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Letters to the Editor

Quit giving wind subsidies

As in the past 21 years, federal wind subsidies are to expire the end of December. This year wind is asking for a 10-year extension.

Since 1992, taxpayers have given the wind industry more than $90 billion. Still wind is only 4 percent of U.S. energy. Productive tax credit (PTC) provides wind 2.3 cents kwh. The wholesale price of electricity is 4.5 kwh. Taxpayers pay half the cost.

Mid-American Energy is another example of PTC. This company, 87 percent is owned by Warren Buffett, recently announced plans to construct 448 wind turbines in Northern Iowa. This $1.9 billion project, Buffett who make $37 million a day, will get a 30 percent tax break. German Siemans, a supplier to this massive wind farm, plans to hire 1,000 for their new Fort Madison, Iowa, and Hutchinsen, Kan., plants. That is 2.2 workers per turbine. Rock Island Clean Line (RICL), Texas billionaires, will construct 500 miles of transmission lines from Northern Iowa to Illinois PJM station that transmits electricity to the East Coast.

Associated with wind, these companies get 30 percent PTC paid by taxpayers. As benefits to the poor, elderly, disabled, children and lower middle class get cut, wealthy investors such as Buffett, Zapp and Zilch (RICL) get richer.

Time to take a look at who benefits from PTC. Time for wind to be self-sufficient and not depend on government assistance. AWEA in 2009 said wind had developed into a mainstream energy. It should be treated as such on the market and by the government. All energy, oil, gas, coal and nuclear receive subsidies but not on the level of so called renewable as wind.

Call and write your representatives. U.S. Congress should vote on a new budget by Jan. 15. Ask your representative on their view of PTC.

Mary Auchstetter


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