Koch-Affiliated Group Campaigns To Make Wind Tax Credit ‘So Toxic’ Republicans Won’t Back It

The wind energy industry faces a lame duck fight in the House of Representatives over extending the expiring production tax credit. The tax credit has broad bipartisan support, and considering that 81 percent of U.S. wind projects are installed in Republican districts, GOP lawmakers have a good reason to support it.

But with Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups mobilizing to defeat the credit, its future after 2012 is uncertain. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, told Politico Pro this week that it aims to make the credit a toxic issue for House Republicans: (Article requires subscription access):

Our goal is to make the PTC so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, ‘Yeah, I can bend on this one,’” said Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance.

American Energy Alliance has a strong link to Koch Industries: AEA’s president Thomas Pyle was former director of federal affairs for Koch Industries, and it is affiliated with the Koch- and ExxonMobil-backed Institute for Energy Research. Pyle is a former lobbyist for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. AEA is also running a half-million-dollar TV ad in Virginia slamming Obama on coal issues.

A host of groups in the Koch network, including American Tradition Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and American Legislative Exchange Council, have undermined wind energy before. The Guardian reported on an ATI secret memo that suggested forming “dummy businesses” and a “counter-intelligence branch” against the wind industry.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the wind tax credit supports 75,000 wind jobs — up to 6,000 jobs in Boehner’s home state alone — and has helped raise $20 billion in private investment in wind.

Conservatives claim an end to the wind tax credit will put energy on a level playing field; however, they have fought to maintain $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. The oil industry has outspent clean energy advertising by four times this election cycle, and send 90 percent of their political contributions to Republicans.

13 Responses to Koch-Affiliated Group Campaigns To Make Wind Tax Credit ‘So Toxic’ Republicans Won’t Back It

  1. ZoeyKay says:

    Nothing like trying to kill off a competing industry, just so you can corner the market solely to line your own already-overstuffed pockets.

    Koch brothers, how much more $$$ do you need??!!

  2. Gus diZerega says:

    More and more I think the Kochs, one of whom I once knew, are poster boys for 100% inheritance taxes after you’ve left whoever you want to enough to live a middle class standard of living all their lives. Charles Koch was once a decent person, but power tends to corrupt, and monetary power is as much power as any other form.

  3. Marie says:

    Annual tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry allow them more dollars to spend in preventing renewable energy sources from growing.
    Taxpayer dollars re being spent AGAINST their own interests. What’s new, right?
    Money goes to money.

  4. These people are harmful to national security, to human life, and to human progress. The fact that they can continue to operate freely and without shame is a travesty.

  5. Chris says:

    So our future energy policy is being dictated by oil billionaires. This is a bit like buying a passenger ticket for the Titanic when it had already hit the iceberg.

  6. Too much is never enough. They won’t be happy till they have it all..and maybe not even then.

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I believe that Aristotle outlined how pleonexia, insatiable greed for that which rightly belongs to others, was unquenchable. Following Aristotle the Christian Church long forbade usury, as Islam still does, more or less. The selling-out to the parasites of capitalism was a black day for the church, and humanity.

  8. Ozonator says:

    Not killed by green energy but by AGW dumping on the land, in the air, and in the water. “Hundreds Of Dying Loons And Other Great Lakes Birds Alarm Experts” (, 10/18/12).

  9. Charles says:

    I have no love for the Koch Brothers, however wind power cannot be considered a competing industry. It is only viable through tax credits and subsidies. Without these no one would be in the windmill business. GE uses it as a tax offset to reduce their effective tax rate to next to nothing.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Straws in the wind. Migratory shore bird numbers in South Australia are crashing, and the giant cuttle-fish appears to have become more or less extinct in two years (they have to breed every year, because short-lived). Both, and numerous other population crashes, are completely ignored as Homo destructans stuffs its face, its highest aspiration.

  11. ToddInNorway says:

    Hi Charles, coal is even worse. It does not pay the full cost of its damage to the landscape by mining. It does not pay its full cost of ruined health of its miners. It does not pay the full cost of its airborne pollution. It does not pay its full cost of disposing of its toxic ash heaps. Coal does not pay for its greenhouse gas emissions. And perhaps worst of all, it does not pay competitive prices for the coal it mines on federal lands. Current coal mining companies receive essentially for free the coal resources from the BLM in the Powder River Basin, which supplies almost 40% of all coal in the US today.

    Wind is VERY COMPETITIVE with coal.

  12. Jamie says:


  13. Diesixdie says:

    The thing that gets me about the Koch Brothers is that you have two guys who are worth about 62 billion dollars. Clearly an amount that no two reasonable people could spend in ten lifetimes. They’re past middle age. They’ve got their pile. They’ve made their mark. At this point, why would you not start using your influence, power and money to improve the world, instead of perpetuating destruction? Instead of shooting down wind power, they should be investing in it.

    We’re talking about two guys who, quite frankly, won’t be inhabiting the planet for much longer. Why should the rest of us suffer with dirty energy for the rest of our lives, so these two greedy boobs can pile a little more swag onto their towering pile?