Tennessee Senator Alexander Says "Wind Power Tax Credits Should End"

Mar 09, 2012 at 10:37 am by bryan

In a speech delivered at the Heritage Foundation, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called on Congress to end the production tax credit for wind power, which has been in place since 1992 and is set to expire at the end of the year – an issue on which could Congress could vote as early as this week, by way of an amendment to the Highway bill. Alexander said, “The ‘Big Wind’ gravy train…should go the way of the $5 billion annual ethanol subsidy, which Congress allowed to expire last year.”

Alexander listed three reasons the subsidies should be allowed to expire:


“First, we can’t afford it. The federal government borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends. It cannot justify such a subsidy, especially for what the U.S. Energy Secretary calls ‘a mature technology.’

“Second, wind turbines produce a relatively puny amount of expensive, unreliable electricity. Wind produces 2.3% of our electricity, less than 8 percent of our pollution-free electricity. …

“Finally, these massive turbines too often destroy the environment in the name of saving the environment… These are not your grandma’s windmills. They are taller than the Statue of Liberty, their blades are as long as a football field, and their blinking lights can be seen for twenty miles. … Apparently eagle killing has gotten so commonplace that the U.S. Department of Interior will grant wind developers hunting licenses for eagles. In Goodhue County, Minnesota, a company wants to build 48 turbines on 50 square miles of land and, to do that, it has applied for an ‘eagle take’ permit which will allow it to kill a certain number of eagles before facing penalties.

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