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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Wind energy benefits many

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The production tax credit for renewable energy is smart economic policy that drives nearly $25 billion a year in private investment and kept 80,000 jobs in America last year the majority of them in Republican congressional districts ("Blowing taxpayer money," Comment & Analysis, Wednesday).

That initial incentive doesn't cost taxpayers a dime. According to a Next Era Energy Resources analysis, wind projects more than repay that initial tax relief in federal, state and local taxes paid over the life of the project. About a fifth of those taxes are paid during the construction phase alone, because so many people are employed in building a wind farm. And they continue to support rural economies and pay for new roads, schools and hospitals for decades.

Wind already generates a tremendous amount of electricity up 28 percent last year in America, and now enough for 15 million U.S. households.

The increase in wind energy is good news for birds and other wildlife, too, because it's the lowest-impact way to generate utility-scale electricity. That is why the leading national wildlife groups support wind energy and want more of it developed.

Consumers benefit, too. Wind energy displaces the output of the most expensive and least efficient power plants on the grid. According to a May 2012 report by Synapse Energy Economics, adding more wind energy in the Midwest will save the typical homeowner in the region between $65 and $200 a year.

PETER KELLEY

Vice president, Public Affairs

American Wind Energy Association

Washington, D.C.

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