U.S. wind debate crosses traditional party lines

As debate rages over whether the U.S. will renew a long-standing tax credit for wind energy, a wide array of groups have come together both in support and in opposition to the policy, according to The Washington Post.

The wind energy tax credit offers 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, which has helped to keep costs for wind plants.

The incentive has drawn opposition from many fiscally conservative Republicans, particularly members of the Tea Party, but also presidential nominee Mitt Romney. However, Chicago-based utility Exelon, a major supporter of President Barack Obama, has also strongly opposed renewing the incentive as it struggles to incorporate new wind capacity.

At the same time, 81 percent of all wind energy comes from Republican congressional districts, aligning these areas more with environmentally-minded Democrats.

"Because it’s a wealth transfer from areas of the country that don’t have wind to ones which do have wind, and have renewable mandates, this issue is more of a state-specific issue than a partisan one," one bank official told the Post.

As Congress weighs its decision, however, the wind industry has already started to contract, according to The New York Times.

PennEnergy's Research area projects the potential for wind energy in the U.S.


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