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ENERGY INCENTIVES

THE RHETORIC: Renewable energy is subsidized at higher rates than fossil fuels.
 
THE REALITY: Fossil fuels have received many times more in incentives than renewables. Wind’s primary incentive is the Production Tax Credit, a performance-based incentive that drives over $15 billion a year in private investment.

  • Fossil fuels in their start-up period got five times more in government incentives than renewable energy has, and nuclear got 10 times as much. 1

  • American taxpayers have paid over $500 billion to fossil-fuel industries, and they are still paying, after 90 years, through permanent tax policies.

  • “For more than half a century, federal energy tax policy focused almost exclusively on increasing domestic oil and gas reserves and production,” according to the Congressional Research Service. “[T]wo major tax preferences were established for oil and gas…Both of these provisions remain in the tax code in limited form today.” 2

  • Since 1950, 70% of all energy subsidies have gone to fossil fuels.3 As recently as 2002-2007, they got nearly five times as much in tax incentives as renewables.4 U.S. wind energy’s critical incentive, the Production Tax Credit, must be extended to finish the job of creating a new homegrown energy source.5

  • The Production Tax Credit is responsible return on investment as it more than pays for itself in local, state, and federal taxes over the life of the wind project, according to a NextEra Energy Resources analysis.