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ACTION ALERT — Eliminate Wind Subsidies!

Joan Null sent us this opportunity to help END wind subsidy 1603 grants…

WCCC has been asked by Lisa Linowes, Executive Director of Industrial Wind Action Group, to take part in a national campaign to send the letter below to Congress asking that Section 1603 grants be allowed to expire.     The 1603 grants are one of the main subsidies available to wind developers, and wind lobbyists are pushing for a 4 year extension.

If you would be willing to co-sign this letter –  just send your name and address to Lisa Linowes at llinowes@windaction.org and say “include my name on the 1603 letter”.    Please also include the name of the congressman from your district.    For Whitley County residents that is Marlin Stutzman.

IMPORTANT –  send your name and address ASAP (by Monday if possible) as they are pushing for a vote before the holidays.

Help us cut government subsidies for big wind – thanks so much!

Joan Null, WCCC


Rep. Marlin Stutzman
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative(s) Stutzman,

As residents of Indiana we urge you to vote NO on any further extensions of Section 1603 grants due to expire this year.

While the goal of Section 1603 is to increase the use of renewable energy, including utility-scale wind, the high costs and limitations of this program cannot be ignored.

High Cost: Eighty-percent of the $9.8 billion in Section 1603 cash grants went to wind energy developers. This represents a more than 10-fold increase in federal subsidies to the industry over what it received prior to the program’s adoption. As an open-ended subsidy there are insufficient safeguards for taxpayers. Since the grants are not made public until projects are placed in service, taxpayers will not know the true cost of 1603 until 2013 or later. Total outlays for wind alone could reach nearly $20 billion with no extension.

Exaggerated Job Claims: It takes only 0.1 jobs per megawatt to operate a wind facility. Of the 12.3 gigawatts installed with 1603 funds, only about 1200 permanent jobs were created. Most of the 75,000 jobs claimed by the industry are temporary construction positions. Many of the manufacturing plants/jobs cited by wind industry proponents build components for industrial uses and are not wind-specific.

No production accountability: The Treasury assumes that 1603-funded wind projects operate with a 30% capacity factor (that is, produce 30% of the projects’ potential production levels) but many projects do not meet this assumption. Five wind facilities in New York, for example, received $300 million in grants and operated 25% BELOW this level in 2010. Section 1603 imposes no performance criteria, and imposes no penalty for projects that under-perform or do not meet developers’ claims. This lack of accountability shifts performance risks to taxpayers.

Inflated Turbine Pricing: Upfront cash grants provide minimal incentive to negotiate lower prices with suppliers. In fact, the higher the capital costs the greater the 1603 grants. With turbines representing 55+% of project costs, manufacturers are encouraged to keep prices high.

There are cheaper, more effective opportunities for achieving clean energy goals that will also help the economy. Direct cash outlays go in the wrong direction by rewarding higher construction costs, higher energy pricing, and marginal to poor performance. It’s time for Section 1603 grants to expire.

Respectfully,

 

cc:


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