A Republican Enigma on Renewables (Sen. LeMieux, please check your premises)
In line with conservative values, and with the passion of a local Tea Party leader, U.S. Senator LeMieux (R–FL) is behind his state’s lawsuit against the federal government’s healthcare reform law. He also has a national debt clock on his WEB SITE, and his headline platforms include reducing government waste and improving transparency and accountability from soup to nuts.
So can we feel assured this senator upholds these values across the board?
No, unfortunately, when it comes to the failed government experiment with politically correct renewable energy.
Senator LeMieux has co-sponsored a bill–along with 25 of his closest friends across the aisle–to extend the ARRA 1603 tax credits, doling out 30% of project costs up front to so-called “renewables.”
So what goes? Florida is not a big renewables state. Florida voters are rebelling against Big Government, as recently shown at the polls. Florida is also a marginal solar state and has dismal wind resources.
Floridians should be furious.
Move Over Enron …
NextEra is the nation’s leading U.S.-based wind developer, with FPL owning wind energy projects from Texas to Oregon and Minnesota to West Virginia – over 70 wind projects running projects in all. More than a dozen new projects are in various stages of development. The production tax credit is hardly permanent, and the economics of wind goes south fast without it.
Next Era boasts three wind projects for each generation plant they own of all other types combined. These wind assets are estimated to have had an initial price tag of over $15 billion dollars – and counting. Well more than they could ever return in the free market.
The question is, how does Senator LeMieux’s support for an extension of Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)–on which five and a half billion dollars have already been spent– lower our national debt, mesh with the values he fights for in the health care arena, or do anything to help his Florida constituents in particular?
Political Capitalism at Work
What is clear is that Senator LeMieux has friends in high places – places where already successful energy interests squeeze taxpayers first, and ratepayers later, through renewable energy projects.
Also clear and indisputable is that without support from Congresspersons with uneducated views of energy - the U.S. wind industry simply would never have been born. A true marketplace simply demands a higher quality product at a lower price and with more certain delivery terms. Perhaps it is finally time to cut instead of stretching – the wind industry’s umbilical cord.
And again, Floridians should wise up to one of their corporations and one of their U.S. Senators. Only public outcry can counter the unholy intersection between Big Business and Big Government.