Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is bringing an important issue to the forefront of policy debate. He argues that Congress should not renew the wind energy tax credit.
“The massive taxpayer subsidy to windmill developers expired Jan. 1,” Alexander said. “A good way to celebrate the New Year would be to not renew it and to reduce the federal debt by $60 billion, an amount about equal to the spending in the recent budget agreement.”
Many years ago this tax credit made sense as the wind energy industry was just developing. But now that the industry is fully developed, the tax breaks are not necessary. And in Tennessee, especially, windmills are a ‘scar’ on the landscape.
And of course, the Senator also pointed out that wind energy is not nearly as easily attained as nuclear power. But of course, this tax credit will be back up for consideration very soon.
The tax credit costs nearly $6 billion each year. If Congress renews the credit for 10 years, it would be equal to the same amount the budget deal increased spending limits. Perhaps this would be money better spent on reducing the deficit and the overall debt we have built up.
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