Extend the Wind Energy Tax Credit
From Daily Record
Wind energy holds the promise of helping the country move away from fossil fuels toward more sustainable means of energy production. Some forms of green energy are theoretical projects that are in practice implausible, but not wind energy. Wind farms in Colorado and throughout the county are established and growing contributors to power grids, and the wind industry employs tens of thousands of people.
But the wind will be taken out of the industry’s sails if Congress fails to extend the federal wind-industry tax credit, which is worth up to $3 billion a year and is due to expire at the close of 2012. Many lawmakers, including eight of the nine-member congressional delegation from Colorado, support the extension. But they have not yet been able to push it through partisan logjams. Congress must find a way to pass the extension. Ryan Wiser, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist who studies the renewable energy market, told the New York Times that without the extension the wind industry “falls off a cliff.”
Opponents of the extension say the government shouldn’t prop up a business that can’t succeed on its own. They say the government shouldn’t pick winners. In extending the tax, however, what the government would really be doing is investing in America’s future. The tax credit is a necessary boost to a young industry that is struggling against the trials of transition from fossil fuels and unfair competition from China. The future looks brighter with a robust and self-sustaining domestic wind-energy industry, and if the industry needs some early assistance to attain that state of success, it’s in the public interest to help it get there.
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