Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Koch Brothers Goal: Defeat the Wind Tax Credit

Energy
Koch Brothers Goal: Defeat the Wind Tax Credit

ThinkProgress

By Rebecca Leber

The wind energy industry faces a lame duck fight in the House of Representatives over extending the expiring production tax credit. The tax credit has broad bipartisan support, and considering that 81 percent of U.S. wind projects are installed in Republican districts, GOP lawmakers have a good reason to support it.

But with Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups mobilizing to defeat the credit, its future after 2012 is uncertain. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, told Politico Pro this week that it aims to make the credit a toxic issue for House Republicans: (article requires subscription access)

“Our goal is to make the PTC so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, ‘Yeah, I can bend on this one,’” said Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance.

American Energy Alliance (AEA) has a strong link to Koch Industries: AEA’s president Thomas Pyle was former director of federal affairs for Koch Industries, and it is affiliated with the Koch- and ExxonMobil-backed Institute for Energy Research. Pyle is a former lobbyist for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. AEA is also running a half-million-dollar TV ad in Virginia slamming Obama on coal issues.

A host of groups in the Koch network, including American Tradition Institute (ATI), Americans for Prosperity and American Legislative Exchange Council, have undermined wind energy before. The Guardian reported on an ATI secret memo that suggested forming “dummy businesses” and a “counter-intelligence branch” against the wind industry.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the wind tax credit supports 75,000 wind jobs—up to 6,000 jobs in Boehner’s home state alone—and has helped raise $20 billion in private investment in wind.

Conservatives claim an end to the wind tax credit will put energy on a level playing field; however, they have fought to maintain $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. The oil industry has outspent clean energy advertising by four times this election cycle, and send 90 percent of their political contributions to Republicans.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

 

EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / E+ / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

As world leaders prepare for this November's United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that the world's wealthiest 5% were responsible for well over a third of all global emissions growth between 1990 and 2015.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The saguaro cactus extracts carbon from the atmosphere. Thomas Roche / Getty Images

By Paul Brown

It may come as a surprise to realize that a plant struggling for survival in a harsh environment is also doing its bit to save the planet from the threats of the rapidly changing climate. But that's what Mexico's cactuses are managing to do.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Lower Granite Dam is obstructing salmon along the Snake River in Washington. Greg Vaughn / VW PICS / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Climate change, activities that contribute to it, and dams pose grave threats to America's rivers, according to American Rivers.

Read More Show Less
Radiation-contaminated water tanks and damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Japan will release radioactive wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the government announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, aka the doomsday glacier, is seen here in 2014. NASA / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Scientists have maneuvered an underwater robot beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" for the first time, and the resulting data is not reassuring.

Read More Show Less