End $12 billion wind tax credit, save coal from being regulated to death

Aug. 16, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement urging the House of Representatives not to renew the $12 billion wind tax credit this year:

“The idea that we’re going to power the world’s preeminent economic and industrial superpower on 12th Century windmill technology is so ludicrous as to not even merit serious consideration. But the Ivory Tower elites in Washington, D.C., have insisted that we do so, and as a result now taxpayers are on the hook for $12 billion a year for this fool’s errand. Congress needs to act now to repeal the tax credit.

“In the meantime, we need an honest evaluation by the Department of Energy of the true costs of producing energy. According to Department of Energy’s estimates, in 2017 it will cost anywhere from $97 to $139 per megawatt hour to produce coal. This estimate is used to make it appear that wind at $96 per megawatt hour in 2017 will be viable.

But the only way they get there is by regulating coal to death. The Department of Energy has engaged in blatant propaganda. This report reveals Obama’s callous disdain and disrespect for the millions of families who earn their living through the production of coal or through the reasonably priced power that coal generates. 

Coal only costs about $30 to $35 per megawatt hour to produce. The only way the Department of Energy’s 2017 projection can show wind to be viable is to triple the cost of coal.  Their cooked numbers include all of the regulatory costs that the EPA is and will be imposing on miners and coal-burning plants for new technologies by then.

This is what Obama meant when in 2008 he said, ‘if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.’

“Wind should be free to compete in the marketplace along with other forms of energy. But anyone who argues that it should be subsidized is just breaking wind. If it cannot compete on a cost basis without subsidies and without using the power of government to squash competitors, then it is not viable.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.