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    Source:  Gleen Schleede

    Wind Powering America – Your Tax Dollars Working Against You  

    Ladies & Gentlemen:

    I don’t want to spoil your day but you probably should be aware of a relatively new (February 2008) document issued by the National Renewable Energy “Laboratory” (NREL) and DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE). The title is “Wind Powering America FY07 Activities Summary” and you can find it at www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/42345.pdf.

    This “document” illustrates several things:

    1. It shows how far government officials and contractors – using their positions and your tax dollars – will go in imposing their views and biases on ordinary citizens, taxpayers and electric customers; for example, in:

      1. Presenting only one side of an important public policy issue and totally ignoring opposing views and evidence.
      2. Supporting favored special interests – in this case the wind industry, including foreign “wind farm” owners and financial institutions that are profiting at the expense of taxpayers and electric customers due to enormous tax breaks and subsidies.
      3. Distorting a once-meaningful term, “stakeholder,” so that it includes people and organizations that share their goals while ignoring the interests of everyone else who is affected.
    2.  

    3. It demonstrates once again that the National Renewable Energy “Laboratory” is flying under false colors when it is referred to as a “laboratory.” Instead, many of its activities – as the new document shows – are like those of a trade association which everyone expects to present only one side of an issue.

      For those not yet familiar with the organization, N REL is one of DOE’s government-owned, contractor-operated national “laboratories.” These organizations undertake a variety of research, development and analytical activities. Virtually all of their activity is financed with tax dollars. Quite likely, the work in the “hard” sciences is reasonably objective, conducted in accordance with accepted scientific methods and engineering principles, and undergoes credible peer-review.

      However, some of these so-called national “laboratories,” such as the National Renewable Energy “Laboratory” (NREL), also engage in activities and analyses involving public policies, programs and regulations that clearly are not credibly objective, scientific or peer reviewed. Instead, these activities are biased and designed to promote a particular technology, policy, program, regulatory requirement, special interest, or perhaps even a personal philosophy.

    4.  

    5. It details how state “Wind Energy Working Groups” (described in the document), supported by DOE-EERE and NREL officials – using tax dollars – support the wind industry at the expense of those who are adversely affected by “wind farms.”

      State “wind working groups” may be “headed” by academics or “headquartered” in academic institutions to give them a patina of objectivity but their activities are clearly promotional of wind industry objectives. Representatives of these groups write biased “analyses,” articles and op-eds and/or engage in lobbying of state regulators, legislators and other government officials. Some seem readily available to provide comments favorable to the wind industry to the media.

      Apparently there is no effort made by DOE-EERE to assure that the groups have balanced representation, and DOE-EERE has constructed the program in a way that permits escaping the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (which requires balanced representation) or the federal Data Quality Act (which is intended to promote balanced information and data from federal agency and contractor activities).

      Ordinary consumers, taxpayers and, certainly, citizens who are trying to protect themselves and their property from the adverse impacts of “wind farms” are unlikely to be represented in the groups. In fact, citizens who oppose the building of “wind farms” in the areas where they live are generally forced to pay from their own pockets for their opposition efforts, while wind energy developers are able to enjoy the support of wind energy “work groups” at taxpayer expense.

      If there is a “wind working group” in your state, you may want to learn more about its activities.

    In case you don’t have time to review the new document, here is how it is described on NREL’s web site:

    “This summary reflects the accomplishments of state wind working groups, programs at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and our partner organizations. The national Wind Powering America (WPA) team remains a leading force for moving wind energy forward in the United States. WPA continues to work with its national, regional, and state partners to communicate the opportunities and benefits of wind energy to a diverse set of stakeholders.”

    Regards,

    Glenn R. Schleede
    18220 Turnberry Drive
    Round Hill, VA 20141-2574
    540-338-9958

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