While the wind industry celebrates “Global Wind Day,” Michigan’s renewable-energy mandate has been judged unconstitutional by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The court ruled that a state that requires the in-state generation of a particular type of energy, such as wind, is in violation of the Constitution’s commerce clause, which outlaws protectionist policies. Ohio’s renewable-energy law suffers from the same fatal flaw since it, too, places a quota on in-state generation of wind energy.
The Circuit Court also determined that Midwestern ratepayers must pay if new transmission lines are built to deliver wind from remote, unpopulated areas such as parts of Minnesota. Ohio citizens would see their electricity bills increase to pay for these transmission lines, even if we do not need, want or use any wind power at all, given Ohio’s abundant shale gas and relatively low electricity demand.
Two-thirds of the cost of wind development is paid for by taxpayers. New subsidized power from remote states will be paid for by the ratepayer/taxpayer. Congress has called for the phaseout of wind subsidies. When that happens, the new transmission lines surely will be the next “bridge to nowhere.” Happy Global Wind Day.
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