Conservative House Members Seek to End Wind Energy Production Tax Credit

Conservative members of the United States House of Representatives are seeking to end an energy tax credit for the wind industry. The tax credit will expire at the end of the year if it is not renewed. The effort is being led by both conservative Republicans and Democrats.

Representative Mike Pompeo (Republican, Kansas), Representative James Lankford (Republican, Oklahoma) and a member of the House leadership and Nick Rahall (Democrat West Virginia.) are among the 51 members who have signed a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, asking that the credit not be renewed. Last year 47 members of the House signed a similar letter.

The credit was first enacted in 1992 and has been renewed seven times since then. Wind producers are given 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour. The credit is projected to total 12 billion in tax credits during the next decade.

Opponents of the tax credit say it distorts the market and isn’t needed anymore. Supporters say the action of Congress has made the situation uncertain and has slowed important projects.

Wind energy in the U.S. has grown substantially as a result of 2 decades of subsidies. In parts of the country such as Texas, wind has come to represent a large portion of the electricity portfolio.  Dozens of electric companies in Texas offer renewable energy plans that draw from the state’s substantial wind reserves.

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