Fact check: Heritage off base with assault on PTC

The Heritage Foundation's blog recently carried an article questioning the value of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).  The following was posted as a comment:

The misinformation about tax credits and the wind industry continues. 

The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) is an effective tool to allow developers to raise private capital in the marketplace and bring renewable energy projects to completion. Furthermore, the PTC applies only to actual electricity produced from utility-scale wind turbines. A wind project developer does not receive the credit until the wind turbine actually generates power. As a business tax credit, funding is based solely on project performance, not evaluation by government officials. 

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) points out the sensible reasons for supporting the PTC that have led 18 House and numerous Senate Republicans to call for action against raising taxes on this important source of American jobs: 

“Low taxes in the form of the federal Production Tax Credit for wind have driven as much as $20 billion of private investment a year into the U.S. economy. Wind power is now one of America’s biggest sources of new electricity and fastest growing manufacturing sectors. It has accounted for more than a third of all new U.S. electric generation in recent years.” 

The cost argument is simply wrong. Numerous studies have shown that wind energy saves consumers money by reducing the use of expensive fossil fuels, thus driving energy bills down. 

Attempts to imply government favoritism are misguided and false. As Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) notes, “The wind industry has utilized a production tax credit, which has helped the industry see steady growth this decade.” The existing tax credit was regularly included in the federal budget under President George W. Bush. 

Wind accounts for 35% of all new electric generation capacity in the U.S. since 2007 and is ahead of schedule to provide the 20% of all U.S. electricity by 2030. American wind jobs are poised to quintuple in 20 years. 

Rep. King said it best: “Conservatives can and do support wind.” 

Let wind finish the job.

Related articles:

Bipartisan group of Illinois Representatives supports PTC extension, February 24, 2012
Kansas City Star backs PTC extension, praises Brownback, Moran, February 23, 2012
Moran visits Siemens factory, pushes PTC extension, February 22, 2012
U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA): PTC is jobs engine conservatives should support, February 17, 2012
Bennet, Moran continue bipartisan push to extend PTC, February 16, 2012
Oklahoma Gov. Fallin urges conferees: Extend the PTC, February 15, 2012
Michigan worker's plea: Extend PTC, help wind power create U.S. jobs, February 13, 2012
Bipartisan letter from entire Iowa Congressional delegation urges: Extend the PTC
, February 10, 2012
Bipartisan letter from Colorado Congressional delegation urges: Extend the PTC, February 8, 2012
Republican governors push for PTC extension; Senators express support
, February 2, 2012
U.S. Chamber of Commerce joins broad range of groups endorsing PTC extension
, February 1, 2012
WSJ op-ed: 'Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy', January 5, 2012
Red State Energy, Red State Jobs
, November 29, 2011
Governors' letter urges prompt extension of wind tax incentive
, November 16, 2011

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