Yesterday this caught my attention:
Rep. Kristi Noem will be in Mitchell today to discuss production tax credits for the wind power industry.
South Dakota’s lone member of the House will host a roundtable discussion on wind and tour Mitchell Technical Institute. The roundtable is set for 2 p.m. at the MTI Campus Center, room 146, 1800 E. Spruce St.
MTI began a wind turbine technology program in the fall of 2009. The upcoming semester is expected to have 42 first-year and 29 secondyear students enrolled.
The production tax credit for wind energy was first established in 1992 to encourage investment in renewable wind energy, and South Dakota has benefitted. South Dakota became the first state in the U.S. to generate more than 20 percent of its electricity from wind.
On this issue, Noem, a freshman Republican, agrees with President Obama, who favors extending the tax credit.
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has called for ending it.
Both South Dakota senators, Democrat Tim Johnson and Republican John Thune, also want to see the tax credit extended. The PTC for wind energy is scheduled to expire Dec. 31.
I decided to attend the event. I showed up about 10 minutes late and found the Daily Republic assistant editor Tom Lawrence and his photographer in the hall with the door shut. I asked if this was a closed meeting. About ten minutes later the door opened and the press was told they could now come in. Aparently MTI was told they wanted a few minutes together off the record. From the start, their desire to have the taxpayers support their business lost my support, since they wanted certain things to be deep secret from us. Instead they used us a political pawns:
“This hesitation is creating such a speculation and slowing things down,” said Jesse Elliott, senior engineer for Broadwind Energy of Howard.
“We need to find a way to develop wind as part of an energy solution,” Elliott said. “It’s critical that decisions on this get made soon — and now we have to wait on things like the election. Because of families and jobs, it’s all critical. We’re walking on glass, so to speak. There is so much at risk.”
The PTC for wind energy was first established in 1992 to encourage investment in renewable wind energy. The credit provides a production tax break for wind energy of 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour.
Families and jobs. WE here this all the time from those who say they can't make it in a free market, so they need taxpayers to fund their inefficiencies. GIve me a tax credit and I too can create jobs with it. The difference is that I will spend on what my family wanters, not what we are forced to buy by the force of government intervening in the marketplace.
Keep in mind that the PTC was stared 20 years ago and last renewed 4 years ago as you read this:
Elliott and others at the meeting urged Noem to push to make the PTC permanent, as it is for other forms of energy. If not that, at least a long-term credit to allow companies to plan would help, she was told. The current tax credit was for four years and was passed as part of the federal stimulus package in 2008.
“It has to be a 10- or 20-year plan so we can operate under a 10- or 20-year plan,” said Steve Sershen of South Dakota Wind Partners.
Without such assurances, companies will retreat, Noem was told.
“We have no plans to do any construction in the United States,” said Jason Utton, the director of governmental affairs for NextEra Energy Resources.
What the paper did not tell its readers is that more than once the idea of moving their business to Europe was brought up if they did not get their way. This issue is about how these guys can make the most money and not about saving jobs and families. A serious look at the economics of wind energy tells us that the production tax credit is not important to survival of wind energy. Instead it is the cost of competitive sources of energy.
There was also discussion about how wind could make America energy independent. I remember both of my grandparents had a windmill on their farms. Today instead of having a windmill on every farm that would truly be consdidered energy independnet, we see wind farms that represent the socialization and the collectivism of the old idea of wind energy. This approach makes us dependent of a "grid" that the wind farms are attached to.
I say it is pass time that the wind energy industry is told to make it on their own. If they can't then jobs will go to those energy sources that are more cost effective and which makes common sense. Unfortunately our freshman congresswoman has chosen to follow the lead of the United Nation's Agenda 21 Global Green New Deal:
Energy is the key to economic development, and renewable energy is the key to a future without dangerous climate change. But renewable energy is too expensive today, especially for the world’s poor, many of whom have no access to modern energy at all.
Although the price of renewable energy is falling, it will not fall fast enough anywhere, on its own, to help the world win the race against time with dangerous climate change.
Public policies can help produce the necessary decline in the global price of renewable energy and make it universally affordable in one to two decades.
The key mechanism is a rapid increase in installed capacity. A “big push” in both public and private investment to scale up renewable energy will lead to rapid cost reduction, technology improvement, and learning by doing. Investment and cost reduction will generate a “virtuous cycle” of additional investment, economic growth, employment generation, energy security, geopolitical stability, international cooperation and emission reductions.
This “big push” cannot be implemented by any country alone. In the first decade‐and‐a‐half, it will require globally funded guarantees, or price supports (e.g., through a global “feed‐in tariffs” program), to subsidize investment.
After that, the “virtuous cycle” will take over and make further price supports or international transfers unnecessary, as renewable energy becomes the default option for new energy investment worldwide.
Price supports will be complemented by a global renewable energy extension program: research, technical, and policy support designed toaccelerate the process.
This strategy is called the Global Green New Deal, and the time to adopt it is now.