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It’s all about making money, not about renewable energy

If doubt remains that the industrial wind business is gasping for air, you only need read Frank Maisano’s recent attack on Dr. Wayne Spiggle (“Wind turbine opponents keep ignoring the favorable reports,” April 4 Times-News).

If, as Mr. Maisano claims, only a “merry handful” of wind doubters repeating “completely irrelevant claims regarding wind power projects” remain, why not simply ignore them? It seems odd that someone of Mr. Maisano’s stature would even bother to engage these minor irritants?

Mr. Maisano felt compelled to call out Dr. Spiggle’s prior position several times in his letter, yet left it to the editor’s tiny note to explain that “Frank Maisano, Gambrills, Md.” actually serves the wind industry. You must wonder why, with a biography portraying him as a “skilled media specialist with a track record of success,” he would mount this childish attack?

It’s simple! By creating an argument from thin air, Mr. Maisano creates another opportunity to buttress the wind industry’s factually weak case. Having already received approval to place turbines along the Allegheny Front, what else could explain this “sore winner” display?

One thing is certain; this self-induced dust-up is not about Dr. Spiggle and his “merry handful!” This is about Mr. Maisano trying to protect the folks who pay his bills. I imagine he was equally diligent protecting the oil and coal industry he represented prior to becoming the wind guru.

This is about his fear that the mounting pressure on an increasingly thrifty Congress to reassess funding for this dismal product will lead to a loss of hand-outs. This is about fear that an informed public will begin to understand that they have been duped.

This is simply about subsidies and tax deferments and grants and money, money, money. This point is best made by Gabriel Alonso, chief executive of Horizon Wind energy, one of America’s “biggest wind-farm developers” who told his employees that their goal isn’t to stage a renewable-energy revolution, “This is all about making money!” (Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2011)

The real problem for Mr. Maisano is that the curtain is being pushed aside and the Wizard is being exposed for what it is – industrial wind fails on all fronts. And, as demonstrated by the attack on Dr. Spiggle, industrial wind can only be defended in the narrative as facts are sorely lacking to back the industry’s claims.

This could all be put to rest if Mr. Maisano is willing to engage. I’m quite certain the “merry handful” would be more than willing to meet with Mr. Maisano and representatives of his apparently “unhappy throngs” to publicly debate the facts.

The Cumberland Times-News would perform a valuable public service if it were to facilitate such a discussion. I have to believe Mr. Maisano would relish the opportunity to put to rest, once and for all, the “completely irrelevant claims regarding wind power projects in the region.”

Michael Morgan

Keyser, W.Va.