Let the Big Wind subsidies die.

It doesn’t look good for this particular set of Obama cronies, but you never know.

At issue right now is the production tax credit that awards wind developers 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour they produce. Last New Year’s Day, after a ferocious debate that occupied a portion of the 2012 presidential debate, Congress passed a one-year extension of the wind-energy credit as part of the fiscal-cliff legislation. Under the last-minute deal, wind developers who make good-faith efforts to begin wind projects this year and which continue into 2014 will qualify for 10 years of subsidies, even though the credit expires for new projects.

Democratic lawmakers in both the US Senate and House are calling for a renewal of the credit…


…and a solid majority of conservative and libertarian pundits would counsel ‘no.’ We are in sufficient financial straits that even the Christian Science Monitor is forced to admit “[i]n point of fact, the federal government’s largess is only so big.” Which tells you a bit, because the Christian Science Monitor is not the sort of publication that likes to admit that too readily. At any rate: if the Democrats wanted to keep that market-distorting tax subsidy so badly then they should have offered something in exchange. But they’d rather try to campaign on it, apparently*. Which is fine, but let’s not pretend that this wasn’t a deliberate political decision on their part.

Absent action, the largesse disappears tonight. Action should continue to be absent.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*This also explains why the Democrats refused to try to extend unemployment benefits again.



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