A conflict of wind power interest

General Electric says wind power is a good deal for the U.S. government. Guess what? G.E. makes wind turbines.

By Andrew Leonard
Published June 19, 2008 9:47PM (EDT)

How the World Works loves the green blog Treehugger, supports the expansion of wind energy, and wishes Congress would get its act together and renew the Production Tax Credit (currently set to expire at the end of this year), which provides a significant incentive to wind energy development.

But that does not mean I'm going to rush to embrace a study produced by General Electric and linked to by Treehugger today, purporting to demonstrate that the wind power industry generates more than enough taxes to offset the drain on the U.S. Treasury created by the tax credit.

Treehugger closes its post by stating, "Now, the next time someone tries to tell you that we shouldn't be subsidizing renewable energy you got some statistics to throw at them instead of the usual (but true) 'the fossil fuel industry is heavily subsidized, so why not alternative energy?' But nowhere in the post is it even mentioned that G.E. is a major player in the global wind turbine industry, a fact that makes the report from its Energy Financial Services subsidiary ridiculously self-serving.

A report from Reuters does a better job, noting in the second paragraph that G.E. is the "United States' leading maker of electricity-generating wind turbines" and that G.E. is forecasting $6 billion of wind energy revenue for 2008.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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