Category — Grassroots opposition, windpower
“New York State’s installed wind factories averaged a pathetic 23.5% Capacity Factor in 2012…. It’s no wonder New York has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest electricity rates in the continental United States – 17.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – a whopping 53% above the national average.”
The last minute extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC – aka: “Pork To Cronies”) within the December 31, 2012 fiscal cliff deal was good news for Big Wind corporate welfare profiteers, like Michael Polsky’s Invenergy. It was very bad news for rural/residential Towns being targeted by industrial wind developers here in New York State, and across the nation.
Despite the fact that the Wyoming County, NY Town of Orangeville’s conflicted Town Board approved Invenergy’s “Stony Creek” project in the Fall of 2012, Invenergy admitted they would not be going ahead with the project unless the PTC was extended – highlighting the fact that the only thing Invenergy is interested in ‘harvesting’ is taxpayers’ money.
Once Crony-Corruptocrats in DC extended the PTC in that midnight fiscal cliff deal, the once-beautiful rolling hills of the Town of Orangeville were doomed. As Michael Polsky enjoys his new mansion, many Orangeville residents are helplessly looking on in disgust as Invenergy turns their entire Town into a sprawling industrial wind factory — rendering their homes virtually worthless — all thanks to the legalized thievery of their own tax dollars for The Wind Farm Scam.
September 12, 2013 12 Comments
Letter to New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers: Seven Reasons to Reject Big Wind (Part II)
“Revise or withdraw your plans that support the expansion of wind and a wind build-out in rural areas to support the urban areas. Start evaluating and fixing the problems that have been created by your policies.”
Dear New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers:
As you gather for your invitation-only, 37th Annual Conference in La Malbaie this weekend, we, the undersigned groups, individuals and victims, appeal to you to take clear, compelling, and compassionate steps to solve the problems you have created by supporting the deployment of “big wind” in our region.
These generation projects create serious, often intractable problems. Those of us who have been forced to live near the utility-scale wind projects you have promoted, and the individuals and groups we are working with, have learned through direct experience the consequences of these projects which include:
Stressing Grid Interconnections and Transmission Lines
New England’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) obligations for 2010 were about 14% of demand – an amount satisfied through a combination of existing, qualified resources in New England and renewable energy imported from neighboring New York and Canada. These percentages are slated to reach over 20% by 2020 with most of the energy coming from projects not yet built. Since wind energy is the primary resource proposed to be built in the region, and the resource most favored by you, future RPS obligations will likely be met through the deployment of thousands of new turbines. [Read more →]
September 10, 2013 No Comments
Dear New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers: Back Off Windpower for a Better Environment! (Part I)
“We don’t have ramping plants, so these [wind power] projects can increase, not decrease, our region’s greenhouse gas emissions. Why aren’t we talking about that? … Let’s have a conversation that addresses what is happening now.”
The press release and testimonials below were sent to the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers who are currently meeting in Quebec to discuss energy issues. At last year’s conference, a commitment was made for more renewables in New England. This year, the grass roots is urging them to back off. Part I today reprints the press release; the letter will follow tomorrow as Part II of this series.
The press release follows:
Hundreds of individuals, victims and groups sent a letter [tomorrow's post] to the Northeast region’s governor and premiers asking for an end to utility-scale wind development until those projects’ impacts have been addressed.
The letter comes as the officials gather this weekend in La Malbaie for the 37th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.
“We are asking them to take clear, compelling, and compassionate steps to solve the problems they have created by supporting the deployment of ‘big wind’ in our region,” said Windwise Massachusetts president Virginia Irvine. “These projects are happening in no small part because of the legislative requirements and generous subsidies for developers pushed by Governors and supported by elected officials. Those officials need to take responsibility for what has happened to individuals and communities as a result.” [Read more →]
September 9, 2013 No Comments
(See part 1.) To identify optimum tactics, we need to start with a clear idea of who the opposition is–and what are their strengths and weaknesses. A careful assessment of this situation will reveal the reality that citizen groups fighting alternative energy promoters are the underdogs.
Briefly, the opponents are:
1 – The Wind Industry [lobbyists (e.g. AWEA), manufactures (e.g. Vesta), developers (e.g. Iberdrola), installers (e.g. Horizon), investors (e.g. Goldman Sachs), and some utilities].
2 – Most large mainstream environmental organizations (e.g. Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists).
3 – Some labor unions and businesses.
4 – Many Academics (e.g. at Pace, Stanford).
5 – Many of our representatives and agencies: Federal (e.g. Congress, DOE, FERC); State (e.g. legislators, PSC, DEC); Local (e.g. county, town board, planning board).
6 – Some of their neighbors (e.g. lease granting landowners, well-intentioned environmentalists).
Their adversaries’ strengths are: [Read more →]
August 16, 2013 6 Comments
“I used to believe that understanding the basics, being passionate, working hard, and being on the factually correct side of an issue was enough. These ingredients are necessary, but are not sufficient. We also have to use effective PR techniques. Properly phrasing our message, its timing, and getting it to the right people are critical.”
As a citizen, my hope is that our representatives make technical policy decisions based on genuine science. Such an assessment would thoroughly review all pertinent technical, economic and environmental (which includes health) aspects of what is being considered.
To date that has not been the case with energy and environmental policies. The main reason for this is that citizens are engaged in an epic battle with lobbyists (representing clients with financial and/or political agendas) — yet most people are not even aware of this war, and hardly any are properly prepared for such an engagement.
Not surprisingly, the results so far are that the lobbyists are winning in a rout. [Read more →]
August 15, 2013 5 Comments
Eighty-Eight to Congress: ‘Let the Wind PTC Expire!’ (challenging Big Wind, Big Government, and Big Environmentalism)
“The PTC was created in 1992 to get the wind industry off the ground. Yet 20 years later, we have little to show for it.”
When it comes to rent-seeking by business, Concentrated Benefits + Diffused Costs = Government Growth.
In “Regulatory Failure by the Numbers,” a simple hypothetical was given:
“While the benefits of a regulation may be enjoyed by a relative few, the costs are often spread out among many. If the per person cost of a regulation is only a dollar or two, no one has a financial incentive to travel to Washington to lobby against it.”
Economists in the 19th century understood the problem created by this incentive asymmetry, and Michael Giberson found this in a 1935 book explaining the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff:
“Although . . . theoretically the interests supporting and opposed to [tariff] legislation . . . are approximately equal, the pressures upon Congress are extremely unbalanced. That is to say, the pressures supporting the tariff are made overwhelming by the fact that the opposition is negligible.”
Today, we see examples of business rent-seeking from concentrated benefits-diffused costs all around us. Political capitalism, aka crony capitalism, is the result.
Enter the government-dependent industrial windpower industry, represented by the American Wind Energy Association. The for-profit wind industry–the ‘bootleggers’–is given cover by the “Baptists,” Big Environmentalism.
“Government goes to those who show up.” Big Government Energy–wind power, on-grid solar, ethanol, and battery/EVs–got to Washington first, but there is now opposition from limited-government and taxpayer groups. And in the case of windpower, another important opposing force has mobilized: grassroot environmentalists.
Game on. Yesterday, the following letter from the American Energy Alliance et al was released to Congress on the looming expiration of the renewable Production Tax Credit (PTC). It reads:
Dear United States Senators and Representatives:
The principal federal support for wind energy, the so-called Production Tax Credit (PTC), is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. The undersigned organizations and the millions of Americans we represent stand opposed to extending the wind PTC. This special provision continues the deplorable practice of using the tax code to favor certain groups over others.Whenever the government protects a particular industry, as it has with wind energy production,the industry tends to remain dependent on it. As Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman noted, “The infant industry argument is a smoke screen. The so-called infants never grow up.”
The wind PTC, like other green energy incentives, is a prime case in point. The PTC was created in 1992 to get the wind industry off the ground. Yet 20 years later, we have little to show for it. [Read more →]
November 14, 2012 No Comments
Editor note: This is an updated version of a previous post at MasterResource: “Wind Spin: Misdirection and Fluff by a Taxpayer-enabled Industry” which was itself an update of “Fifteen Bad Things About Wind Energy, and Three Reasons Why,” one of the two most read posts in the history of MasterResource.
Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle, it morphs into a different shape and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with wind merchandising.
1 – Wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago, as even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on – 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to EVER do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the dust bin of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate energy sources as horse and oxen power).
2 – Fast forward to several years ago. With politicians being convinced that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was an imminent catastrophic threat, lobbyists launched campaigns to favor anything that would purportedly reduce carbon dioxide. This was the marketing opportunity that the wind energy business needed. Wind energy was resurrected from the dust bin of power sources, as its promoters pushed the fact that wind turbines did not produce CO2 while generating electricity.
3 – Of course, just that by itself is not significant, so the original wind development lobbyists then made the case for a quantum leap: that by adding wind turbines to the grid we could significantly reduce CO2 from those “dirty” fossil fuel electrical sources (especially coal). This argument became the basis for many states implementing a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – which mandated that the state’s utilities use (or purchase) a prescribed amount of wind energy (“renewables”), by a set date.
Why was a mandate necessary? [Read more →]
October 24, 2012 23 Comments
“If protecting my individual property rights and values makes me a NIMBY, then I wear the label proudly.”
I am a confessed NIMBY with strong feelings about government-enabled environmental degradation. I am not anti-windpower per se; I am, however, anti-bad ideas and anti-wasteful government spending of taxpayer money.
I am a NIMBY, but so is just about everyone. There are 314 million people in the U.S., virtually all of whom care about protecting their private property against intrusion, particularly unnecessary, wasteful, government-enabled intrusion. Critics are in denial of their own behavior when they criticize NIMBYs in the face of what some of us have faced with a proposed windpower development in our backyard.
‘Quiet enjoyment’ is the legal right of a property owner to enjoy his/her property in peace without interference. Specific legal ‘nuisances’ that interfere with the physical condition of the property (e.g., vibration, noise, pollution, raising or lowering the water table and/or affecting underground water supply), or interfere with the comfort, convenience, health, or mental tranquility of the occupant (e.g., blocked access, foul odor, excessive smoke / dust / shadow / light / sound / temperature) are torts – civil wrongs redressed by monetary damages or injunction.
But the wind developers retort: “NIMBY = Selfish” (‘I don’t want them near me, I don’t like the look of them’). After all, Wind Energy = Virtuous = Clean, green, and free. [Read more →]
October 11, 2012 9 Comments
The grassroots rebellion against the government-created industrial wind industry grows apace. MasterResource has given voice to a number of us engaged in this volunteer ecological fight, to which we are grateful.
Industrial Wind Action Group keeps a list of U.S., Canadian, and European groups challenging local wind projects or the unholy alliance of Big Wind and Big Environmentalism.
For the U.S., I count 156 organizations in 29 states: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A listing follows (and please add any groups missed in the comments section to this post):
September 5, 2012 17 Comments
Special political favor at the local, state, and federal levels have created an artificial industry: industrial windpower. Massive turbines have resulted in negative ecological and economic effects. Rural towns and countryside across the USA have become the dumping grounds for massive infrastructure producing a paltry amount of remote, unreliable energy.
New York State has more than its share of such malinvestment and damage. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently reported that tax exemptions by NYS’s Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) were not creating jobs and “shifting tax burdens” from mega-corporations to local residents.
As a result, we have the spectacle in Upstate New York of taxpayer-subsidized industrial wind installations driving people from their homes — while further endangering the populations of eagles, hawks, herons, cranes, bats, and all magnificent flying creatures. Rural wind power, in short, is not only a fiscal fairness issue, it is an environmental issue of the first order. Washington, D.C. environmental groups, are you listening … ?
Background: Wyoming County Subsidies
The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (WCIDA) was established under New York State legislation and regulation as a “public benefit corporation.” Its mission “is to promote, encourage and attract economic development projects in Wyoming County that result in the retention and/or creation of job opportunities that will generate additional tax revenues.” [Read more →]
August 1, 2012 16 Comments