Wind energy fight should be interesting

david52 Zone 6October 19, 2012

"The wind energy industry faces a lame duck fight in the House of Representatives over extending the expiring production tax credit. The tax credit has broad bipartisan support, and considering that 81 percent of U.S. wind projects are installed in Republican districts, GOP lawmakers have a good reason to support it.

But with Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups mobilizing to defeat the credit, its future after 2012 is uncertain. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, told Politico Pro this week that it aims to make the credit a toxic issue for House Republicans: (Article requires subscription access):

"Our goal is to make the PTC so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, 'Yeah, I can bend on this one,'" said Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance.

American Energy Alliance has a strong link to Koch Industries: AEA's president Thomas Pyle was former director of federal affairs for Koch Industries, and it is affiliated with the Koch- and ExxonMobil-backed Institute for Energy Research. Pyle is a former lobbyist for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. AEA is also running a half-million-dollar TV ad in Virginia slamming Obama on coal issues.

A host of groups in the Koch network, including American Tradition Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and American Legislative Exchange Council, have undermined wind energy before. The Guardian reported on an ATI secret memo that suggested forming "dummy businesses" and a "counter-intelligence branch" against the wind industry.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the wind tax credit supports 75,000 wind jobs - up to 6,000 jobs in Boehner's home state alone - and has helped raise $20 billion in private investment in wind.

Conservatives claim an end to the wind tax credit will put energy on a level playing field; however, they have fought to maintain $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. The oil industry has outspent clean energy advertising by four times this election cycle, and send 90 percent of their political contributions to Republicans.

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With all the vetted evidence we have on Climate Change and how it's affecting our planet, one would think the money-grubbing mindset of the oil industry and their political mouthpieces would be trying to find a way to corner and monopolize the wind energy industry, instead of fighting to continue polluting and sucking our planet dry of its natural resources.

Another thing... the oil and gas industry gets hugely subsidized, doesn't it? So, why would they care about a tax credit for a cleaner source of energy?

Why do we always have to drag one particular faction kicking and screaming into the modern world of reality?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 5:17PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

jodik, almost always the answer is - money

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Does anyone realize how many birds and bats those wind turbines kill every year? It's an outrage!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Did you hear something, Ingrid? Never mind... it must have been more wind passing.

Not just money, Ingrid, but the love of money. Greed has opened like a huge gaping chasm and swallowed most of anything that was good in this country. When I think about things like moral high ground, integrity, empathy and ethics, and all those words that go with to form true character, the lack of it all these days is just overwhelming. There won't be a decent planet when my grandchildren grow up... not at the rate the chasm is growing and filling.

Carry on, David... you were saying?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 10:27PM
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david52 Zone 6

Do you know how many miles of waterways are contaminated by mercury poisoning from coal fired power plants, let alone the people who die prematurely from all the billions of tons of crap they put in the air?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:13AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

The Koch brothers will have the best Republican Congress that they can buy.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:28AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

In regard to birds and bats being killed by windmills, research in being conducted on this. The number of birds killed is actually infinitesimal compared to deaths with collision by other man-made structures, particularly those with windows. The problem with bats is greater, and efforts are underway to study their migration patterns, and also that of birds, to minimize the number of fatalities. Overall, the number is tiny compared to deaths through habitat destruction and pollution of various kinds and the use of lead bullets.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Imagine oil supporters trying to sidetrack alternative energy investments. Who'd have thought it?

Yep, we get the America we deserve when we support the politicians that take money from big oil.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 5:03PM
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