Conservative Media More Extreme Than Karl Rove On Wind Incentives
Despite pouring millions of dollars into  ads  attacking  President Obama for supporting clean energy, Republican strategist and Fox News political analyst Karl Rove expressed  his support this week for extending tax incentives for wind power. His remarks stand in stark contrast to the conservative  media's  push  to eliminate federal support for renewable energy.
For months, the conservative media have been spreading falsehoods  about wind energy to make the case against extending the production tax credit (PTC), which is set to expire  at the end of this year. The most recent example is an op-ed  by Paul Driessen at The Washington Times, which rattles off a series of myths  about wind power's impact on human health and the environment, and its ability to compete with fossil fuels. Last month, a Wall Street Journal editorial  suggested that the wind industry will never be "economically sustainable" without government subsidies. A Washington Times editorial  concurred, calling wind power "hopelessly uneconomic."
In fact, wind power is increasingly affordable , thanks in large part to the PTC. According to an analysis  by the Brookings Institution, the Breakthrough Institute and the World Resources Institute, the tax credit lowers the cost of new wind power to make it "broadly competitive with new gasfired generation." A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report  found that some wind farms "already produce power as economically as coal, gas and nuclear generators," and predicted that "the average wind farm will be fully competitive by 2016."
U.S. wind capacity has expanded rapidly  in recent years, and the Department of Energy estimates  that wind could meet up to 20% of our electricity needs by 2030. But the PTC is vital to the American wind industry's continued success. Extending the tax credit would create or save 54,000 jobs in the next four years, according to a study  by Navigant Consulting.
For these reasons, the tax credit enjoys broad bipartisan support  among politicians, business leaders, and environmentalists -- and now, even Karl Rove. The conservative media stands out in its opposition to a policy that has facilitated the growth of a promising industry and supported thousands of green, American jobs.