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“Madame, bear in mind that princes govern all things–save the wind” ~Victor Hugo
China is on track to have twice as much of it as we do now by 2015.[i] Politicians, who seem to generate a great deal of it themselves, are arguing over whether it should stay or go here in the U.S.[ii] I’m talking about wind power capacity—and the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) that makes it possible.
I suspect that, to the average Alabamian, assisting the wind farms of the Midwest does not rank high on a to-do list. It’s not like anyone is going to be putting a wind farm in Alabama anytime soon. (Or are they?[iii]) But Alabama wind farms or no, here are three good reasons why Alabamians should support an extension of the PTC:
Of course, even 15 million households is still a drop in America’s bucket. We need more wind power, not less; but less is what we’re getting, as the political wrangling over the PTC extension is costing us good wind jobs.[iv]
According to MIT’s Technology Review, “The [PTC] policy was originally established in 1992 as part of an energy bill signed by President George H. W. Bush. It gave a tax credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour to generators of certain types of renewable electricity, including that from wind. The credit expired in July 1999, and since then has been renewed, expired, and been renewed again several times, with several months-long lapses in between. The rate has been adjusted for inflation and is now 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.”[v]
In the heated rhetoric of presidential campaigning, the PTC has become a political punching bag for the party that once championed the conservation of energy and natural resources as part of its conservative platform. But a free market needs wind power—not the worsening economic turmoil of our current oil addiction—and wind power desperately needs the PTC to help get it up and running. I hope you will let Alabama’s elected representatives know how you feel on this issue.
“If the winds of fortune are temporarily blowing against you, remember that you can harness them and make them carry you toward your definite purpose, through the use of your imagination.” ~Napolean Hill
by Kyle Crider