Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday said the nation’s fiscal situation has become so dire that the government can no longer afford to maintain a wind power production credit that has been in place since in 1992.
“I think there is certainly the largest realization that we’ve ever had that it’s time for it to end,” Alexander said at a Wednesday event hosted by The Hill and sponsored by the American Energy Alliance.
In a longer story, The Hill reports on the efforts of U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican representing the Kansas fourth district (Wichita metropolitan area and surrounding counties) to end the wind production tax credit:
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) said he hopes that conversation leads to the elimination of all energy subsidies.
Pompeo has led the House charge against the credit. He got 46 other House GOP members to sign a September letter urging Boehner to nix the provision.
Pompeo said the wind credit’s history is instructive when debating the benefits of tax carve-outs for specific industries.
He pointed to a steep decline in wind turbine installations when the credit last lapsed in 2004 as proof that subsidies distort markets and investment. And planned projects and investments already are down for next year as a result of the credit’s cloudy future.
“I think that’s further evidence that it’s non-economic,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo has been at the forefront of efforts to end subsidies that distort energy markets. He and Alexander recently contributed an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal, which may be read at Puff, the Magic Drag on the Economy: Time to let the pernicious production tax credit for wind power blow away. Pompeo also develops the argument in Governor Romney is right: End the wind production tax credit and Mike Pompeo: We need capitalism, not cronyism. The special interests that benefit from cronyism have struck back, but unsuccessfully: Kerr’s attacks on Pompeo’s energy policies fall short.