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Renewable Energy Vision
Expert analysis on the most pressing issues facing the renewable energy sector in the U.S and abroad from ACORE staff, members and supporters.

Responding to The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial on Wind Energy and Tax Reform

Published on 15 Nov 2017  |   Written by    |  

The Wall Street Journal published a misguided editorial over the weekend that supported the House tax bill’s damaging provisions to retroactively revise wind incentives. I wanted to share ACORE’s response in my letter to the editor, which was published in print on Nov. 15 as the lead response to their editorial (full text below). 

 Wind, Solar Are Shedding Subsidies. Oil?

Renewable energy is one of the nation’s most important economic drivers. It deserves a fair shake from House legislators and editorial writers.

Regarding your editorial “Big Wind and Tax Reform” (Nov. 11): Wind and solar power, unlike virtually every other energy sector, agreed to a phase-out schedule for their own tax incentives in a bipartisan 2015 compromise. Rather than reward such fiscal leadership, the House proposal targets the sector with punitive provisions that retroactively change the criteria wind and solar projects must meet to qualify for tax credits last year. These provisions, the only retroactive measures in the 429-page bill, are so destructive that their introduction sent an immediate shiver through the marketplace, placing tens of billions of dollars in investment and thousands of wind-energy jobs at risk. Retroactive changes to rules that investors relied on in financial decisions are inherently unfair and have no place in tax reform.

You also ignore the fundamental hypocrisy of the energy provisions in the House bill, which target the dwindling temporary incentives for renewable energy instead of re-examining the array of older, permanent incentives for fossil fuels, some of which have been on the books for more than a century. Also spared, and in fact enriched, are incentives for nuclear energy that go back more than 50 years.

With nearly $100 billion in investment over the past two years, and a strong record of job creation, especially in rural areas where investment and jobs may otherwise be hard to come by, renewable energy is one of the nation’s most important economic drivers. It deserves a fair shake from House legislators and editorial writers.”

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Gregory Wetstone

Gregory Wetstone is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACORE).  ACORE is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing renewable energy through finance, policy, and market development.  With member companies from across the spectrum of renewable energy technologies and close ties to the renewable energy finance sector, ACORE is the preeminent voice for the nation’s renewable energy industry.    

Greg has written and spoken widely on energy and environmental issues.  His writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Atlanta Constitution, the Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Union Tribune and other newspapers and magazines across the nation. Greg’s has appeared on the ABC Nightly News, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, NBC World News Tonight, CNN, and National Public Radio.  He has a J.D. from the Duke University School of Law and a B.S. in biology from Florida State University.

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