Fact Checks

  • FACT: Clean energy tax incentives like the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) have spurred intense job creation and cost reduction in the renewable energy industry, providing benefits that far outweigh the tax revenue lost. Other industries have been claiming -- and continue to claim -- similar tax incentives.

  • In 2012, the PTC spurred $25 million of investment in the U.S. wind energy sector. (Joint Committee on Taxation, February 2013, http://1.usa.gov/1EXwD4W)

  • The ITC provides a 126% average return on investment to the federal government over the life of a solar project. (U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance, July 2012, http://bit.ly/1vlotSl)

  • The U.S. solar industry has added 128,000 employees since the ITC was passed in 2005. (Solar Electric Industry Association, http://bit.ly/1qi0yll)

  • The wind industry supports 51,000 jobs in the U.S. That’s 30,000 fewer jobs than it supported in 2012 due to Congressional inaction. (International Renewable Energy Agency, May 2014, http://bit.ly/1EUh3Fa)

  • Only 4 major energy-related tax credits are permanent. Three are for fossil fuels; the fourth is for nuclear. (U.S. Congressional Budget Office, March 2012, http://1.usa.gov/1t0sHb5)

  • The PTC has expired 5 times over the last 16 years. (American Wind Energy Association, http://bit.ly/ZOMEL1)

  • If the PTC is not extended, annual U.S. wind energy deployment will be 3.7 GW – 5.7 GW lower than the average deployment from 2008-2012. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, April 2014, http://1.usa.gov/1ya3PC6)

  • Wind energy generation capacity added in the U.S. fell by 92% in 2013 after the PTC expired. (American Wind Energy Association, http://bit.ly/ZOMEL1)

  • If the ITC expires in 2016, it will take the U.S. solar industry 6 years to return to pre-2016 levels of deployment. (Bloomberg, October 2014, http://buswk.co/1vkupeJ)

  • There are 560 manufacturing plants for wind energy components in the U.S. (American Wind Energy Association, http://bit.ly/1HdiJh0)

  • Eliminating the 12 subsidies for fossil fuels in the U.S. would save $41.4 billion over 10 years without increasing fuel prices, reducing employment, or weakening U.S. energy security. (Brookings Institute, February 2013, http://bit.ly/1h3mDhB)

  • Fossil fuels received $550 billion in subsidies worldwide last year. That’s 4x more than renewables. (Washington Post, November 2014, http://wapo.st/1v7RVLf)

  • The oil and gas industries have received approximately $446.96 billion in subsidies from the U.S., as opposed to just $5.93 billion for renewables, since 1918. (DBL Investors, September 2011, http://bit.ly/N9Isin)

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