R. Sirois: Renew wind tax credits

America’s energy independence hinges on the development of clean, renewable sources of energy that will reduce the dependence on oil, reduce dangerous air pollution, create American energy jobs and improve public health.

In Maine, there is enormous potential for wind energy production — both onshore and offshore. Wind energy tax credits, such as the production tax credit and investment tax credit, drive job creation and manufacturing in wind energy – an industry that produces clean, renewable energy and creates jobs.

The PTC and ITC for wind energy are set to expire at the end of this year. Maine’s U.S. senators have cosponsored legislation to extend those credits, with critical action needed by the end of the year.

Sadly, though, oil industry officials believe the nation doesn't need to invest in or protect clean energy sources such as wind, which actually create tens of thousands of American jobs, even while the extremely profitable oil industry receives billions in federal subsidies — a practice that has gone on for more than 100 years.

Wind energy tax credits help level the playing field and have been key drivers in wind-industry job growth during the past decade. Approximately 75,000 wind industry jobs throughout the nation are in jeopardy because of congressional inaction on the PTC.

I believe the majority of Americans want clean air, clean water and cleaner sources of energy, and that they support wind energy jobs. It is time for Congress to get to work and pass the PTC/ITC so others can get back to work.

Ray Sirois, Harrison

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Zack Lenhert's picture

This is classic - Rand Paul

This is classic - Rand Paul is great. Enhancing our mountaintops.

Paul supports mountaintop removal mining, which involves removing the top portion of a mountain to more easily reach coal seams that lie beneath. The surface mining method has received criticism thanks to pollution problems and the destruction caused by removing the mountaintops, among other issues.

Paul once argued the process "enhanced" mountains because the reclaimed lands offered more value than "knobby" untouched mountaintops.

"I think they should name it something better," Paul said in an interview with Details magazine. "The top ends up flatter, but we're not talking about Mount Everest. We're talking about these little knobby hills that are everywhere out here. And I've seen the reclaimed lands. One of them is 800 acres, with a sports complex on it, elk roaming, covered in grass... [people] would say the land is of enhanced value, because now you can build on it."


MARK GRAVEL's picture

The fact that wind power

The fact that wind power requires subsidies to be profitable speaks volumes.

Zack Lenhert's picture

Oil companies also receive

Oil companies also receive subsidies... most energy producers do.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Jack, Do oil companies need


Do oil companies need subsidies to be profitable – NO.

Do wind energy providers need subsidies to be profitable – Yes.

My comment is a statement of need, not who is or is not currently receiving subsidies.

That said, I’m all for cutting subsidies for oil companies; in fact, for all companies.

Dan McKay's picture

Wind has no chance of

Wind has no chance of producing electricity at a cost that would lead to electric transportation useful for the common folk, if that's what you mean by getting off using oil.
Pollution : Hydro is pollution free and so is nuclear.
Creating jobs by giving rich investors tax breaks is contrary to the desires of the re-elected president . He wants the rich to pay more taxes.
I not so sure the Senators from Maine are cosponsoring the legislation you say they are.
Believe me, there are rich people who invest in wind as well as oil .
And you quote numbers that can't be proved and is likely, propaganda.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Hold on a minute, Dan.....

You can't be serious about nuclear being pollution free, can you? Hydro, yes, but nuclear? Chernobyl and Fukishima are two examples that I believe prove that point. After 25 plus years Chernobyl is still in meltdown and if Japan is hit with another storm and tidal waves, Fukishima's number 4 reactor's (or is it number 3) cooling pond will spill more rediation into the sea.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

There is no energy source

There is no energy source that has zero environment impact; that said, nuclear by far as the smallest environmental foot print.

JOANNE MOORE's picture


Just ask the citizens of Japan who were lied to by their government and Tepco.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You need to pick your poison.

You need to pick your poison.

Dan McKay's picture

Have you ever had an x-ray ?

Have you ever had an x-ray ?

JOANNE MOORE's picture


When I was pregnant I had one at a dentist with plenty of lead shielding to protect the fetus. Don't tell me you equate having an x-ray with the effects of the radiation from a nuclear meltdown. If so, your ignorance is astounding!

Dan McKay's picture

You do realize that 41% of

You do realize that 41% of the electricity being used in New England at this moment is being nuclear produced .

JOANNE MOORE's picture


If wind power is green, I am the Queen of Sheba!

Do we in Maine really want our state to look like West Virginia? Can you really say that mountaintop removal is environmentally ok? Not by a long shot it isn't!

Tops of mountaintops and ridges blasted away, tons of concrete poured for the base, roads cut through pristine land, herbicides and pesticides sprayed which eventually end up in our lakes and streams and wells, poisoning everything living. The loss of thousands of acres of forest which naturally cool our planet while giving us oxygen and depleting CO2, a greenhouse gas.

Then there are the new coal-fired and oil burning sub-stations that must be built because wind is a fickle trickle and other forms of dirty energy must be at the ready in seconds to maintain a constant flow. These other forms of energy must be run constantly because of the need to switch to them at a moments notice. Anyone who works on the grid, maintaining this constant flow can verify what happens if this is not done- Brownouts and blackouts.

Then there is the problem of the nascelle itself which houses the generator, drive train and brake assembly. These things leak fluids like crazy and must be maintained as any piece of machinery does. I have seen the sides of some of these 400 foot plus towers blackened with fluids. This involves cleaning, using detergents sprayed from helicopters. This is "green" energy? Ha!!

Consider also the "rare earth" compounds needed to build the permanent magnets inside these machines. China has virtually got a lock on their supply and they don't come cheap.

Lastly, and very important to Maine businesses that rely on tourism, our largest industry - who wants to visit our state or have a cabin or house here if it looks like an industrial zone? Red flashing lights at night and the blight of scenic views, the thumping sounds the blades make (as they shred golden eagles and other endangered species of birds and bats) and the loss of the value in their property for owners. How many tourism related jobs will be lost just so the people in other states can benefit from the destruction of our state? Seen those new powerlines going up, leading out of state? Maine people will see a very small fraction of this fickle trickle just so others can have their hot tubs and other forms of wasteful use of electricity.

Do your research people. Don't be flim-flamed by the industry that will suck the government teat and up the electricity rates for all of us here in Maine, destroy our wilderness and poison our environment and hurt Maine businesses.
We live in a state rich in waterways. Hydropower is much "greener" and longer lasting if we need more power. At this time Maine exports power - we have a surplus. Why are we letting ourselves be conned by folks who will take away Maine as we know it, raise our rates, take our hard-earned tax dollars, and laugh all the way to the bank? Think about it.


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