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Posted on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Extending environmental tax credits necessary to ensure clean future

By Letters to the Editor

In Michigan, we know that we use more energy than we need, and that our current energy mix, dominated by fossil fuels, is not sustainable and threatens our environment and health.

The good news is that there’s no shortage of clean energy in Michigan, surrounding by some of the worlds largest lakes, we have the resources and the technology to harness it right now. In Michigan, we are on our way to getting 10 percent of our energy from clean sources. We cannot remain complacent with this. Thirty-one other states currently receive more clean energy than us, many of these states are much less ideal for clean energy than we are due to their geography. Now is the time to build on our progress and set a path forward, but critical clean energy tax credits will expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts. Senator Debbie Stabenow has been a champ for clean energy for years. We need her to make her voice known in Washington, urging other senators to pass these two bills.

Extending the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and the offshore wind investment tax credit (ITC) as soon as possible to ensure a cleaner, healthier future for Michiganders. I encourage you all to write letters and speak up to Senator Stabenow, reminding her of the importance of these tax credits to the state. Ben Lerner

Ann Arbor

Campaign Coordinator

Environment Michigan



Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:01 a.m.

But, but, but the supporters of the 25 in 25 ballot proposal told us that renewables were cost competative with fossil fuels. Why should they need a tax incentive if they are cost competative? Since most of the wind farms are owned by Private Equity and Hedge Funds, isn't that corporate welfare?

write winger

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

The wind farms are losing proposition except for depreciating the assets against gains from other operations. The depreciation schedules are better (through intensive lobbying) than most other capital expenditures. When the depreciation period is up they sell the operation to another corporation or division and start again. The whole thing is corporate welfare under the false pretense of environmentalism. Another point about wind farms- because of the unbelievable size and scale of the installations they are absolutely devastating to the natural beauty of any environment.

write winger

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

What does the writer mean by "we know that we use more energy than we need"? Do we cycle our washing machines endlessly for giggles? Do we set the thermostat on 80 degrees in February and open all the windows for a good laugh?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

Your article starts out we unfounded assumptions "we know .....". The article then ignores the cost of the identified programs. I'm guessing they are not free. I'm also guessing they will result in higher utility bills. If you want support for this you should have the honestly to state the complete business case. Why are you affraid of the facts?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

These systems are very expensive, too expensive to justify the low amount of energy they produce. They get subsidies in the form of grants and "loans" like Solyndra received. Oil and coal do not get subsidies, they get tax credits like all corporations get. I have no problem with green energy getting the same tax credits any corporation gets, but no subsidies. If you have proof that oil and coal get "billions of subsidies" Nicholas, I would like to see an article describing such. I have searched and only find they get tax credits, much different than subsidies.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

"The article then ignores the cost of the identified programs. I'm guessing they are not free." Odd that you aren't concerned about the billions of subsidies for the oil and coal energy companies.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

The scholarly and peer reviewed research that supports climate change is overwhelming. The people who deny climate change and advocate doing nothing - except zooming around in SUVs and subsidizing the coal and oil industries with billions each year - need to step out of the way. They remind me of the folks who want to get evolution and sex-ed out of schools, and believe the earth is only 3000 years old.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:02 a.m.

Mr Urfe - Which form of electricity production has the highest subsidy today? HINT: The Energy Information Agency of the US Government has a study on their website.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 3:32 a.m.

Not disputing that climate change is occurring but how much mankind is to blame is hotly in question. I suppose you know that CO2 levels are now at a 20 yr low. And you probably know the UN is now pleading with the Feds to supsend the Federal ethanol mandate because of the huge numbers of starving people in the world who can no longer afford more expensive food crops as they a large percentage of them are being used to feed the ethanol madness. So before you call for more government largess and many wasteful programs let make sure we understand that the cure isn't worse than the disease.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

A rather silly straw man there, Nicholas. The peer review process of AGW is quite broken, as evidenced by the East Anglia emails.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

There are better ways to protect the environment than artificial subsidies. The pseudoscience that paints a drastic picture of climate change if we don't take action is irresponsible and politically driven. We need more independent study of the environment, and long-term solutions rather than last-minute reaches by profiteers (most likely your financial supporters - this is hardly a local organization, given your board). We need less scare tactics. Al Gore promised us hundreds of massive hurricanes each year, and it wasn't until Sandy that you had even one that met his promises. That your web site leads with the severe weather promise is a sign of your irresponsibility. We don't know that man is causing temperature change, and we don't know that we can do anything to change that if it's true, given that most of the world's population lives in countries that are not willing to spend trillions to dismantle their coal plants.