North Dakota State Legislators: End the federal wind PTC

The North Dakota State Senate and House Majority Leaders submitted this letter to the North Dakota federal senator, Senator John Hoeven, expressing their concerns with the wind production tax credit and the crushing energy policies of Washington that are destroying traditional energy development while pressing for more renewable energy. A portion of the letter is provided below. The full letter can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page.

We write to express our concern regarding the erosion of North Dakota's tax base and economic impact of coal power at the expense of federally-subsidized wind generation. In your Friday, March 17, 2017 news release, you state:

"We're working to build a true, all-of-the-above energy policy for our nation, like we've done in North Dakota. That's why we worked to pass a compromise proposal that allowed wind to have a glide path to a market-based rate. This is a good example of federal policies that provide the certainty our energy industry - both renewable and traditional - need to succeed."

We want to respond very clearly: There are NO TRADITIONAL electric generation sources being developed or even planned in North Dakota, due to the last administration's efforts to regulate fossil fuels out of existence and primarily because of the PTC. Not only is it not being planned or developed, but the recent closure of Great River Energy's Stanton Station will result in 65 North Dakota employees losing their good-paying jobs, company healthcare and other benefits. This is unacceptable. The reality is becoming clear that an all-of-the-above energy policy that continues to include an outsized subsidy like the PTC is creating a one-of-the-above energy generation industry. Funding projects like Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle, although important, will not matter if the coal industry ceases to exist before they can be demonstrated.

We are concerned about the federal government subsidizing out-of-state companies to use North Dakota as a staging area to mine federal taxpayer funds. The PTC is wreaking havoc on the coal industry and its employees who have paid their fair share into the federal coffers, and now those dollars are being used to put them out of business. Adding insult to injury is the fact that as taxpayers foot the bill for the PTC, these same taxpayers are footing the bill for building this new wind with increases to their electric rates. In the last two years, North Dakota ratepayers have been handed a 20 percent increase in electricity rates. And in the last decade, while the federal government has doled out over $12 billion ($12,000,000,000) in tax dollars to wind energy operators, ratepayers have seen increases in electric rates across the country.

The PTC is now in its third decade and has made wind energy a major force in wholesale energy markets. Set to expire multiple times, we ask, "How much more money does the federal government need to give away to prop up an industry?" The industry has already built over 3,000 megawatts (MW) in North Dakota, which should indicate strongly that the wind industry no longer needs to be propped up by a taxpayer subsidy. The 1000-plus MW that has been built since you negotiated an extension of the PTC in 2015 is causing approximately $200 million in annual taxpayer-funded market manipulation in North Dakota alone. It is time to immediately and fully repeal the federal PTC in favor of market-based solutions. We need you help doing so. The ten-year carryforward of the tax credit will have irreversible impacts on power markets, consumer electric rates, as well as jobs and the tax base in North Dakota.

Nd Wind Ptc

Download file (1.18 MB) pdf

Source: Rich Wardner, Al Carlson an...

MAR 23 2017
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