Sen. Lamar Alexander, a longtime critic of federal subsidies for wind energy production, penned an editorial in the Washington, D.C., newspaper Roll Call today, calling for an end to federal subsidies granted to wind developers.
Using a series of recent events hosted by wind developers in the nation's capital, Alexander argues that wind energy production is expensive, unreliable and overdue for an end in subsidies funded by American taxpayers.
The senator describes inconsistencies in wind energy production outweighing its benefits.
"After 20 years and billions in subsidies, wind produces a puny amount of unreliable electricity," Alexander writes. "The United States uses 20 to 25 percent of all the electricity produced in the world. Wind produces just 3 percent of that. And, of course, wind power is available only when the wind blows. You can't easily store it. So it is a limited use for a country that needs huge amounts of reliable, low-cost electricity. Relying on wind power is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when nuclear subs are available."
The senator then suggests that the $12.1 billion in subsidies on deck to be extended over the next 10 years ought to be shelved and instead be put toward reducing the national debt.
He also suggests nuclear power as a better investment for clean and reliable energy.
"It would take a row of 50-story wind turbines placed along the entire length of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine to equal the energy production of four nuclear reactors," the senator claims.
Earlier this year, Alexander struck a similar tone when he spoke out against an extension of a wind production tax credit being included in a package to extend the payroll tax cut.
To read Alexander's op-ed, click here.