May 11, 2012
Letters, U.S.

Blowing in the wind, at a very high cost to consumers

The Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2012

Your May 5 editorial “Gouged by the Wind” is a powerful blow for sanity. If users of electric energy in Minnesota are paying only a whopping $0.1076 per kilowatt-hour, then we in New Jersey should wish for similar good fortune.

Here in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-skewered New Jersey, my residential electric bill was running at around $0.18 per kilowatt-hour the last time I checked. This is over 1.6 times the rate which applies in Minnesota. RGGI is an economically destructive antiglobal-warming scam being perpetrated by radical environmentalism in seven Northeastern states.

But we aren’t just being “gouged by the wind”—we are also being scalded by the sun. Our Gov. Chris Christie is courageously battling the enviro lobby in the New Jersey legislature to rid us of RGGI. Meanwhile many of our already unsightly utility poles are sprouting large solar panels to uglify our residential neighborhoods. As a double whammy, these big ugly panels above the curbs in front of our homes will help to raise our electric power rates, already among the highest in the nation.

A solar-energy producer in my area recently stated it has sold solar renewable-energy credits for a phenomenal $0.67 per kwh. This is an entirely uneconomical, noncompetitive cost, a bit of which is being forcibly folded into my household electric bill.

M. Robert Paglee

Moorestown, N.J.

“Windy Republicans” (Review & Outlook, May 7) brings to mind an updated image of a famous filmdom talking cornfield, coincidentally also from Iowa. However, this updated plot echoes the haunting refrain, “If you pay for it, they will build it.” Even career pols must be able to grasp the very basic economic concept that using taxpayer funds to artificially create an industry that could not survive on its own merits is bad policy.

Rather than concede a lapse in judgment and refuse to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind-energy plants, the usual suspects are being rounded up as justification for continuing the subsidy. Jobs are at stake, wind power is clean and (you know this one is coming) the cost of stranded (i.e., useless) assets would be a loss to contributors, er, U.S. corporations.

By encouraging wind power via taxpayer subsidies, our legislators quite simply blew it.

Kevin Brown


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