GOP Congressmen sign up for energy crony capitalism.
The GOP swept Congressional elections in 2010 promising to end President Obama’s $800 billion stimulus and stop industry bailouts. Too bad nobody told that to Iowa Republican Steve King and his colleague Dave Reichert of Washington.
The duo held a press conference last week singing the praises of wind power and urging an extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy, which is scheduled to end in January. The green-energy lobby probably can’t believe its luck.
The $1.2 billion a year PTC was created as a temporary boost for green energy in 1992. It offers a 2.1 cent per kilowatt hour tax write-off for wind energy production that effectively exempts much of the industry from federal income tax. By contrast, the oil and gas companies whose tax rates Mr. Obama keeps complaining about pay some $26 billion a year in federal and state corporate income taxes.
Now the PTC is scheduled to expire, and the industry is launching a lobbying blitz to extend it for another four years. Several GOP Governors are already on board, including South Dakota’s Dennis Daugaard, who also wants an investment tax credit for wind.