In a segment on U.S. battery maker A123 Systems, Fox's Brian Kilmeade suddenly declared that wind energy is a loser in order to defend Mitt Romney's opposition to a wind energy tax credit. But despite conservative media attempts to use the struggles of individual companies to dismiss entire green tech industries, wind energy has made great progress with the support of the production tax credit.
A123 recently announced that a private Chinese firm may take a majority stake in the company, which would help it avoid insolvency. CNN.com reported that the potential deal "may end up saving" U.S. manufacturing jobs created in part by a $249 million stimulus grant.
Although the grant money can only be used to support U.S. manufacturing facilities, Fox flipped its lid, asking "More of your money going to benefit China?":
After criticizing the deal, Fox & Friends co-host Kilmeade pivoted to attack wind energy:
KILMEADE: And the President yesterday criticizing Mitt Romney for not supporting wind energy in Colorado because green energy has not been a big winner.
But business groups say that U.S. wind turbine manufacturing has grown 12-fold since 2005, and the American Wind Energy Association recently announced that U.S. wind energy production has passed the 50 gigawatt mark -- enough to power nearly 13 million homes, or "as many as in Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined."
The production tax credit is the "main policy tool in the deployment of U.S. wind power," according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. Yet Congress has repeatedly allowed the tax credit to lapse -- unlike the permanent tax breaks that the oil and gas industry enjoys -- with the support of Fox and Romney. CRS states that the wind production tax credit has been a "significant driver in the recent growth of the U.S. wind industry," but when Congress unexpectedly allows it to expire, wind installations drop, as illustrated in this chart from the World Resources Institute: