Jeb Bush told an Iowa audience Saturday he thinks the federal wind energy tax credit is no longer necessary to support the “now competitive” industry, MarketWatch reported. Meanwhile, Bush's checkbook remains tethered to the profits of oil and gas companies, which continue to receive federal subsidies, thanks to an investment firm whose holdings first became known last summer.
The firm in which Bush has investments, Britton Hill Holdings LLC, owns part of a shipping company called Dorian LPG Ltd. that stands to profit from the recent boom in U.S. oil and gas production, Bloomberg reported. Since its establishment in 2013, the firm has also invested in or made deals with several other fossil-fuel ventures. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times found Bush maintained financial links to fracking companies last year while publicly advocating for fracking in states where it has been banned, such as New York.
The five-year wind energy tax credit, valued at $18.5 billion, withered away at the end of last year along with a few other credits that were set to expire at the close of 2014. The credit spurred the development of new wind energy facilities by partially reimbursing utilities for construction costs.
The former Florida governor, who is expected to throw his hat into the ring as a presidential candidate in 2016, made the statement while speaking to an audience at the Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines. Iowa generates more of its electricity from wind than any other state, according to the Wind Energy Foundation. Worldwide, fossil fuels receive $550 billion in subsidies from governments while renewables receive $120 billion, according to the International Energy Agency.
Bush’s ties to oil and gas companies are similar to those that have long been known to exist between the industry and other members of his family. Both his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and his brother, former President George W. Bush, owned stakes in oil and gas companies before their tenures in the Oval Office, Bloomberg noted. The agricultural summit in Iowa where Jeb Bush spoke is being attended by a host of other possible presidential contenders, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.