Wind Tax Credit: The Perfect Storm

The wind power industry is laying off workers. Over 1,292 workers have been laid off in the primary wind manufacturing companies. The reason? The tax break the industry received decades ago is coming to an end. December 31, the wind companies will have to pay their full amount of income tax. Interestingly in a few swing states—Iowa, Colorado and Ohio for example—the wind industry play a significant part in their overall economy.  In Iowa the wind company supplies 3,200 manufacturing jobs, Ohio has 50 manufacturing companies already, and in Colorado it supplies 3,000 jobs. The impacts on the economy will be as drastic as the impact of the failing car companies.

What do the Presidential candidates have to say about the wind tax credit? As expected, both candidates have stuck to their parties on this one. What about the Republicans? Since the tax credit costs  $3.3 billion dollars, it will be too costly during an election year. Talking from the left, Obama says, “Without these wind energy tax credits, a whole lot of these jobs would be at risk.” Because 81% of wind power in the USA is generated in congressional districts currently held by Republicans, Romney’s conservative position puts them in a bind.

For the Republicans, the wind tax credit cant be weathered. It is a yes or no issue, but the facts are obvious. The more sustainable energy we have the less CO2 we emit. If the wind companies go out of business, then we will be forced to process more oil; if we process more oil, we will have more emissions. To bring up global warming and say out right “Global warming is happening and changes need to be made NOW” is political suicide. But maybe a person who will put that speech forward is what we need. We need a martyr to show us the way to reverse the destructive path we are on.

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2 responses to “Wind Tax Credit: The Perfect Storm”

  1. humangeographyap says :

    Very interesting post. Never thought about the connection you raised that much of the wind power infrastructure is in rural republican states. The support of wind power is both a environmental and economical issue. You would think that the ideologues would not prevail over common sense. Not only is Wind Power a proven sustainable sources of energy it also provides jobs. According to Personal Computing Industry Center “U.S. wind industry has created nearly 27,000 direct jobs, and 9,250 non-U.S. jobs.” It is ironic that the wind subsidies are about the same amount the government gives oil companies. Which of the two should receive governmental incentives; Petroleum industrial or solar and wind alternatives? Better yet… which of these two industries receiving federal dollars could be considered corporate welfare and which is deserving of the label economic stimulus?

    Isabella, there is a great WSJ article you should look at on this issue. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444032404578008183300454400.html
    Great Post!!!

    • isabellat0017 says :

      Thank you for commenting on my post. I think you raise an interesting point with the amount of subsidies that the government gives to oil vs. the amount they give to wind.

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