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Why are Maryland lawmakers proposing more corporate welfare for ‘Big Wind’?  

Credit:  By: Mark Newgent, Special to The Examiner, washingtonexaminer.com 28 December 2010 ~~

Are two Maryland legislators helping Google guarantee a profit on it’s billion dollar bet on wind energy in the Mid-Atlantic region?

It certainly appears that way.

According to MarylandReporter.com state senator Paul Pinksy (D-Prince George’s) and delegate Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery) have filed a bill mandating state utilities enter into long term contracts to purchase wind generated power.

The bill did not specify a purchasing agreement with offshore wind producers, but wind was the only form of renewable energy that qualified.

The Pinsky-Hucker bill would support both renewable energy and an expansion of the wind-generated power industry in the state. Renewable energy proponents say that the only way developers can get financing for wind farms that can cost billions is through long-term contracts that guarantee a revenue stream.

Indeed, as renewable energy is more costly to generate and transmit versus fossil fuels, it is viable only through government subsidies and mandates.

Here’s where Google comes in. Back in October, Google and it’s partners announced with much fanfare a $5 billion project to transmit offshore wind power to the Mid-Atlantic region. Google has a 37.5percent stake in the project.

No government mandate. No contracts. No wind power. No need for a $5 billion transmission grid. You get the picture.

Hucker admitted as much saying “You need a bigger market. You need the utilities to participate.”

If the Pinsky-Hucker bill—reported to be supported by Governor Martin O’Malley—becomes law, Google and it’s investment partners will be the only winners and Maryland utility customers will be the losers.

Surely, Robert L. Mitchell, CEO of the Chevy Chase based Trans-Elect LLC, the company leading the Google partnership, hopes his late October investment in Martin O’Malley makes his company a winner. A government mandate for wind power will certainly benefit Maryland wind baron and former chair of the state Democratic Party, Wayne Rogers. In 2007, Rogers aided securing sweetheart legislation allowing circumvention of the Public Service Commission regulations to construct wind turbines in western Maryland.

Mandates for renewable energy force utilities to drop cheaper sources of power, which keep your monthly bills affordable, for higher cost renewables. For example, during the past legislative session O’Malley and the Democratic controlled legislature increased the solar energy requirement on utilities under the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The increase amounts to nearly a billion energy tax.

Not only do the higher costs of renewable show up on your utility bill, but their costs are passed through to consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services.

Mike Tidwell of the global warming alarmist group, Chesapeake Climate Action Network cited a Massachusetts mandate for wind power as successful example. However, a Beacon Hill Institute analysis of 11 of that state’s 25 renewable energy mandates found they would cost Massachusetts ratepayers “$490 million this year, more than $985 million in 2020 and more than $9.8 billion cumulatively over the next eleven years.”

Nor are the green jobs United Steel Workers Maryland District Director, Jim Strong touts this mandate will bring, guaranteed. Over 79 percent of $2 billion in federal stimulus grant money for renewable energy grant program went to foreign manufacturers of wind turbine components. Furthermore, as the Spanish experience shows every government created green job destroyed two non green jobs.

The Maryland Reporter article notes that Tidwell, Strong, along with Environment Maryland’s chief Brad Heavner are part of coalition lobbying for wind energy mandates. This is the same lavishly funded coalition, which formed the “lead policy/lobbying group,” for Maryland’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which is set to unleash a storm economically ruinous taxes and regulations.

The proposed wind mandates are yet another example of the corporatism, which defines one-party Democratic in Maryland.

Source:  By: Mark Newgent, Special to The Examiner, washingtonexaminer.com 28 December 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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