Will Wisconsin recover the subsidies, tax breaks and grants to wind energy? Remember the movie “The Music Man” where non-musician Harold Hill (Robert Preston) comes to River City offering to train and equip a boy’s marching band, planning to skip town with the money.
Wind developers come to our community with three promises:
1. Reduced carbon emissions. Check out the US News & World Report article, “Denmark is ‘Energy Smart’? Think Again.” Denmark carbon emissions have remained relatively unchanged for the past 20 years despite building nearly 6,000 industrial wind turbines.
2. Jobs. American University Investigative Reporting stated that 80 percent of the first billion dollars of stimulus fund wind grants went overseas. A 2009 Spanish university study showed 2½ conventional jobs lost for each wind and solar job created.
3. Money. Approximately $7,000 paid yearly to landowner contract holders over 30 years won’t even cover the $250,000 needed to properly decommission a turbine. California has 14,000 abandoned wind turbines. Who besides taxpayers will pay for decommissioning? Most of these wind projects are LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), which means they can walk away when unprofitable. Given our estimated $2.5 billion state deficit, can we afford thousands of these boondoggles?
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