Subsidizing Big Wind: The Real Costs to Taxpayers

Subsidizing Big Wind:

The Real Costs to Taxpayers


Issues 2012

No.25 October 2012

Subsidizing Big Wind:

The Real Costs to Taxpayers

Robert BryceSenior Fellow



No other segment of the energy sector gets as much preferential treatment as the wind-energy industry. Up until last year, the corn-ethanol industry enjoyed both a mandate and a subsidy. Congress ended the corn-ethanol subsidy, but the industry still enjoys a mandate. The wind-energy sector is lobbying hard in Congress to retain the production tax credit even though more than 220 million people live in states with mandates on renewable-electricity production. The wind industry has had 20 years of subsidies. If it cannot manage to stay in business without subsidies, it doesn’t deserve to be in business.

Appendix A
Environmental Groups Seeking Tougher Siting Guidelines for Wind-Energy Projects

  1. Aldo Leopold Audubon Society
  2. Allegheny Front Alliance
  3. American Bird Conservancy
  4. Arctic Audubon Society
  5. Arkansas Audubon Society
  6. Audubon Dallas, Dallas
  7. Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi
  8. Audubon Society of Corvallis, Corvallis
  9. Audubon Society of Greater Denver
  10. Audubon Society of New Hampshire
  11. Bartramian Audubon Society
  12. Bergen County Audubon Society
  13. Bexar Audubon Society
  14. Bird Conservation Network
  15. Chesapeake Audubon Society
  16. Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage
  17. Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
  18. Civitas
  19. Clearwater Audubon Society, Inc.
  20. Coastal Bend Audubon Society
  21. Connecticut Audubon Society
  22. Conservation Congress
  23. Conservation Council for Hawai’i
  24. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
  25. Delaware Valley Ornithological Club
  26. Delmarva Ornithological Society
  27. Desert Protection Society
  28. Detroit Audubon SocietyEast
  29. Cascades Audubon Society
  30. Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
  31. Eastern Sierra Audubon Society
  32. Endangered Habitats League
  33. Endangered Species Coalition
  34. Environmental Protection Information Center
  35. Flathead Audubon Society
  36. Foothills Audubon Club
  37. Fort Collins Audubon Society
  38. Friends of Blackwater
  39. Friends of the Boundary Mountains
  40. Friends of Dyke Marsh
  41. Friends of Lana‛i
  42. Friends of Loxahatchee
  43. Golden Eagle Audubon Society
  44. Juneau Audubon Society
  45. Kalmiopsis Audubon Society
  46. Kern Audubon Society
  47. Kiesha’s Preserve
  48. Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council
  49. Lane County Audubon Society
  50. Laramie Audubon Society
  51. Maryland Conservation Council
  52. Maryland Ornithological Society
  53. Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.
  54. Michigan Audubon
  55. Monmouth County Audubon Society
  56. North American Grouse Partnership
  57. Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society
  58. Oakland Audubon Society
  59. Ohlone Audubon Society
  60. Olympic Forest Coalition
  61. Palouse Audubon Society
  62. Prescott Audubon Society
  63. Quad City Audubon Society
  64. Red Rock Audubon Society
  65. Ripley Hawk Watch
  66. Roanoke Valley Bird Club
  67. Sacramento Audubon Society
  68. Salem Audubon Society
  69. Saving Birds Thru Habitat
  70. Sierra Foothills Audubon Society
  71. Sky Hunters Raptor Rehabilitation and Education
  72. South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society
  73. Southeast Volusia Audubon Society
  74. St. Louis Audubon Society
  75. St. Paul Audubon Society
  76. Taku Conservation Society
  77. Tarrant Coalition for Environmental Awareness
  78. Tennessee Ornithological Society
  79. Tippecanoe Audubon Society
  80. Tortoise Reserve, Inc.
  81. Travis Audubon
  82. The Union Beach Environmental Trust
  83. The Urban Wildlands Group
  84. Vermont Center for Ecostudies
  85. Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
  86. Virginia Society of Ornithology
  87. Waccamaw Audubon Society
  88. West Pasco Audubon Society
  89. Western Nebraska Resources Council
  90. Western Watersheds Project
  91. Wildlife Information Center

For the full report, please click here.


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Comment by Long Islander on October 4, 2012 at 11:16am

NRCM's own published numbers should show them they have been on the wrong side of the wind issue, advocating wholesale despoilment of Maine's hallowed places for virtually nothing in return, other than perhaps the $500,000 in "mitigation money" NRCM secured from TransCanada.

The numbers are all right here.

Comment by Mike DiCenso on October 4, 2012 at 11:11am

It is heartening to see all the env. groups who are not swayed by the wind cartel like Env. Maine, Maine Audobon, and the NRCM. This is good news.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

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 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Vince Lombardi 

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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