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Let’s be Gone with the Wind

Why subsidize an industry that kills millions of birds and has no environmental benefit?

John Fund — National Review — December 28, 2012

President Obama likes to talk about making

sure “the biggest corporations pay their fair share.”

Treasury secretary Tim Geithner calls for tax

reform to close loopholes and subsidies. Budget

hawks say federal spending must be curbed.

Congress and federal environmental regulators

claim they are doing everything they can to

save endangered species.

By doing nothing and waiting for December 31

to pass, all of those folks could strike a blow in

support of each of these policies. All they have

to do is let the federal production tax credit (PTC)

for wind energy expire on schedule this coming


Begun 20 years ago to spur the construction of

wind-energy facilities that could compete with

conventional fossil-fuel power plants, the tax

credit gives wind an advantage over all other

energy producers.

But it has mostly benefited conventional nuclear

and fossil-fuel-fired electricity producers. The

biggest user of the tax credit is Florida-based

NextEra Energy, the nation’s eighth-largest

power producer.

Through skillful manipulation of the credits,

NextEra from 2005 to 2009 “paid just $88

million in taxes on earnings of nearly $7 billion,”

Businessweek reports. That’s a tax rate of just

1.25 percent over that period, when the

statutory rate is 35 percent.

(To continue reading, click here)

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