at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
EYE-OPENING INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HORNER re: EPA CORRUPTION
Chris Horner is Captain America in my Book
I get a news mag Military, that includes essays by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media (AIM).
An AIM interview of Chris Horner, an author and speaker I knew from his work on enviro and climate affairs caught my eye.
Now I am mad as hell.
The interview of Chris Horner is by AIM editor Roger Aronoff who just gets out of the way and lets Horner tell his explosive story of exposing the corruption in the US EPA and the administration of the Executive Branch.
I am still so outraged and alarmed it is hard to articulate.
Horner is a lawyer and investigator for Competitive Enterprise Institute who exposed the Richard Windsor scandal, Lisa Jackson, former Administrator of the US EPA was using the email internet alias Richard Windsor to run US EPA sensitive and probably illegal political projects and campaigns and only hard driving Freedom of Information Request efforts by Horner exposed the nature of the deceptions and misconduct.
The AIM interview discusses at length the Horner project to expose the political machinations of the current administration and the lead agency on regulatory and environmental affairs. Horner is smart enough to understand and explain the implications of his discoveries.
The interview is long so it requires a serious effort,but it is stunning. Horner knows the US EPA very well, in all its perfidy.
I knew Horner was doing important work because Milloy is working with him, but his interview will alarm the serious citizen to an extreme.
You care enough to find out how the government may be beyond redemption? The interview is very troubling.
Hear the interview here:
The Great American "S-WIND-LE" Not Clean, Not Green, Not Free!
Industrial Wind Turbines: The Great American "S-WIND-LE"
Not Clean, Not Green, Not Free!
~ Industrial Wind turbines are being sold under the pretense that they will significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and thereby help avoid Global Warming. Yet, 30 years into subsidizing the building of wind factories off the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers has proven otherwise.
~ With approximately 250,000 industrial wind turbines installed worldwide today (45,100 turbines totaling over 60GW of installed wind projects in the USA, according to AWEA), CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced, nor has a single conventional generation plant - including coal, been decommissioned thanks to industrial wind.
~ Due to the unreliable, erratic, and volatile nature of wind, industrial wind turbines need constant "shadow capacity" from our reliable, dispatchable generators - that is, if you want to be sure the lights will come on when you flick the switch. Thus, as Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein candidly admitted, "Consumers end up paying twice for the same product."
~ All things considered, including demand levels and import/exports - the more wind installations we add, the more we must add fossil-fueled generation.
~ The TRUTH: Wind generation locks us into dependence on fossil fuels.
~ Adding wind as a supplement to our conventional generating system requires so much supplementation that in many areas of the country, adding wind actually causes increased CO2 emissions in the production of electricity than would be the case with no wind at all. Iowa exemplifies this -- As Iowa's installed wind capacity has increased over recent years, so has their coal use and CO2 emissions.
~ ONE (1) 450 MW Combined Cycle Generating Unit located at New York City (where the power is needed in New York State), would provide more power than all of New York State's 16 installed wind factories combined, at 1/4 of the capital costs -- and would have significantly reduced CO2 emissions and created far more jobs than all those wind farms – without all the added costs (economic, environmental, and civil) of all the transmission lines that must be added across the state to New York City.
~ Industrial wind supplies electricity, and therefore, has nothing to do with our "foreign oil dependence" created by gasoline and diesel fuel needs.
~ 4,000 - 6,000 pounds of rare earth elements are required per turbine, producing disastrous ecological results in China, where the rare earth elements are being mined.
~ Industrial Wind Turbines do NOT produce enough power to pay for themselves over their very short, 5 - 13 year lifespans.
~ The average output of many wind factories is less than 25% - many days, providing nothing at all.
~ Studies from those long-invested in wind power in Spain and elsewhere have shown that 2 - 4 jobs are LOST in the rest of the economy, in large part due to the associated "necessarily skyrocketing” electricity rates President Obama forewarned would accompany his 'green' energy policy.
~ Consider GE's Shepard's Flat Wind Factory, at which each 'job created' was shown to cost taxpayers $16.3 MILLION - exorbitantly expensive jobs for a product which is neither "reliable," nor "efficient" - two professed requirements of the "sustainability" movement.
~ Wind technology has proven to be effective only as a tax shelter generator for large corporations in need of an increased bottom line - just as it was originally designed to do by ENRON, the trailblazer for industrial wind in the U.S.
~ Two of the largest wind holding corporations - GE and Florida Power & Light - have paid NO federal income taxes in the U.S. in years, in large measure because of their "investment" in wind.
~ Studies have shown that MILLIONS of birds and bats are being killed every year by these giant "Cuisinarts of the air," as a Sierra official dubbed industrial wind turbines in a moment of candor.
~ President Obama recently gave industrial wind developers a 30 year free pass to slaughter eagles without penalty, while all other energy sources are fined tens of thousands of dollars and more per bird death.
~ The sprawling footprints of industrial wind factories cover vast swaths of land, causing massive Habitat Fragmentation.
~ Industrial wind installations significantly interfere with both military and weather radar, severely compromising both homeland security and weather advisory systems that would otherwise, serve to protect American citizens.
~ Big Wind Corporations looking to cut corners have been caught using old Bethlehem brown-field slag as fill in access roads which run amongst croplands.
~ Mathematically, it would take more than 3000 wind turbines rated at 2 MW each, spread over 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles), to equal the energy from one 1600 MW coal or nuclear plant. Because these wind turbines can produce no effective (or firm) capacity, they can never replace the need for those conventional generating units.
~ Wind, paired with natural gas (the most flexible generating system), can offset a mere fraction more CO2 emissions than could be achieved with the gas unit alone - without any wind at all. Wind represents redundant generation, although it would generate capital costs more than triple the cost of the gas unit. With wind, the country gets one electricity production system for the cost of two.
~ Wind can neither be a functional alternative, nor additive energy source. Wind energy is so diffuse that no machine can convert it to modern power. (See: Understanding E = mc2)
~ Personal health and property value losses by those who end up stuck living within the massive footprints of industrial wind factories ARE significant and growing world-wide, yet are being ignored by most of the media, 'green' enthusiasts, and over 80% of the U.S. population who live within big city limits and are oblivious to the detrimental effects being wrought on rural America thanks to the 'green' "Emperor Who Wore No Clothes."
~ Suggesting proper 'siting guidelines' for wind factories is akin to suggesting building larger closets for the "Emperor With No Clothes."
~ Let's be real - Would you buy and move YOUR family into a home surrounded by 450 - 500+ foot tall industrial wind turbines, with their 164 foot-long, 11-TON, bird-chopping blades spinning overhead - only hundreds of feet from YOUR home on all sides? I have yet to meet anyone who would.
~ Why would anyone in their right mind support imposing this torture on their fellow Americans??? It is shameful, criminal, and un-American! These peoples' most expensive life investments - their homes, have been rendered virtually worthless.
~ Studies have shown, and any realtor worth his oats will tell you, there are significant property value losses (10% - 25% and more), depending on the proximity to the wind turbines. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!! Could you and your family afford to take that kind of loss on YOUR home?
~ Would you take your family to vacation amongst the footprint of industrial wind factories? Neither would most anyone else - which ruins the tourism trade many scenic rural areas across rural America depend on, especially in this flailing economy. The only ones getting rich in this scenario are the multi-national wind developers. The rich are getting richer at the rest of our expense for a useless product.
~ Besides rendering these folks' homes virtually worthless, the fact that American citizens are being assaulted with their own taxpayer and ratepayer dollars (which are subsidizing the building of these wind factories to the tune of 80% of the total costs), is blatant theft of both their money and their Constitutional private property rights. Again I say - It is shameful, criminal, and un-American!
~ Corporate cronies push the "All of the Above" nonsense, while what U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers really need is an "All of the Sensible" energy policy. Industrial Wind does NOT make the cut!
Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator, New York State small business owner, Cornell-certified Master Gardener, and is a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for all Americans. She has served over the past decade in local Water Quality organizations and enjoys gardening and birding in her National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.”
Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal
|Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal |
(Part I: Summary & Conclusions) by Glenn Schleede January 16, 2014
MEMORANDUM FOR: Chairman and Members the Senate Finance Committee
SUBJECT: Energy Tax Break Proposal announced on December 18, 2013
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the December 18, 2013, Staff Discussion Draft of the Senate Finance Committee’s Energy Tax Reform proposal.
Your proposal to repeal all existing renewable energy tax breaks is a good one and it should proceed. Your proposal to adopt a new renewable energy tax break scheme should be scrapped.
This memorandum provides comments on the portion of the proposal dealing with energy used to generate electricity covered on pages 3 and 4 of the above cited document.
The Committee’s proposal that would base the availability and size of the proposed tax break for energy used in producing electricity on “cleanliness” (specifically, “greenhouse gas emissions”) measured at a “generating facility” is faulty in three important respects; specifically:
[Note: Part II will excerpt from the detailed analysis between the Summary and the Conclusions]
Without any doubt, massive federal and state tax breaks during the past 20 years have resulted in the construction of many wind turbines and “wind farms” in the United States. The tax breaks and subsidies have been provided because the wind industry and other wind energy advocates have greatly overstated the benefits and understated the true cost of electricity from wind. These parties have, to a great extent, misled the public, media and government officials.
Work done by analysts in the U.S. and around the world has, during the past five or six years, demonstrated conclusively that wind energy has many adverse environmental, ecological, economic, scenic, and property value impacts.
In fact, the many factors discussed above, and not just “cleanliness” as defined by the Senate Finance Committee should be taken into account when considering whether massive tax breaks and subsidies should be continued for the wind industry.
Despite 20 years of massive federal and state tax breaks and subsidies for the wind industry and the current availability of multiple suppliers of these uneconomic machines, the industry offers no sound evidence that wind turbines will ever be a commercially viable (i.e., without tax breaks and subsidies) source of electricity.
Clearly, the wind industry would be a huge beneficiary of the proposed tax break scheme announced by the Senate Finance Committee on December 18, 2013. Almost certainly, lobbyists for the wind industry were heavily involved in the drafting of the Committee’s proposal. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that the industry’s Washington-based lobbyists, the American Wind Energy Association, could have issued a statement commending Senator Baucus and the Senate Committee almost simultaneously with the Committee’s release of its tax break proposals.
It’s time for the Congress to consider the national interest, including the interests of citizens, taxpayers, and electric customers, before again extending tax breaks for the wind industry.
Read the entire series:
GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part I: Summary & Conclusions)
GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part II: High cost/low value of windpower)
GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part III: Environmental Issues)
GLENN SCHLEEDE: Energy Tax Reform: Scrap the Baucus Proposal (Part IV: Negative Wealth Effects)
NYS 'Green Jobs, Green NY" a bunch of BS!
|New York State 'Green Jobs, Green NY' a bunch of BS!|
Cuomo's anti-Conservative rant inexcusable
Cuomo's anti-Conservative rant inexcusable
Three cheers for Assemblyman Steve Hawley (New York State's 139th District) for standing up and speaking out on behalf of all Conservative New York State citizens in the wake of Governor Cuomo's mind-blowing, anti-Conservative rant last week.
In this increasingly 'go-along-to-get-along' world we live in, it's good to know that there are still a few elected officials who have the guts to speak out against tyrannical bullies like Cuomo (who apparently has forgotten what the Constitution is), instead of just cowering in silence for fear of retribution, as many do.
Reading the Governor's rant against Conservatives was bad enough, but when I actually heard the arrogance and condescending tone in the Governor’s voice as I listened to the interview, I was appalled. Cuomo was very clear about the fact that pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Biblical marriage Conservatives “have no place in New York State.”
Isn't it bad enough that New York State is hemorrhaging more people than any other state -- losing millions of dollars in taxable income every day as thousands of people flee the highest taxes in the nation? (See: www.HowMoneyWalks.com) So why would New York State's chief financial officer be resorting to using divisive rhetoric, specifically geared at driving more people out of the state?!? It boggles the mind that any "public servant" - especially a Governor, could be so ignorant.
Our forefathers fled to America to escape religious persecution. Down through the generations, all of our families have spent their blood, sweat, and tears building this country into a place where we are supposed to be able to be FREE to practice our religion without the fear of mad, power-hungry government dictators imposing their "state" religion upon us. Thus, Cuomo's intolerance is inexcusable, and in my opinion, renders him unfit to govern.
Sad as it is to say, I have come to a much clearer understanding - under Governor Cuomo's 'reign', as to why our Founding Fathers instituted the 2nd Amendment into our Constitution to protect us from a tyrannical government.
Regardless of tyrannical rants like that just displayed by the Governor, we have no intention of abdicating our belief in God and Jesus Christ to fall in line with baby-killing beliefs that we find abhorrent. Nor will we be giving up our guns, as we still believe in the 2nd Amendment. Just how many more people the Governor's radical disdain and incompetency ends up driving out of the state, however, remains to be seen.
THANK YOU once again, Assemblyman Hawley, for speaking truth to power on behalf of ALL freedom loving, Constitution-believing Americans across New York State! May God bless you and keep you safe as you continue to battle for all of our rights!
Mary Kay Barton
For more on Governor Cuomo's attacks against Constitutional Private Property Rights in New York State, see:
New York State Wind Wars - Hiding the Facts:
New York State Wind Wars
New York State Wind Wars
Congress’s last minute extension of the PTC or Production Tax Credit (aka: “Pork To Cronies”) within the December 31, 2012 fiscal cliff deal was good news for Big Wind corporate welfare profiteers, like Michael Polsky’s Invenergy. It was very bad news for rural/residential towns that are being targeted by industrial wind developers here in New York State, and across the nation.
Even though the Wyoming County, NY Town of Orangeville’s conflicted Town Board approved Invenergy’s “Stony Creek” project in the Fall of 2012, Invenergy admitted it would not go ahead with the project unless the PTC was extended. This again highlights the fact that the only thing Invenergy is interested in “harvesting” via its ‘wind farms’ is taxpayers’ money. Once Crony-Corruptocrats in DC extended the PTC in that midnight fiscal cliff deal, the once-beautiful rolling hills of the Town of Orangeville were doomed.
While Michael Polsky enjoys his new mansion, many Orangeville residents are now helplessly looking on in disgust as Invenergy turns their town into a sprawling industrial wind factory – rendering their homes virtually worthless – thanks to the legalized thievery of their own tax dollars for The Wind Farm Scam.
As Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein candidly pointed out in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Wind power subsidies? No Thanks” and follow-up TV interview, “Wind farms are increasingly being built in less-windy locations,” because the wind industry is focused on reaping the lucrative taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies, rather than providing efficient, affordable, reliable electricity.
Nowhere is this proving to be more true than right here in New York State. Orangeville borders the Town of Attica here in the western part of the state. It’s a town that “First Wind LLC” pulled out of a number of years ago, after admitting that the Attica area “was not a good wind area.” It seems Jenevein knew exactly what he was talking about.
According to NYISO’s Goldbook, New York State’s installed wind factories averaged a pathetic 23.5% actual capacity factor in 2012. New York State wind factories are not generating enough electricity to even to pay for themselves over their short life spans. It’s basic economics, but it’s being ignored by politicians.
Renowned energy analyst Glenn Schleede examined the data on New York State’s wind factories and found that one 450-MW combined cycle generating unit near New York City (where the power is actually needed) would provide more power than all of New York State’s wind farms combined, at one-fourth the capital costs – and would significantly reduce CO2 emissions, while creating far more jobs than all those wind farm – without the added costs and impacts of all the transmission lines to New York City.
It’s no wonder New York has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest electricity rates in the continental United States: 17.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – a whopping 53% above the national average! New York residents using 6,500 kWh of electricity annually will pay about $400 more per year for their electricity than if the state’s electricity prices were at the national average.
Despite making absolutely no economic sense, and despite the utter civil discord embroiling Towns across New York State for more than a decade, New York State continues to aggressively pursue further industrial wind development – with no effort whatsoever to protect the health, well-being or pocketbooks of New York State citizens, especially those living next to or under the wind turbines.
Governor Cuomo and ‘Article X’
During his tenure as Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo did nothing to protect New York State citizens from the predatory practices and collusion evident among Big Wind developers. Once he became Governor of New York, Cuomo actively began aiding and abetting Big Wind’s efforts to trample rural communities’ Constitutional private property rights in his pursuit of all things “green” (aka: Agenda 21), by signing into law the new “Article X (10)” contained within his 2011 “Power NY Act.”
Cuomo's new Article X put in place an ”Energy Siting Board” comprised of five Albany bureaucrats who now have the final say regarding the siting of “power-generating facilities” in NY – redefined to mean anything generating 25 MW or more. Cuomo’s intention to clear the way for Big Wind developers could not have been any more obvious had he rolled out a red carpet.
Article X proceedings are already being pursued by British Petroleum (BP) in Cape Vincent, NY, and by Iberdrola in Clayton, NY. These foreign-owned corporations intend to turn our beautiful Thousands Islands, St. Lawrence Seaway area into sprawling industrial wind factories. Devastating some of the most scenic, historic areas in the nation in pursuit of the “green” energy boondoggle of wind should have all Americans incensed – especially since they are paying for it!
In Lichtfield, NY, another Big Wind LLC tried to override the town’s restrictive zoning laws, by using Cuomo’s “Article X,” so that they could install 490-foot-tall turbines. Luckily for Litchfield residents, the FAA struck down Big Wind’s plans there.
Robert Bryce, Senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute, reported on the lawsuit going on in Herkimer County, NY due to the intolerable noise problems associated with industrial wind factories. His article title sums it up: “Backlash against Big Wind continues.” Other wind factories are in the works in New York, with unsuspecting towns yet to recognize the fate that awaits them.
Considering the growing list of problems associated with industrial wind factories in New York State (and worldwide), Governor Cuomo’s actions reflect criminal negligence by a duly-elected “public servant,” as he has not demanded health studies to safeguard those he was elected to serve and protect.
Real Estate 101: “Location, location, location!”
Adding insult to injury, Ben Hoen and his pals at the NRLB just came out with yet another bogus “report,” claiming industrial wind factories do not hurt property values. They can't really be serious, can they?
Any realtor who is not in bed with the wind industry will tell you, location is the most important factor when considering a home’s worth and value.
If you industrialize a neighborhood (and in the case of industrial wind energy, entire towns, and those neighboring them), you are going to devalue it.
Pretty much a no-brainer, right? Not according to Hoen and his pals in the ideologically-driven media.
Media Controlling the Message
After nearly a decade of researching and writing about industrial wind power, I’ve lost count of how many times my comments responding to wind-promoting articles have been rejected, and how many news publications refuse to report all relevant information regarding industrial wind power.
A number of local newspapers serving our area here in Western New York State – which has been targeted by industrial wind developers – have literally cut off all letters to the editor from local citizens regarding the industrial wind issue. These same newspapers continue to publish “Press Releases” and “project updates” on behalf of wind developers, and yet refuse to do any responsible, investigative journalism of their own on the efficacy, effects and economics of wind power.
If “news”papers wonder why their circulation continues to drop, as people choose to get honest news elsewhere, they need look no further than their own refusal to adhere to “The Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics,” which says “Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”
If wind enthusiasts actually believe all they claim to about the supposed “wonders of wind,” then why do they need to control the message the way they do? The answer is evident.
Either they are so ideologically driven that facts are not “relevant” to them – or they are getting so rich via the wind scam that they must squelch factual information as much as possible, so that the “Emperor with No Clothes” doesn’t end up being exposed for what he is – a charlatan who is swindling taxpayers and ratepayers out of billions of dollars in the name of being “green.”
Mary Kay Barton
Incipient Clean Energy Grid Problems
Incipient Clean Energy Grid Problems
It will start with small annoyances, and progress to real shortages. Is that the future of clean energy on the grid? Or, is it very expensive electricity because of the investments needed to back-up clean energy? Or, both?
The PJM, responsible for the grid across the northern tier of states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania, asked consumers to turn down their thermostats during the recent cold snap to prevent the possibility of blackouts. Commercial and industrial customers were asked to switch to back-up generators and other sources for several hours.
PJM had threatened mandatory blackouts, according to news reports.
PJM also asked residents to avoid using appliances like stoves, dishwashers and washers and dryers during peak periods of demand.
While summer-time peaks are typically higher than the peak reached during the cold snap, one must wonder why there would be a problem during winter.
Actually, wind and solar generated electricity are problematic in both summer and winter. And now there is also a potential problem with natural gas power plants as the result of coal-fired power plants being closed.
This is a message that people must pay attention to, since wind and solar are unreliable.
Wind, for example can’t generate electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. This is what happened during the cold snap across the northern United States, stretching as far south as Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
It has also happened in the summer during heat waves. Heat waves are often accompanied by periods where the wind doesn’t blow.
As mentioned previously, wind is unreliable.
Here is how the New York Times reported the issue in 2011 during the heat wave when the grid was put in danger:
“Peak supply is also becoming a vexing problem because so much of the generating capacity added around the country lately is wind power, which is almost useless on the hot, still days when air-conditioning drives up demand.”
PV solar can’t generate electricity when it’s snowing, and the sun doesn’t shine. The more PV solar installations there are, the greater the possibility of grid failure.
Homeowners with PV solar installations create a double whammy when they must not only turn to the grid for electricity, but also can’t supply the grid with surplus electricity.
Adding wind and solar to the grid will require adding additional back-up power, in the form of gas turbines or coal-fired power plants.
This is the exact opposite of what environmental supporters of wind and solar claim.
It should be noted that natural gas power plants were also shut down during the cold snap because homeowners have priority when there are limited supplies of natural gas, in this instance due to inadequate natural gas pipeline capacity.
To some extent, the closing of coal-fired power plants is having a negative effect on grid reliability and the price of electricity.
There was very limited solar on the grid, so its impact was minimal, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that solar can’t be relied upon, especially as more solar capacity is installed.
Wind and solar are expensive and unreliable; raising the question of why so much taxpayer money is being spent to support wind and solar installations.
Why are we putting the grid at risk by requiring more wind and solar while also preventing the building of modern ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants?
The recent flirtation with blackouts is a yellow-flag, warning of possible danger, a cautionary indicator, with which we should all be concerned.
Speaking Truth to Wind Power (Recent IER Panel on the Hill)
(Recent IER Panel on the Hill)
by Robert Bradley Jr.
January 7, 2014
“Here’s to a post-PTC world. One where, in Lisa Linowes words, ‘the industry shifts their business plans away from those based on tax avoidance to plans based on energy production’.”
Last month, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) held a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill to discuss the problems of wind power in light of the debate about whether to extend the long-standing (1992–) production tax credit (PTC). The event highlighted a new IER study calculating the “taker” and “payer” states from the PTC, Estimating the State-Level Impact of Federal Wind Energy.
I moderated the panel. Panelists included Travis Fisher (IER) and three leading grassroots activists: Lisa Linowes of New Hampshire, Tom Stacey from Ohio, and Kevon Martis of Michigan. Lisa, Tom, and Kevon are wind-power experts whose volunteer work is inspired by the economic waste and wholly unnecessary degradation of rural life.
I began by describing wind power as the perfect imperfect energy due to its economic and environmental drawbacks. Converting wind energy to electricity, indeed, has been a perennial folly since the 19th century for reasons explained in books of the day.
I identified industrial wind as a “crony industry,” given its tip-to-toe government dependence. Such is different from consumer-friendly industries that might be populated by some crony companies (firms desiring special government favor at the expense of competitors, ratepayers, or taxpayers).
Travis Fisher, coauthor of the new IER study, explained his methodology of comparing PTC tax receipts per state to tax payments from that state. The straightforward analysis found takers and payers in unusual places. Texas wind producers were the biggest takers, and California taxpayers the biggest payers, given where the wind turbines spin.
Fisher noted that the study is valuable because it actually puts a number on wind energy subsidy transfers between states and regions. Energy analysts have often discussed those transfers in general terms but never attempted to quantify them.
(Fisher elsewhere eviscerates the ‘job creation’ myth of windpower, invoking the classical economic wisdom of Frederick Bastiat in the 19th century and Henry Hazlitt in the mid-20th century.)
Lisa Linowes, the founder and executive director of Industrial Wind Action Group, reviewed the economic distortions of volatile, and even negative, pricing from must-produce, must-take, wind-generated kilowatt-hours.
“The combination of the federal PTC and state RPS policies have shielded wind developers from the basic supply and demand forces present in a healthy competitive market,” she explained. “As a result, we are fast-tracking the construction of expensive renewable resources that are variable, operating largely off-peak, off-season and located long distances from where the energy is needed.”
Tom Stacy, Ohioan for Affordable Electricity, explained the characteristics of electricity (a unique product that must be consumed the instant it is generated, not stored). As such, wind power is a liability parading as an asset. Why? Because such electricity is not demand-responsive but a variable, unpredictable energy flow ill-timed to consumer needs (a fundamental characteristic of the perfect imperfect energy).
“The wind PTC is not a financial leg-up to an equivalent quality source to make it price competitive with conventional sources,” he explained. “The wind PTC rewards a misfit technology for its lack of control over its fuel source – a fuel that will continue to behave badly no matter how ‘price competitive’ our subsidies make it.”
Kevon Martis of the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition then rebutted the typical arguments for government sponsorship of wind energy. Wind power does not displace oil, nor is it cheaper. Wind’s alleged fuel diversification is diluted by its required co-pairing with fossil-fuel generation to overcome intermittency.
Wind energy—a niche, problematic fuel source—is also irrelevant to the global warming/CO2 emissions debate. Martis states: “It makes absolutely no sense to claim that we need an ‘all of the above’ energy policy to wean us from ‘climate damaging’ fossil fuel plants by subsidizing a source of energy that can only replace a small fraction of that fossil generation but at a snail’s pace and very high price.”
The unintended consequences and non-neutral effects of government intervention into energy markets were on full display during this policy luncheon at the Rayburn House Office Building last month.
Concentrated benefits to cronies and the political class; diffused costs to the rest of us…. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong type electricity ruining prices for right place-time-type generation …. The false arguments of climate-change benefits, diversification of risk, cheapness, infant industry, and (net) job creation….
Friends and foes of Big Wind went away with a better understanding of a public policy whose time of shine on the taxpayer’s dime is in decline.
Here’s to a post-PTC world. One where, in Lisa Linowes words, “the industry shifts their business plans away from those based on tax avoidance to plans based on energy production.”
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