Walmart, others make money on Oregon's energy tax credits
When Oregon started handing out jumbo tax subsidies for renewable energy projects two years ago, one of the biggest beneficiaries was also one of the world's richest corporations -- Walmart.
No, the retail giant hasn't branched to solar panels or wind turbines.
Instead, Walmart took advantage of a provision in Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit that allows third parties with no ties to the green power industry to buy the credits at a discount and reduce their state income tax bills.
State records show Walmart paid $22.6 million in cash last year for the right to claim $33.6 million in energy tax credits. The cash went to seven projects, including two eastern Oregon wind farms and SolarWorld's manufacturing plant in Hillsboro. In return, Walmart profits $11 million on the deal because that's the difference between what it paid for the tax credit and the amount of its tax reduction.
This kind of accounting is the future of cap and trade. As much as liberals would like to eliminate free markets this kind of trading is the logical outcome of these silly social engineering policies.
The irony is that long before being "green" was trendy saving energy was something that people did because of self-interest. Who didn't grow up with a parent who remarked that "they weren't paying to heat the whole neighborhood" when you left the front door open in the winter?
Lawmakers and enviro-nuts act as if people wake up in the morning thinking of ways to burn fuel without getting any benefit for it and that if they just offer "free money" then energy consumption that would have happened will not and this will have no consequences.