By Carol E. Murphy, TimesUnion.com:
Raymond Gaus, in his letter “Wind expensive source of energy,” Sept. 3, mischaracterizes the balance sheet of tax subsidies for power production in the United States. Contrary to Mr. Gaus’ implication, wind and solar energy have not been unduly favored.
First, to put the impact of birds killed by wind turbines in perspective, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations estimate annual bird deaths due to collisions with buildings range from 97 million to 976 million, 60 million or more may be killed by vehicles, and up to 2 million are killed in oil and wastewater pits. Further, a recent study conducted by the American Bird Conservancy found that cats kill at least 500 million birds per year.
Some energy incentives, like the depletion allowance for oil and gas, are permanent in the tax code and have been in place since the 1920s. U.S. government subsidies for oil, natural gas and coal have totaled more than $500 billion from 1950 to 2006. Wind energy’s primary incentive, the renewable energy production tax credit, is an investment in the form of tax relief that only rewards results. It pays for itself… Read more