Will Wisconsin recover the subsidies, tax breaks and grants to wind energy?
Remember the movie “The Music Man,” in which nonmusician Harold Hill (played by Robert Preston) comes to River City, offering to train and equip a boys 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 U.S. News and World Report article “Denmark is ‘Energy Smart’? Think Again.” Denmark carbon emissions have remained relatively unchanged for the past 20 years, despite producing nearly 20 percent of its energy from wind turbines.
2. Jobs. American University Investigative Reporting said 80 percent of the first billion of stimulus fund wind grants went overseas. A 2009 Spanish university study showed 2.2 conventional jobs lost for each “green” 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 from LLCs, or limited liability corporations, which means they can walk away when unprofitable. Given our $ 2.5 billion state deficit, can we afford thousands of these boondoggles?
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