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Letís Be Gone With the Wind
National Review Online ^ | December 28, 2012 | John Fund

Posted on 12/29/2012 8:22:32 PM PST by neverdem

Why subsidize an industry that kills millions of birds and has no environmental benefit?

President Obama likes to talk about making sure “the biggest corporations pay their fair share.” Treasury secretary Tim Geithner calls for tax reform to close loopholes and subsidies. Budget hawks say federal spending must be curbed. Congress and federal environmental regulators claim they are doing everything they can to save endangered species. By doing nothing and waiting for December 31 to pass, all of those folks could strike a blow in support of each of these policies. All they have to do is let the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy expire on schedule this coming Monday.

Begun 20 years ago to spur the construction of wind-energy facilities that could compete with conventional fossil-fuel power plants, the tax credit gives wind an advantage over all other energy producers. But it has mostly benefited conventional nuclear and fossil-fuel-fired electricity producers. The biggest user of the tax credit is Florida-based NextEra Energy, the nation’s eighth-largest power producer. Through skillful manipulation of the credits, NextEra from 2005 to 2009 “paid just $88 million in taxes on earnings of nearly $7 billion,” Businessweek reports. That’s a tax rate of just 1.25 percent over that period, when the statutory rate is 35 percent.

Wind power has had two decades to prove itself with federal subsidies. Last year, wind power represented a third of all new electric-generating capacity, because taxpayers foot the bill for more than half of wind power’s cost. In addition, lobbyists for wind power have convinced 30 states to set mandates  requiring that a certain percentage of electricity come from renewable sources — which guarantees the wind industry a market.

The subsidies directed toward wind dwarf the subsidies of other energy sectors. Robert Bryce, energy analyst for the Manhattan Institute and an NRO contributor, reports that subsidies to wind are “at least twelve times greater than those provided to the oil and gas sector and 6.5 times greater than those provided to the nuclear industry,” on a per-unit-of-energy-produced basis.

But no matter how much money is blown its way, wind power — for simple scientific reasons — can’t graduate to the kind of large-scale, reliable energy production that its backers tout. Physicist and environmentalist John Droz Jr. notes: “There is no real environmental benefit to wind, because a) it’s an unpredictable commodity, b) output from any group of wind projects can and will go to zero on many occasions, and c) energy generated from industrial wind power cannot be economically stored.” Germany, which has gone stark raving mad in building wind turbines, has proven just how unreliable it is. On one day this February, wind power delivered a third of Germany’s electricity needs, but four days later, on a still day, it contributed precisely zero.

Then there is the carnage inflicted on Mother Nature. Paul Driessen reported in the Washington Times that “the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese, and other birds every year in the U.S., along with countless insect-eating bats.” The actual numbers are probably far higher. The turbine blades of the nation’s 39,000 windmills move at 100 to 200 miles per hour and can mow down anything that gets in their path.

Over the past 25 years, an estimated 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by turbines at Altamont Pass, Calif., alone, leading to an 80 percent drop in the golden-eagle population of southern California.

Sadly, many Republicans have climbed on board the carnival train for wind fans. Karl Rove continued the former Bush administration’s defense of the federal wind tax credit at this year’s American Wind Energy Association convention. He was joined on stage by former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Three leading Senate Republicans — Charles Grassley of Iowa, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Pat Roberts of Kansas — were furious last August after Mitt Romney came out in favor of ending federal largesse for wind energy. All three senators oppose even the most modest of cuts in the PTC.

Supporters of wind may get their way in any last-minute budget deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” when a bipartisan group in Congress might huddle with the Obama administration and insist that an extension of the PTC be included before it expires on December 31 or immediately afterward.

The same moans and predictions of doom made the rounds last year when the corn-ethanol industry tried to save its federal subsidy, despite evidence it was ripping off taxpayers and causing environmental damage. In the end, the subsidy ended and none of the dire consequences predicted by its demise have occurred.

It’s time we cut the financial umbilical cord that connects taxpayers to wind turbines. If wind can’t compete with other forms of energy after 20 years of dependency, it should be forced, like a young adult that doesn’t want to leave home, to strike out on its own.

— John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: energy; greenenergy; windpower

1 posted on 12/29/2012 8:22:46 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Here in Washington State we have hydroelectric power. It wasn’t considered renewable energy so we started getting wind power covering our foothills. In the spring when the snow melts there is so much water going over the dams that they have to shut the wind mills down as it would overload the grid. They are now making us pay for them while they are shut down.


2 posted on 12/29/2012 8:36:49 PM PST by Spunky
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To: Spunky

I’d like to see them end the subsidies just to screw companies like PSE who refused to fight for hydro-electric (which was literally their bread and butter) in favor of these pie~in~the~sky windmills.


3 posted on 12/29/2012 8:47:10 PM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: neverdem

Lots of taxpayer money wasted on subsidizing wind farms in Texas and power grid brownouts are a new reality now. Thanks, Guv Goodhair!


4 posted on 12/29/2012 8:49:10 PM PST by TADSLOS (I took extra credit at the School of Hard Knocks)
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To: neverdem


Lifted from the 'Vacation Gal' series made famous on FR:
5 posted on 12/29/2012 9:40:49 PM PST by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: neverdem
The biggest threat from these wind turbines is they could cause the rotation of the earth to speed up. They produce energy by slowing the winds which are in perfect harmony with mother earth. This friction allows the wind to push the earth's crust a little bit more than if they were not present.

Our days could become infinitesimally shorter causing global cooling and thereby a net ice build up at the poles causing governments to pay industries to release carbon instead of taxing them for releasing carbon.

The birds are intentionally flying into the blades to warn us of the danger these wind turbines pose all of life on earth.

I hope it is not too late.

6 posted on 12/29/2012 10:05:13 PM PST by urbanpovertylawcenter (where the law and poverty collide in an urban setting and sparks fly)
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To: neverdem

Someday a hurricane is going to come across a wind turbine field and the whole planet is going to light up like an incandescent bulb....and as for the birds? Construct huge tubes in front of the turbines equipped with interrupter devices that prevent the birds from coming out of the tubes if their trajectories would send them into a blade...the concept worked with fuselage mounted machine guns on old WWI biplanes.


7 posted on 12/29/2012 10:16:00 PM PST by Happy Rain (Outlawing firearms because of Adam Lanza would be like outlawing free speech because of Bill Maher.)
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To: Happy Rain

They are busy putting wind turbines in the midwest and east coast where peak electric demand is in the hot summer. But, during the hot summer the prevailing winds are from the SE and very very light. On the hotest days there is little wind.
So..that means that you must have fossil and nuclear fuel plants available to support 100% of the peak demand in summer. All those plants are much less effecient run at part load..so the net gain with all the wind turbines is near zero.
Without the mandate to buy to power and the subsidy to build them and the minimum price to buy..they wouldn’t exist.


8 posted on 12/29/2012 10:46:32 PM PST by Oldexpat
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To: Spunky
Here in Washington State we have hydroelectric power.

You would think the most green type of energy, yet the enviormentalists are demanding certain dams be removed, to the point of convincing our legislatures, in Oregon, to vote to charge the rate payer to remove them.

On my power bill there are these additional charges:

Public Purpose $2.88

Energy conservation charge $2.50

Low Income Assistance $0.85

JCBoyle Dam Removal $0.32

Copco & Iron Gate Dams Removal $0.97

Then I get a credit:

BPA Columbia River Benefits for 31 days -$5.08

Do you have Pacific Power as your provider? Are you getting these dam removal charges on your bill?

9 posted on 12/30/2012 7:39:08 AM PST by thirst4truth (www.Believer.com)
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To: neverdem

The hype of the smart grid is in part due to the desire to create a power grid that can handle irregularly produced “green” energy and force conservation.
http://tamarawilhite.hubpages.com/hub/Risks-of-the-Smart-Grid


10 posted on 12/30/2012 11:01:19 AM PST by tbw2
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To: thirst4truth

We have Franklin Public Utility District. We have a basic monthly charge of $11.45 and a utility tax of $8.51. So far none of the others. We would fight to the death before they would tear down our dams here in the Tri-Cities.


11 posted on 12/30/2012 2:30:56 PM PST by Spunky
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Second Amendment attack backfires

Craig R. Whitney on Living With Guns - A liberal's case for the Second Amendment

Regulating the Militia - The Second Amendment is about protecting ourselves from the state.

What I Learned in the Poverty War - Work, not welfare, uplifts the poor.

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

12 posted on 12/30/2012 5:00:15 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Second Amendment attack backfires

Craig R. Whitney on Living With Guns - A liberal's case for the Second Amendment

Regulating the Militia - The Second Amendment is about protecting ourselves from the state.

What I Learned in the Poverty War - Work, not welfare, uplifts the poor.

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

13 posted on 12/30/2012 5:00:33 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

Excellent article. Nothing really new in it, but it puts the key facts together very clearly.


14 posted on 12/30/2012 5:29:16 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Spunky

Crap like that infuriates me to no end!


15 posted on 12/30/2012 6:35:53 PM PST by The Mayor ("If you can't make them see the light, let them feel the heat" ¬ó Ronald Reagan)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!


16 posted on 12/30/2012 9:24:03 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Spunky

With every Progressive policy you always double pay. Once to screw things up and a second time to fix them. The ideal liberal policy involves a solution that in itself creates a new problem. Thereby perpetuating the need for intervention by your “betters”.


17 posted on 12/31/2012 4:09:37 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: neverdem

Dang it: apparently this fool credit was renewed -—> http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/01/breaking-wind-energy-tax-credit-extension-passes-with-fiscal-cliff-deal?cmpid=rss


18 posted on 01/02/2013 10:33:16 AM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: urbanpovertylawcenter

ROFLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


19 posted on 01/02/2013 10:37:21 AM PST by Osage Orange ( Liberalism, ideas so good they have to be mandatory.)
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To: neverdem
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NAAzBArYdw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doU20jzKdRk&list=PLC2BE8B0D650EE2CD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_CZIfiFPwk&list=PLC2BE8B0D650EE2CD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOd5tSZF3A4&list=PLC2BE8B0D650EE2CD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4VUNQa7laU&list=PLC2BE8B0D650EE2CD

Check out that last one.....Can't understand what's written..but it's got some good music. Ha!! WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD LIVE OR WORK NEAR ONE OF THOSE THINGS....

20 posted on 01/02/2013 10:43:45 AM PST by Osage Orange ( Liberalism, ideas so good they have to be mandatory.)
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