly at all energy-related incentives might have merit, but that is clearly not the case here. Instead, the attacks on wind are a special interest driven effort to make sure gas, oil and coal have a distinct tax advantage over wind energy.
The one thing that links most, if not all, of those targeting the PTC is a connection to the large fossil fuel conglomerate Koch Industries. Groups like Americans for Prosperity, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Jobs Alliance and American Energy Alliance all have ties to Koch and are all campaigning against the PTC.
It is also worth noting that these groups are the same ones who were still peddling the notion that better automobile fuel efficiency equates to unsafe cars long after auto manufacturers—and the marketplace—had proved them wrong. They are also the ones who kept telling us that incandescent light bulbs had been banned even as improved incandescent bulbs, which met new energy standards, were already on store shelves.
There is no underlying conservative basis for singling out wind energy, just the wishes of a competing special interest.
Check out our recent op-ed in The Hill, Wind PTC opposition seeks skewed energy market.