Oops. Was that what it sounded like?
Yep. That was the sound of the green energy fad, uh, breaking wind.
From Texas to Spain, government-subsidized investments in wind turbines and solar panels are looking about as prescient as pre-season predictions that the Giants were destined to return to the Super Bowl.
Remember T. Boone Pickens?
The Texas oil man went on TV with an $80 million ad campaign announcing that he was going all-in on wind turbines.
“America,” he declared, “is the Saudi Arabia of wind.”
The usual suckers responded, “Count us in!”
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid urged all of America to join “the Pickens church.” (Revealing choice of words.)
Al Gore hailed Pickens as a welcomed convert to the green energy faith.
But it turns out ol’ T. Boone himself is the Saudi Arabia of wind.
Wind turbines, even when massively subsidized with taxpayer dollars, couldn’t compete with cheaper energy sources like natural gas.
Any chance you’d like a couple of giant wind turbines? T. Boone is looking to unload the $2 billion order be bought from GE. He’d probably give you a good price.
Maybe one of those clueless state governments like the ones seated in Sacramento and Trenton – which are pushing utilities to go big on expensive renewable energy – will be willing to take some of those turbines off T. Boone’s hands.
Not long ago, socialist-governed Spain might have been eager to make Pickens an offer on his wind turbines.
Spain, after all, was going whole-hog on green energy schemes, declaring that the approach would be not only a cornucopia of electricity but of green jobs as well, countless millions of ’em.
President Obama commended Spain’s policy as one worthy of emulation for the United States.
Now – with its unemployment rate still stuck above 20 percent and its shaky finances setting off tremors of default fears across Europe – Spain is going the Pickens route.
Much to the horror of Europe’s sucker capitalist bankers who were foolish enough to finance investments in a socialist nation’s cockamamie green schemes, Spain is moving toward deep cuts in subsidies for wind and solar energy.
Meanwhile, back in the Lone Star State – home of swaggering oil tycoons shod in snakeskin cowboy boots and topped off with 10-gallon hats – even Texas has driven its Cadillac with the longhorn hood ornament off the green-energy fad deep end.
Yes, Texas of all places – America’s biggest producer of natural gas – has a state-government program to encourage wind-turbine projects by subsidizing them with property tax breaks.
Obama-echoing claims that the policy would yield jobs along with clean electricity have proved true, according to a report from the office of the Texas state comptroller. Jobs have indeed been created, says the comptroller – for a price, that price being around $1.6 million per job.
Sounds like you could write a book on the subject, and energy policy wonkster Robert Bryce of the conservative Manhattan Institute think tank has – “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.”
Meanwhile, however, even though the socialists in Spain are having second thoughts about the green energy fad, the lame-duck Democratic faithful are still flocking to the pews of the Pickens Church. Congress opted to include an extension of green-energy subsidies.
What’s that about a sucker being born every minute? On Capitol Hill, better make that every 15 seconds.
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