Is this the next tactic of BigWind, as it spreads across America? BigWind becomes (an even bigger) bully in the room. Is it not enough that people have peace and quiet taken away? Is it not enough that home valuations decline? Is it not enough that families (in Paulding, Ohio) and communities (Van Wert, Ohio) are torn apart? Is it not enough that they are allowed to avoid paying taxes (P-I-L-O-T)? Nope, they want to go everywhere and anywhere they want, without restrictions. This concept is very simple and it is discussed in THE good book, the Holy Bible, “The root of all evil is the love of money”. BigWind is GREEDY. This has nothing to do with energy production and everything to do about greed. Inform your friends, neighbors and legislators. Remember, our legislators are lobbied hard by BigWind, and in Ohio, Senator Cliff Hite has been easy pickin for them. He has become a staunch supporter of BigWind rights, even over the rights of Ohio citizens. Our setback of 1,125 feet from a property line is being attacked and discussed and it is expected to decline in a ‘compromise’ bill. We would love for our legislators to ‘compromise’ their lives and live beside these industrial machines….and then, of course, ‘compromise’ and utilize our health insurance programs…..
NextEra Energy, which bills itself on its website as “the world’s largest generator of renewable energy,” is suing a tiny municipality in one of Oklahoma’s poorest counties. In mid February, NextEra, which operates 110 wind projects in 20 states, filed lawsuits in both state and federal court against the town of Hinton, population: 3,200.
Why is the wind giant suing the Caddo County town? Simple: Hinton stands between NextEra and nearly $18 million per year in federal tax subsidies.
NextEra isn’t suing only Hinton. Since last October, the wind giant has filed lawsuits against five rural governments from Oklahoma to Michigan, all of which have imposed limits on wind-turbine development. The company has also filed a libel suit against Esther Wrightman, a Canadian activist who opposed a project NextEra wanted to build in Kerwood, Ontario. Wrightman’s offense? She called the company “NexTerror” and “NextError” on her website, ontario-wind-resistance.org. That libel suit, filed four years ago, is still pending.
To be certain, the oil and gas industry has filed lawsuits against local governments that have sought limits on hydraulic fracturing. The difference is that NextEra is using taxpayers’ money to fund its courthouse mugging of small-town America. Between 2008 and 2015, according to a recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, NextEra accumulated profits of $21.5 billion but didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes. Over that time frame, only ten other American companies received more in tax subsidies than NextEra. Nor does it appear that NextEra will be paying federal taxes any time soon.
In its 10-K filing for 2016 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported $3 billion in tax-credit carryforwards that it can use to directly offset tax liabilities in future years. Remember, tax credits are more valuable than a deduction from revenue or accelerated depreciation. As my accounting consultant (and brother) Wally Bryce, a CPA, reminds me: “You’d much rather get a tax credit because it applies dollar for dollar against what you owe the government.” NextEra wants more tax credits. And it’s litigating to get more. But each lawsuit NextEra files against a yet-smaller rural town or yet-smaller website owner provides another example of the backlash against Big Wind and, even more appalling, how Big Wind is using the issue of climate change as an excuse to make a run on the Treasury. Since 2015, more than 130 government entities in states from Maine to California have moved to reject or restrict the encroachment of the wind industry. And while other wind companies have also sued small towns, none can match NextEra’s scorched-earth tactics….