What Critics of Wind Power’s Incentive Miss

On the positive side, the Des Moines RegisterDenver Post, and Chicago Sun-Times have all editorialized in favor, joining a number of other major newspapers already on record in support (for example, the Daily Oklahoman, the Houston Chronicle, and The New York Times). The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, on Friday continued its steady drumbeat of broadsides against renewable energy in general and the wind tax credit in particular.

Here is what the Journal and other critics of the PTC miss:

By Denise Bode, Huff Post Green:

Historically, all energy sources have been encouraged by government, and for good reason. Ensuring a steady supply of domestic energy is vital to the productivity of our national economy.
Traditional energy sources have had a huge head start in government support. A recent study from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) points out that traditional energy sources enjoy an enormous advantage with regard to tax relief and other incentives: “For more than half a century, federal energy tax policy focused almost exclusively on increasing domestic oil and gas reserves and production … These provisions remain in the tax code in limited form today.”

That advantage is permanent, allowing for a stable business environment that wind energy is deprived of because of on-again, off-again federal policies

Renewable energy sources are not receiving excessive support. Another recent report, “What Would Jefferson Do?” from DBL Investors, found that “current renewable energy subsidies do not constitute an over-subsidized outlier when compared to the historical norm for emerging sources of energy. For example: … the federal commitment to [oil and gas] was five times greater than the federal commitment to renewables during the first 15 years of each [incentive’s] life, and it was more than 10 times greater for nuclear… Read more

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