Showing reverence for the free market and transparent electricity prices, Governor Romney vowed to let the Wind Production Tax Credit expire at the end of 2012. Yesterday, the campaign condemned the PTC correctly characterizing it as a distortive, liberal policy:
"President Obama's promise to 'easily' create 5 million green energy jobs has become a particularly depressing punchline amidst the endless disappointments of the last four years. The President spent $90 billion in taxpayer stimulus dollars, some of which went to his donors and political allies or was sent to create jobs overseas instead of here in America. Now we have American wind and solar energy sectors that combine to produce only one percent of our energy – and our wind industry has actually lost 10,000 jobs."
"The President may believe that his economic plan 'worked' and that America wants to repeat the experience for another four years, but the facts don't back that up. Mitt Romney believes it is time for a new approach to ensure our nation's energy independence. He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits. Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the President believe the investment will produce results."
ATR couldn't agree more. Only in a world of loan guarantees, mandates, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations are Americans forced to employ an inefficient, expensive energy source – wind. Gov. Romney's decision to let the wind PTC expire shows that he is serious about cleaning up America's tax code and energy market.
It is important to note that Governor Romney's decision took political courage; Colorado and Iowa are heavy consumers of wind energy – both are pivotal swing states. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Midwest Republican and Democrats to support the Wind PTC. Now dependent on the PTC, the wind lobby will likely set its sights on the Romney campaign. Certainly aware of this reality, Gov. Romney chose policy over politics and will be making the case for full expiration of the PTC.
Americans for Tax Reform has long advocated for complete expiration or immediate repeal of the PTC on the condition that the corresponding tax increase is offset (Rep. Pompeo bill).