Letter of the day (Dec. 24): Wind power

  • Updated: December 23, 2012 - 5:21 PM

Wind power has proven to be a positive force in the war on rising electricity prices.

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Contrary to the assertions of a recent commentary ("Wind subsidy is ineffective; let it elapse," Nov. 28), wind power has proven to be a positive force in the war on rising electricity prices. Regions of the country that have achieved significant growth in wind energy also have seen significant declines in wholesale power prices, according to Wall Street analysis firm Bernstein Research -- a fact confirmed by both Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power in recent rate cases. Also, the production tax credit is tax relief, not a subsidy . Unless one assumes that all money earned in the private sector belongs to the government, a tax reduction is different from a government subsidy. This tax credit leaves more money in the hands of wind companies for further private investment. And, yes, wind power does create jobs -- good, high-paying jobs, tens of thousands of them. Including my operations staff of 38. The industry already supports more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in Minnesota and generates more than $8 million a year in lease payments to local landowners. Currently, nine companies have received state-approved permits and are ready to build 13 projects, creating more jobs for Minnesotans. If the production tax credit expires, 37,000 jobs will be at risk nationally -- unfathomable at a time when our economy is just beginning to recover.

JUSTIN VAN BEUSEKOM, LEROY, MINN.

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