Page 43

43

The Valley, May 2014 YES, I want to join FRIENDS OF JACKS MOUNTAIN support!!

Membership is FREE – we need your

_________________________________________________________________________________ Please Print: First and Last Name __________________________________ _______________________________ Street City State

__( )___________________________ _________________________________ Phone number, including Area Code

Corporate Welfare Programs for Big Wind

_____________________________________ Email address (will be kept private)

We really just need your membership, but if you would like to donate, we will appreciate any donations. Tax-deductible Donations should be Payable to Save Our Allegheny Ridges (SOAR) which is a 501(c)3 partnering with Friends Of Jacks Mountain. You will receive a receipt.

Laura Jackson, President www.SaveOurAlleghenyRidges.org

A recent report from the wind industry stated that developers lobbied Congress for 11 years before our legislators were persuaded to subsidize the wind industry, thus allowing large-scale industrial wind projects to be built. Industrial wind energy, in its present form, is too expensive and too risky to finance without substantial subsidies. It is true that our tax dollars subsidize many industries and products even tobacco production. Supporters say that tobacco subsidies stabilize the economy and provide jobs in poor areas. Subsidies to big tobacco companies and to big wind companies speak to the power of corporate welfare programs. Industrial wind is subsidized at the federal and state level, and benefits from state mandates. This article explores just a few subsidy programs that support wind development. According to the New York Times, Pennsylvania spends at least $4.84 billion per year on incentive programs for businesses. In fact, Royal Dutch Shell received a tax credit of $1.65 billion for its petrochemical refinery north of Pittsburgh - the tax credit was an attempt to lure it into our state (1). This is corporate welfare at its finest! Subsidies distort the market and prop up industries that should be able to function on their own. Why does the oil and gas industry continue to be subsidized? Energy companies could compete in the market without government subsidies, but their lobbying power and political influence keep the corporate welfare system in place. Production Tax Credits: One of the major subsidies for industrial wind projects, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), was not renewed at the end of 2013, but any wind project that starts construction before 2016 is still eligible for a production credit of

_____________ Zip code

2.3 cents per kWh. That doesn’t seem like much, but it is significant. Economists estimate that a 2-year extension of the PTC will cost more than $13 billion over the next 10 years - and even more after that. There are two big problems with the PTC: 1. If Congress fails to pass a balanced budget, every dollar provided to special interests like the wind PTC is a direct addition to the national debt. Each dollar that Congress adds to the national debt will be DOUBLED in about 15 years from all the interest that accrues. 2. The PTC is the main reason why industrial wind companies like E.ON and Volkswind want to build wind turbines on Jacks and Stone Mountains. The tax credits make industrial wind projects viable, at the expense of wildlife, natural habitats and local communities. States like Iowa and Texas receive a big piece of the subsidy pie compared to Pennsylvania, which only ranks 30 out of 50 states in wind resources. A recent study by the Institute for Energy Research (2) determined that the federal Production Tax Credit created a burden of $123,299,767.47 in 2012 to Pennsylvania taxpayers. Some of that money supported wind developers in Pennsylvania, like E.ON, EverPower, NextEra, Gamesa, Duke Energy, and others which received $47,313,667.72 in tax credits from Pennsylvania residents. However, most of the money that burdened Pennsylvania taxpayers went out of state to support wind development in other parts of the country. Pennsylvania residents lost $75, 986,099.75 in credits to big wind states like Texas and Iowa. Alternative Energy Production Tax Credits: Pennsylvania has its own version of the Production Tax Credit; it is called the 2009 Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit

MAIL TO: Darrell Smith

567 Mile Long Lane Martinsburg, PA 16662

Program. Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Investment Act of 2008, signed into law by Gov. Edward G. Rendell on July 9, 2008 established the Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit. This tax credit is available to taxpayers who develop or construct alternative energy production projects located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a useful life of at least four years. The program provides up to $1 million per taxpayer. The Act allocated a total of $25,000,000 to qualifying projects. In contrast to the federal PTC, Pennsylvania’s credit may be applied to waste coal, clean coal technologies, and high-speed rail - not just renewable energy projects. That’s why it is called the “Alternative Energy” PTC. Pennsylvania also offers substantial grants and loans through other programs to support alternative energy development, including industrial wind. While none of them are as hefty as the $1.65 billion offered to Royal Dutch Shell, they spur industrial wind development on our forested ridges and northern core habitat forests. Subsidies drive energy production, but they can’t control the actual energy capacity - how much energy is actually produced by various forms of power plants. Both wind

and solar are infinite resources, but have low capacities because their energy sources are variable. Fossil fuel resources are very fixed and dense, but limited in quantity. When energy subsidies are analyzed per production, the true extent of subsidies emerges. In 2007, industrial wind received a subsidy of $23.37 per megawatthour (MWh). Solar received $24.34 per MWh, while coal received $0.44 per MWh and petroleum received $0.25 per MWh. Big wind companies are

lobbying our legislators to renew the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) in 2014. Let your federal legislators know that it is time to stop corporate welfare for big wind. Ask them to vote against any bill that reinstates the PTC. 1. http://www.nytimes.com/ interactive/2012/12/01/us/government- incentives.html#PA 2. http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/12/ State- Level-Impact-of-Federal-Wind-Subsidies. pdf a

RIVER VALLEY HARDWARE May 2014

$

2 69 EA

15-Oz. Flying Insect Killer

Kills fast and keeps killing for up to 4 weeks. For indoor and outdoor use. Non-staining. No unpleasant odor. (1117050)(5416)

$

5 29 BAG

16-Lb. Charcoal

Briquets

High density Briquets bound together with natural corn starch. Lights fast, burns hotter and lasts longer. Produces a clean burn with less ash. (5686910)(500-416)

6-Ft. Picnic Table

Assembles quickly and easily with standard tools. Fasteners and all hardware included. (3517620)(106116)

$

$

98 99 EA

2 19 EA

15 Oz. Wasp & Hornet Aerosol Spray

Safe way to get rid of hornets, wasps and bees.(6329650)(HG95715)

353995 5/1/2014

www.thevalleynewspaper.com

May 2014 the valley new online  

The Valley is a FREE monthly newspaper serving Mifflin and surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.

Advertisement