READER’S EDITORIAL: TELL CONGRESS-- DON’T RENEW TAX CREDITS FOR INDUSTRIAL WIND PROJECTS

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By Terry Weiner, Desert Protective Council

November 23, 2012 (San Diego)—There is a real danger that Production Tax Credits (PTCs) for industrial wind projects will be extended. They are due to expire at year’s end, but Congress may vote soon on a proposal to extend those credits. Extension of PTCs could be surreptitiously attached as a rider to the upcoming congressional budget bill. 

If you want to protect our mountains, deserts, scenic and rural areas, wildlife and Native American cultural sites, please join me immediately in asking your members of Congress not to renew tax credits for these large-scale projects remote from places where the energy will be used.

There are much cleaner, less destructive, more efficient ways to meet our nation’s energy needs!

In our region, by better insulating our homes, conserving energy, and installing photovoltaic solar panels on our rooftops and over parking lots, along with local distributed energy, we can protect the view sheds and habitats that make our region special.

The Republicans passed legislation to end the PTCs at the end of 2012, but there is a huge movement to renew the credits in 2013.  This movement is being led by some Democrats in Congress and by several national environmental organizations, which are woefully uninformed,oblivious, or uncaring about the impacts to desert and other lands from industrial wind and solar projects. Heavy lobbying from the wind industry, including big wind corporations owned by big oil corporations, are pushing the PTC extension to boost their profits at public expense.

Action needed: Each of us needs to write a short letter and send it in the U.S. Mail (not email) to the local district offices of both our current democratic and republican senators and congress people.   The message can be simple along these lines:

Do not renew the PTC.  I do not want industrial wind destroying our desert and other open spaces, killing critical avian and other species and destroying our Native American cultural heritage.   I want a restoration of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans, increased energy efficiency of our homes and commercial buildings and to install local, democratically owned solar panels within the built environment.  Big Wind is an expensive, destructive taxpayer-funded, boondoggle and we do not want any more of it.  Vote NO on the PTC.

Please spread the word.  It is such a shame to be destroying huge expanses of habitat, the plants and animals that live there and our Native American cultural heritage for these inefficient wind turbines.

If you do not know the name and address of your current federal representatives, you can use the links below, but please mail your letter to your congressperson's local district offices.   You can also leave a phone message at their local offices.  Ask to speak to their legislative staff person and leave a message with your name and address and your message.

Congress may be voting on a budget bill soon so write your letters and make your phone calls ASAP.  

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Terry Weiner is the Imperial County Projects and Conservation Coordinator for the Desert Protective Council (www.protectdeserts.org) and a co-founder of Solar Done Right (www.solardoneright.org).   She can be reached at (619) 342-5524; terryweiner@sbcglobal.net.

The opinions in this editorial reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.  To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

Comments

Do not let the wind industry & USFWS manipulate the coming vote

In the next few weeks Congress will vote on the wind industry's production tax credit.  The wind industry has had this kickback from the taxpayer for decades. This year's gift from the taxpayer could amount to 12 billion dollars or even more. This behavior makes perfect sense when you are hiding impacts so an industry can prosper. After all something has to be done.  As a result of this move, the USFWS  now counts/estimates numbers with shell game methodology. Their numbers can no longer be trusted

That is why what I am about to say is very important.  Congress should demand an accurate and verifiable 2012 winter count for the whooping cranes along with complete age class figures. The public has a right to know the fate of the whooping cranes and to also how many captive bred birds are being dumped into the population. This count should be done before there is a vote on the production tax credit (PTC) so members will have to answer to the public if they vote yes.

If Congress does not do this, then it is apparent they too are part of this cover-up. I encourage everyone to follow this closely.

So right, Miriam. This is a

So right, Miriam. This is a crucial issue; one that pits the traditional allies of wilderness protection--liberals--against its traditional foes--so-called "conservatives"--who, this time may be may on the right side (even if for less than entirely noble reasons).

Exactly, Craig.

Liberals have a nobel motive--wanting to stop our planet from frying by global warming.  But in their zeal they've latched on to the first thing that came along promoted by those pied pipers in the wind industry (where by the way most of the big wind companies are owned by big oil.)  It reminds me of the 70s when the nuclear industry was promoted as clean and green because it doesn't cause air pollution; true but what about the potential for nuclear meltdown and wastes that last for thousands of years?

 

Conservatives oppose the wind tax credits because a) they oppose government spending in general, and b) they prefer subsidies for their campaign donors in big oil and gas industries - ie the drilli baby drill and fracking crowd.

 

Nobody in Congress seems to be talking about saner alternatives, such as promoting solar on rooftops and parking lots, promoting conservation, biofuels, small-scale vertical axis wind turbines that don't kill birds, etc.  Why does every "solution" pushed by both parties regarding energy have to be what's pushed by big corporations, instead of what's best for the people and the wildlife and the environment?