Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s green energy policies paved the way for companies like GH America and Goldwind Americas, both with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party, to profit millions from tax abatements and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) at the taxpayer’s expense.
Goldwind Americas purchased Rattlesnake LLC in 2016. Comptroller documents show that the Rattlesnake wind farm receives over $3.8 million in annual property tax abatement from the Brady ISD and will continue to receive this financial help until at least 2026.
The investments gave the Chinese government direct access to Texas’ energy grid and sensitive national security information, including security assessments affecting the grid’s health and performance. National File previously reported on the threat that Chinese energy companies pose to Texas’ energy grid and national security.
In a statement to National File, Cary Cheshire, President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, dubbed Governor Abbott’s slew of green proposals, “Abbott’s Green New Deal.”
Cary suggested, “Despite sitting on some of the world’s largest deposits of reliable and dependable fuels, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas state government have been administering their own Green New Deal by doling out over $10 billion in taxpayer dollars to subsidize operators of wind and solar energy.”
He continued, “This state-administered Green New Deal has undermined the strength of our electric grid while transferring wealth from taxpayers and ratepayers to crony insiders and foreign governments.”
The unearthed documents published by the Texas Comptroller’s Office highlight the archaic nature of Governor Abbott’s green energy policies. The state’s tax code, specifically Sec. 312 and 313, empower local school districts to establish “reinvestment zones” where companies can apply for 10-year tax abatement, sheltering them from millions in potential property taxes meant to fund Texas’ public schools.
Rather than allow these arrangements to siphon millions from Texas public education, however, the Texas legislature reimburses the school districts for qualified tax abatements that invest in renewable energy technologies and improvements — like wind turbines and solar panels.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) also administers a state exchange whereby green energy companies can sell their energy production to the state in exchange for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Goldwind Americas can be found on ERCOT’s list of qualified companies using RECs.
The Daily Mail, dubbing it “deeply troubling,” recorded Goldwind America’s deep ties to the Chinese government in June of 2020, noting that 40% of Goldwind’s top investors were known members of the Communist Party.
Chris Ekstrom, a Dallas area businessman and a prominent donor to Greg Abbott’s 2014 campaign for governor recalled, “Greg Abbott promised not to ‘California our Texas.’” He continued, “Well he did worse: Abbott has allowed the Dragon in our backyard! Communist China is heavily invested in our wind and solar farms.” He exclaimed, “WHY?” Abbott is up for re-election again in 2022.