Even as Wind Power Rises, It Falls Under a Political Cloud

Though some energy analysts and executives say it is unlikely that the Trump administration will seek to undo the federal tax credit — which is set to phase out by 2020 — high-ranking Energy Department officials involved in the study have taken part in efforts to diminish support for renewables. Those include Mr. Perry’s chief of staff, Brian McCormack, whom Mr. Perry directed to initiate the study, and another appointee, Travis Fisher, who is overseeing it, according to a former Energy Department official who is one of its advisers.

Mr. McCormack, as vice president for political and external affairs at the main trade group for the electric utility industry, the Edison Electric Institute, was part of an effort to diminish incentives for rooftop solar installations, according to the Energy and Policy Institute, which supports renewables. Mr. Fisher is a former economist at the Institute for Energy Research, a right-leaning policy organization connected to Charles G. Koch, the ultraconservative billionaire whose fortune is connected to oil and petrochemicals. Mr. Fisher has suggested that policies promoting renewable energy should be repealed or overhauled and has blamed the production tax credit for making the grid less reliable.

Mr. Perry has relationships with executives in the oil, gas and nuclear waste industries. But the Energy Department said its review was simply meant to ensure a balanced and secure energy supply, and noted the surge in wind development during his time as governor, making Texas the leading wind energy-producing state by far.

“Secretary Perry’s proven record as a champion for an all-of-the-above energy policy speaks for itself,” said Shaylyn Hynes, a department spokeswoman. “He understands that a reliable, resilient and affordable electric system — using all of our domestic resources, including renewables — is essential.”


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