Newspapers nationwide see benefits of continuing investment in wind power

Newspapers across the country came out this fall in favor of extending the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), the primary federal policy supporting development of new wind farms.

The Desert Sun, for example, a paper serving Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley in Southern California, editorialized on Saturday, Dec. 6, that “wind energy has vast potential to help the U.S. meet its energy goals and combat climate change,” in an editorial titled “Keep investing in wind power.”

One point made by the newspaper discredits a recent assertion in The Wall Street Journal, when an affiliate of the Koch brothers misleadingly claimed in an opinion column that wind power has been subsidized out of proportion to other energy sources.

As the Desert Sun noted, a new report by Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship finds that natural gas currently receives more in government incentives, through the depletion allowance and Master Limited Partnerships for small investors, than wind power receives from the PTC. This chart from Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship illustrates their findings:

Source: Andrew Fales, Senior Fellow at Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

That’s in addition to the historical subsidies that virtually all competing energy sources have received for decades.

As the Denver Post wrote in its own editorial on Saturday, criticizing the House for not extending the PTC for longer, “Congress really ought to be looking at a multiyear production tax credit to give the industry a bigger push toward steady growth and planning instead of creating boom and bust cycles.”

Here are more views from the many newspapers whose editorials have sided with the PTC:

  • The Kansas City Star editorialized Nov. 20, in “Congress should extend a tax credit to boost renewable wind power,” that the PTC is “crucial to increasing the production of clean, renewable wind energy in gusty states such as Kansas.”
  • The Toledo Blade wrote in its Nov. 17 editorial that the PTC would “reap great benefits for Ohio, which employs thousands of people in wind-related jobs and is a national leader for manufacturing parts for wind-energy production.”
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Nov. 18 said Congress should renew the PTC, calling it a “no-brainer” because “public investment in basic infrastructure alleviates unemployment, develops the national economy and aids newer industries that might not otherwise get off the ground.”
  • The Globe Gazette, a major paper in Iowa, wrote a Dec. 5 editorial in favor of the PTC, stating that “Too many opponents of wind power claiming they want a level playing field really want the federal thumb on their side of the scale.”
  • The Greeley Tribune in Colorado wrote a Dec. 6 editorial titled “Congress must offer certainty with wind energy tax credit extension.”
  • The New York Times included the PTC in a list of what it saw as “worthwhile” credits in a Dec. 3 editorial on the tax extender fights.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer also stated that “Given the environmental and foreign-policy pitfalls of relying on fossil fuels, for example, a case can be made for credits that stimulate the growth of alternative energy resources.”

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