Alexander: Ending Wind Subsidy Is Good Way To Celebrate New Year

Reduce Federal Debt And Save Tennesseans $52 Million

Friday, January 3, 2014

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander Friday said Congress should not renew the taxpayer subsidy for wind turbines and use the $60 billion saved to reduce the federal debt. 

He said the wind production tax credit, which expired Jan.1, provided a subsidy “so generous that wind developers can give away electricity and still make a profit, while undercutting cheaper and more reliable power from coal and nuclear plants. This ‘negative pricing’ rewards expensive, unreliable power like wind and punishes cheap, reliable power from nuclear and coal plants.” Senator Alexander cited a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which said that continuing the subsidy could make nuclear plants so uncompetitive that 25 percent of them could close by 2020.

Senator Alexander offered four reasons to allow the wind subsidy to expire:

1. Money saved could reduce the federal debt: 

“The massive taxpayer subsidy to windmill developers expired Jan. 1. A good way to celebrate the New Year would be to not renew it and to reduce the federal debt by $60 billion, an amount about equal to the spending in the recent budget agreement,” Alexander said. “For the next 10 years, extending the tax credit one year at a time could cost $60 billion or more, based on the most recent data from The Joint Committee on Taxation, about enough to pay for the $63 billion Congress spent in the recently passed budget agreement.” 

2. At more than 20 years old, the subsidy was long outdated and unnecessary:

"The subsidy was put in place in 1992 to jumpstart a technology, and according to the Obama administration’s former energy secretary, the technology has matured,” Senator Alexander said. Former Energy Secretary Stephen Chu testified in 2011 that wind energy is a “mature technology.”

3. The subsidy treated Tennessee and many states unfairly:

“A recent study shows wasteful wind subsidies left Tennesseans who pay federal taxes at a $52 million loss in 2012 – meaning we get very little of the benefit because the wind doesn’t blow enough in the southeastern United States, and yet our federal tax dollars go to subsidize Big Wind in other states,” Senator Alexander said. According to the study by the Institute for Energy Research, 30 states paid more to the federal government for wind subsidies than wind producers in their states received. Tennessee’s net loss was $52 million. 

4. Windmills are a scar on the landscape and use massive amounts of land for the power they produce:

“At least in our part of the country, windmills are a huge scar on the landscape – you can see their flashing lights for 20 miles,” Senator Alexander said.  “You would have to stretch wind turbines the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia, to equal the power produced by eight nuclear plants on one square mile each – and you would still need the nuclear plants or some other form of power generation for when the wind doesn’t blow.” Based on data from the National Renewable Energy Lab, if wind power were to attempt to provide the 20 percent of the United States’ electricity that about 100 nuclear reactors currently do, it would take 150,000 two-megawatt wind turbines stretching the entire length of the earth’s equator.


Kevin Muhammad Says City Programs Failing; More Attention And Funding Needed For Impoverished Inner City Youths

Nation of Islam leader Kevin Muhammad told a packed house at City Council on Tuesday night that a large segment of Chattanooga is impoverished, while parts of the city are enjoying a Renaissance. Given 20 meetings for a "State of the People" address, he said many city programs are failing, including the Violence Reduction Initiative and a Youth and Family Services reading program. ... (click for more)

Dixie Group Reports Drop In Sales, $4.7 Million Loss For 1st Quarter

The Dixie Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DXYN) on Tuesday reported financial results for the quarter ended March 26, 2016, including a drop in sales and a $4.7 million loss. For the first quarter of 2016, the company had net sales of $89,234,000, or 6.9 percent below, sales of $95,855,000 in the first quarter of 2015. The company had a loss from continuing operations of $4,757,000 for ... (click for more)

Kevin Muhammad Says City Programs Failing; More Attention And Funding Needed For Impoverished Inner City Youths

Nation of Islam leader Kevin Muhammad told a packed house at City Council on Tuesday night that a large segment of Chattanooga is impoverished, while parts of the city are enjoying a Renaissance. Given 20 meetings for a "State of the People" address, he said many city programs are failing, including the Violence Reduction Initiative and a Youth and Family Services reading program. ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, A Social Experiment

JoeySalads, his screen name, is widely known for his funny pranks except for the fact he calls them “social experiments.” So while we are still on the transgender-restroom issue, our boy JoeySalads got a transgender friend to approve his attire before he tried his luck at entering women’s restrooms. I don’t think you’ll be real surprised at what really happened in this video. Click ... (click for more)