A Koch-allied group aims to make wind energy toxic
The Koch brothers don’t like wind energy. This is because the wind is free, uncontainable, limitless. The Kochs prefer costly, contained, limited. Stuff they can dig up and put in a barrel and sell. People don’t buy barrels of wind. So the Kochs try and kill it.
There was the time the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity held a protest to oppose kids flying kites. (This is a real thing that happened.) There is the thing about how Bill Koch (the less-popular third brother) is spending big bucks to stop an offshore wind project near his home in Massachusetts. And there’s the thing with a Koch-backed group wanting to make a key support for the wind industry “toxic” to politicians.
That last one is new. From ThinkProgress:
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: …
“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.
How Koch-ed up is the AEA?
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.
As we’ve noted before, the expiration of the wind production tax credit could cost as many as 37,000 jobs. Just today, GE announced that uncertainty over extension of the credit reduced its infrastructure revenue 5 percent last quarter. Not good, unless you’re in competition with the wind industry. Like, you know, the Kochs.
There is little doubt that AEA’s efforts will be successful. After all, who knows more about producing toxicity than the Kochs?