Hidden in the tax bill passed by Congress last month is a grant program that pays cash to the wind industry to cover 30 percent of the cost of installing a wind farm. This is on top of state and federal tax breaks, doubly accelerated depreciation, and above market pricing that already amounts to 60 percent of capital cost. This costly stimulus program will provide billions of dollars to Spanish and Chinese companies.
The wind industry does claim to hire American workers. According to an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the stimulus subsidies cost taxpayers about $475,000 for every job generated. This is a lousy return on an investment even for government. It is pretty obvious that the public should take another look at industrial wind and that both Democrat and Republican parties share the blame.
The wind industry gave the vast majority of its campaign contributions this election cycle to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party. Top Democratic fundraisers and lobbyists with links to the White House are behind a proposed wind farm in Texas that stands to get $450 million in stimulus money, even though a Chinese company would operate the farm and its turbines would be built in China. How will our government deal with the issue of Homeland Security when all of our power is controlled by foreign companies? These same foreign companies control the computer systems that control the power generators.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Dallas entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens has finally admitted the obvious: “The wind energy business isn’t a very good one.” Pickens finally had the sense to abandon the wind business. But then, it’s his own money and he cares what happens to it. On the other hand, Congress is using our money, and they frankly don’t seem to care that it’s wasted. The industrial wind business is a scam from beginning to end.
It’s time for our federal, state and local elected officials to be held accountable if we are serious about the need to shrink the federal budget and end corporate welfare. Citizens in Wyoming County will continue to fight to preserve public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life for residents and future generations and we will continue to ask our Congressman, Senators, Assemblymen, New York Senator, county chairman, town boards and party chairmen where they stand on this issue. Are any of these elected officials part of the problem? Are any of these elected officials standing in line for this stimulus money? Are they adding to the debt that our grandchildren will have to pay?
The 2011 Budget/Appropriation bills will soon be presented at both the state and federal levels and our elected officials need to hear from us that we do not agree with these wasteful programs.
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