- Individual investors who believe in “green energy” and are willing to risk their own money or
- Taxpayers like you when government gives wind energy companies huge incentives
You probably chose option one, but that isn’t what’s happening.
Wind wants a “level playing field,” and so do we
Right now, the wind industry is campaigning through an organization called the FAIR Coalition, to be included in a special sort of investment called the MLP or Master Limited Partnership, currently available to eligible companies involved with natural resources like oil and gas. The wind folks want to become eligible for the same easier access to smaller investors so they can grow the industry by getting investors to pitch in and risk a little of their own money.
The FAIR Coalition advocates for a level playing field for renewable energy though the use of Master Limited Partnership (MLP) treatment to unlock wider investment in renewables under U.S. tax law.
We think that sounds like a great idea! Really. Everyone who likes wind will have an easy way to invest.
Wind advocates think “level” means tilted in their direction
Of course, the wind industry doesn’t really want a level playing field, they want it both ways, they want your money, too, whether you want to invest or not. They’re trying to extend the PTC or Production Tax Credit expiring December 31st after being extended last year.
Some lawmakers figure it’s time for the wind industry to compete for investors just like all of the other energy companies, they are willing to let wind use the MLP if we get rid of the PTC, so we can stop these huge government giveaways of your tax dollars.
… the poster child for perpetual infancy is the wind industry, which has been dependent on the production tax credit for more than 20 years. Their trade association, AWEA, launches major lobbying campaigns anytime the PTC is set to expire. Broadening MLP eligibility while simultaneously (and this is the critical component) ending the production tax credit has the potential to turn renewables’ attention to the same place other fledgling sectors get their capital: the equity markets.
Wind isn’t growing, it’s inflating
Wind advocates have been making a lot of bold claims lately, citing how much new wind energy is coming on line. They conveniently leave out any reference to the billions of your tax dollars being poured into the industry to make it happen. Remove the support so we can see the real wind energy boom, … or bust.
In the real world, attracting wind investors requires positive returns and they haven’t done so well by that measure. Since wind is barely making it with your money now, they thought adding some extra dollars from investors might keep the balloon inflated a while longer, but if they get investors at the price of losing your tax dollars, those investors won’t stick around very long and the wind industry will collapse. They know that and they’re worried.
Take away the free money, make them compete
Private investment is better than government handouts because it lets the market pick winners instead of politicians, so let’s give the wind industry what it wants, the MLP, and take away the huge tax incentives that are tipping the scales in their favor now. Let’s see if all of this talk of a growing wind industry is true. Is the wind really blowing in their favor or is it just a lot of taxpayer subsidized hot air?