The wind energy is lobbying heavily for extension of the PTC, saying jobs will be lost and the wind industry will suffer. Even if round one is lost, another round will follow.
The United States currently has a debt load greater than our GNP. We simply cannot afford to subsidize wind. Yes, jobs will be lost, but subsidies do not guarantee success. Witness the recent bankruptcies in the solar industries.
Wind contributes less than 10% of the United States ‘ electricity. To raise that contribution, billions more will be required for more turbines and transmission lines.
When facing extreme debt, it is inappropriate to prop up marginal industries. When individuals face huge debt, they are encouraged to cut out any spending which is not essential—manicures, movies, eating out, unnecessary driving. Such actions do adversely affect the service industries and others, but bankruptcy affects the bottom line of the debt holders so very much more. Cutting spending is necessary to create new spending habits that are not destructive to the spender.
Five billion dollars in subsidies to marginal energy sources is reckless spending, probably even in the best of times. It is unconscionable with crushing debt looming over the United States. Cutting subsidies to wind will be painful to that industry. However, if wind energy truly is a viable, affordable product, it will come back and produce without the aid of the government. Regardless, this country cannot afford to subsidize wind energy now. The responsible choice for Congress is to eliminate the subsidies and grants and let the market sort things out.