It’s symbolically appropriate that one of President Obama’s preferred forms of “green energy” crony capitalism has the effect of killing off the national bird. The federal wind production tax credit (PTC) is mercifully set to expire on New Year’s Eve. The PTC provides a financial boon, at great taxpayer expense, to well-connected companies that build eyesore wind farms that kill great birds of prey and pretty much anything else that flies within the range of their “green” blades. The nonpartisan Institute for Energy Research estimates that if this cozy arrangement between big government and big business were to be extended, it would cost American taxpayers $55,000,000,000. The fate of the PTC — and of that $55 billion— now rests with House Republicans, who would have to approve the PTC’s renewal.

“[N]o matter how much money is blown its way, wind power — for simple scientific reasons — can’t graduate to the kind of large-scale, reliable energy production that its backers tout. Physicist and environmentalist John Droz Jr. notes: ‘There is no real environmental benefit to wind, because a) it’s an unpredictable commodity, b) output from any group of wind projects can and will go to zero on many occasions, and c) energy generated from industrial wind power cannot be economically stored.’ Germany, which has gone stark raving mad in building wind turbines, has proven just how unreliable it is. On one day this February, wind power delivered a third of Germany’s electricity needs, but four days later, on a still day, it contributed precisely zero.”

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