Every day we are bombarded with stories about the out-of-control spending going on in Washington, as our national debt continues to soar. A particularly infuriating report that recently came out exposed the hundreds of billions wasted every year due to redundancy in our government. With the United States flirting with economic disaster as our debt nears $14.3 trillion, it seems we could all agree on this one thing – redundancy must be eliminated!
A perfect example of government-sponsored redundancy that taxpayers and ratepayers foot the bill for is industrial wind. Due to wind’s intermittent, volatile nature, our reliable, dispatchable, baseload power sources must provide constant back-up power for wind at all times – a redundancy we simply can not afford. Claims that this redundancy is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions and save the planet have been proven false by a number of studies. The Colorado/Texas Bentek studies, which looked at actual wind performance data, concluded that wind caused coal plants to operate more inefficiently, “often resulting in greater SO2, NOx, and CO2 emissions than would have occurred if less wind energy were generated and coal generation was not cycled.”
Wind’s typical outputs range from 10 percent to 20 percent – making the negative return on investment very clear. Wind received $3.4 billion in Section 1603 direct cash grants last year alone. Another $2.2 billion of stimulus funds were given to “renewables” (mostly wind) – of which 80 percent went overseas. Yet, mega-corporations like GE (who paid zero taxes on $15 billion in profits last year), who are benefiting from all these handouts via our tax dollars, have “no skin in the game” when it comes to industrial wind projects.
Analysis by Chris Horner, an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (author of the books “Green Hell” and “Power Grab”), indicated that the stimulus bill’s subsidies for renewable energy cost taxpayers about $475,000 per job created – “a lousy return on investment, even for the government.” President Obama warned us in his campaign that “his energy policy would cause electricity prices to necessarily skyrocket,” and with “green” jobs costing at least four times to create what it costs a non-subsidized private firm to create a job, it’s no wonder! (“The Wind Subsidy Bubble,” Wall Street Journal.)
Obama continually referenced Spain early on in his push for all things “green.” The President doesn’t talk much about Spain anymore – ever since a study out of Spain revealed that for every “green” job created, 2.2 jobs were lost in the rest of the economy – leading Spain to an unemployment rate of over 20 percent. Or maybe it’s because Spain has the highest electricity rates in Europe.
Then there was the revelation by the CEO of UK’s National Grid, that a six-fold increase in wind power will mean rationed electricity.
All of these facts in the face of our already overwhelming debt, beg the question – Why would anyone want to waste our taxpayer and ratepayer dollars on this obvious disaster? Especially when all these facts are now widely known and easily accessible? Sadly, we see the pursuit of this utterly divisive, redundant energy source being perpetuated by willfully blind political and business leaders right here in Western New York.
The realities of industrial wind are clear. The only thing reliably generated by these negative-return-on-investment, redundant projects are complete and utter civil discord – not something any business leader worth his oats would pursue.
We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves, speak out, and demand accountability from our elected officials. It’s time we insist that the government welfare programs that enable redundancy and negative-return-on-investment schemes to exist, be ended! As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Mary Kay Barton lives in Silver Lake.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding