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Letter: Wind power good for U.S.

Published: Sunday, July 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

In this July 14, 2009 file photo, a cluster of windmills catch the wind blowing on Stetson Mountain, in Range 8, Township 3, Maine.

Robert F. Bukaty, files, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

David A. Ridenour's column culled a series of exposed myths, called them facts and developed wildly misinformed conclusions ("Should Congress end subsidies for wind power?" July 14).

The majority of U.S. wind turbines installed do not use rare earth metals, and even those that do not have domestic supply options.

Federal incentives to wind and other renewables cost significantly less than those historically provided to other energy industries. According to a DBL Investors study, "… the federal commitment to (oil and gas) was five times greater than the federal commitment to renewables during the first 15 years of each (incentive's) life, and it was more than 10 times greater for nuclear."

The Production Tax Credit, wind's primary incentive, is tax relief that spurs investment in domestic, clean energy. It has resulted in over 80,000 jobs and an average of $17.9 billion dollars in investment in our economy annually, and it more than pays for itself in local, state, and federal taxes produced over the life of a typical wind project.

Wind energy produces large benefits for consumers and the environment because wind energy displaces on a 1 to 1 basis electricity that would have been produced by the most expensive and least efficient power plant. A new report by Synapse Energy Economics confirms that doubling the use of wind energy in the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states would save consumers a net $6.9 billion annually while reducing carbon dioxide pollution by 50 million tons annually.

The real question: "Continue wind's economic benefits for Americans?" The answer to that is "yes."

Susan Sloan

Washington, D.C.

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