Fiscal Cliff Deal Contained $12 Billion For Continuing Wind Subsidies


You wouldn’t think that a bill which was supposedly about fixing the nation’s fiscal problems would be porked up with handouts for special interests, but you’d be wrong. The “fiscal cliff” deal was chock full of goodies, including $12 billion in continues subsidies for Big Wind:

Among the leaders in this glorious formation are companies that will receive a tax credit valued about $12 billion for beginning construction of wind farms sometime in 2013. Texas, the leading wind power-producing state in the nation, will be the chief beneficiary of the 2.2 cents-a-kilowatt-hour of projected energy production tax credit, Bloomberg is reporting.

As Texas Watchdog has reported, the entire wind power industry in Texas had for months been cowering in fear that Congress would fail to extend a tax credit crucial to its life-support for 20 years.

Just how crucial? Bloomberg says the tax credit uncertainty alone caused projections of putting wind turbines online in 2013 to drop to 4,800 megawatts of power from 11,800 megawatts estimated in 2012.

That last ought to tell us something. After years and years of subsidizing wind power, the industry cannot exist without the subsidy.

Which is the case with most things the government subsidizes. Things that work don’t need subsidies. Things that don’t work – and remember that wind power is horribly expensive and extremely unreliable – have to be subsidized.

So the question is, why should the taxpayers be asked to subsidize things that don’t work? Especially when the government is, you know, broke?

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • splined
  • 11B40


    Yeah, but the UGLY is still free.

  • cylde

    I like to see people get the government they voted for, i just do not like getting the government that i did not vote for. Do not blame me, call your congressman if you do not like paying for wind power. You voted for it, shut up and pay up.

  • nimrod

    Wind is a horrible way to generate power; too expensive to capture, not reliable, can’t store it, scars the landscape, etc. If environmentalists don’t like nuclear, they should push for more hydro-electric power. I would much prefer hydro-electric over wind, but if an energy source can’t stand on its own, it should be cut.

  • Mike

    Is it a subsidy? Or is it a reduction of a business’ tax bill? One is a government payment made to an entity. The other is a smaller tax payment made to the government. I do not begrudge any tax paying entity to pay less than is legally required.