By Ken Silverstein, Energybiz:
Now that the American Wind Energy Association’s has booted Exelon Corp. from its board of its directors, what’s next for the industry’s crown jewel, or its production tax credit. It will remain a bargaining chip until the next U.S. president is sworn in when it may then find a more distinguished place.
The dialogue is centering on a production tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour. That is a subsidy in which budget watchers say is costing $1.2 billion a year but also one in which its supporters say is preserving 75,000 current jobs while adding thousands more. The two presidential contenders are taking opposing view, with the Republican nominee saying that the credit must end because it distorts markets and props up an industry that could not otherwise make it on its own.
The Obama administration, conversely, has made the permanent extension of the production tax credit a top policy goal. It, of course, has said that the creation of a new, green economy would generate the next wave of 21st-Century jobs. What’s especially interesting is that Exelon and the Obama administration have close ties, with both having their roots in the Chicago area. Exelon, in fact, needs the kind of nuclear loan guarantees that the Obama administration has awarded to help build new nuclear plants… Read more