This week, 47 House Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking him to let key federal incentives for wind energy expire. The list of sign-ons range from swing seat Republicans desperate to fire up the Tea Party base (Maryland’s Andy Harris) to genuine wackos (Texas’ Louie Gohmert). But what’s most notable is how many Republicans refused to sign the letter – 194 House Republicans refused to sign on. Not one Virginia Republican joined the clean energy attack:
Although GOP districts hold 81 percent of the nation’s wind power capacity, Republicans are deeply split on investing in wind (Mitt Romney, for example, drew criticism from fellow Republicans for opposing the PTC). Boehner’s home state supports up to 6,000 wind jobs.
The GOP remains less divided on issues favoring Big Oil. Of the 47 Republicans asking Boehner to end the wind investments, 46 voted in March 2011 against closing tax loopholes that let Big Oil collect $4 billion in annual subsidies. The one outlier, GOP Rep. Richard Hanna, was a no-vote that day. According to OpenSecrets, these representatives have received a total $2.2 million from the oil and gas industry, in an election cycle where Republicans have collected 89 percent of the oil industry’s contributions. Republicans have maintained these tax breaks are “essential” to an industry posting record-breaking profits.
According to the Tea Party, $5 billion a year to back hundreds of thousands of jobs harvesting clean, domestically-produced wind energy? Unaffordable! The billions we shovel to already-massively-profitable oil companies even though the top 5 oil companies alone banked $137 billion in profit just last year? Indispensable!
It’s just more proof the Tea Party is a fraud. They don’t care about fiscal responsibility or keeping the boot of big government off the little guy’s neck – they care about whatever their billionaire corporate funders tell them to care about.