I respond to the Aug. 24 Dispatch article “Generate jobs with wind power, study says.”
First, the report was done by Environment Ohio, an advocacy group funded by environmentalists, alternative power companies and utilities such as Florida Power & Light Co., General Electric and others that have a vested interest in seeing their equipment in Ohio.
The third paragraph of the article reported that 3,100 jobs would be created in the manufacturing of wind-related products. These are the same 3,100 jobs that have been promised in every one of the 20-plus states in which the wind utilities have lobbied. If it were true, there already would be 60,000 people working in the wind industry. I don’t see them.
The caveat is that the jobs will be created only when 20 percent of our electricity is generated by wind. Environmental advocate Amy Gomberg and Environment Ohio know that that is an impossible goal. There would have to be 450-foot turbines, taller than the Riffe Center, dotting every 2.2-mile square of the land and lakes in Ohio to even come close to that amount.
Gomberg also is concerned that we have only a small time window to take advantage of the wind utilities’ largesse. If we don’t act now, she says, they will leave. Hardly. Not while there are state and federal tax incentives, tax credits and tax abatements to keep them here.
Let’s look at the reality, not the hype. Ohio and every other state east of the Mississippi that is not on the ocean is just barely on the ragged edge of acceptability for a few turbines in a few high places that are already lived on, farmed on and gazed at for their beauty.
This is a railroad that needs to be sidetracked. Legislating 20 percent of our power from wind won’t make it any more feasible; it will just make us throw our money at it until we cry uncle.
7 September 2007
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