A Free-Market Energy Blog

New York State Windpower: Enough Business/Government Cronyism

By Mary Kay Barton -- December 10, 2012

While Invenergy waits for the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) to be extended by this ‘Lame Duck’ Congress, as expressed in the 12/4/12 Batavia Daily News article: “Orangeville windfarm waits on the tax credit,” there are thousands of local tax- and rate-paying citizens who are eagerly awaiting the expiration, permanent expiration, of this $0.022/kWh subsidy. The PTC is nothing more than a tax-shelter-generator for wealthy, multinational, rent-seeking corporations like Invenergy.

How does a business plan dependent on massive taxpayer-funded handouts for profitability make it past the drawing board in the first place?!? Any of us would have filed such a plan to its rightful place—in the garbage can.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)– with the help of political cronies in high places–have attempted, and failed to push the PTC through various bills, not once, not twice, but FIVE (5) times in a little over a year. Congressmen were inundated with letters, e-mails and phone calls each of those (5) previous attempts from a lot of us telling them to say NO to the PTC–which they did. Yet, here it comes again.

No Means NO!

We hope that our elected “public servants” understand that NO means NO!We the People” do NOT want more wasteful spending on an inefficient, unreliable, antiquated energy source that ruins peoples’ lives, kills hundreds of thousands of birds a year, does nothing to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and has exorbitant costs to boot.

The sad reality is, however, that with 66 corporate lobbyists for every elected official roaming the halls in Washington, D.C., Big Corporate Big Bucks are working hard to buy the legislation that best suits their bottom lines – taxpayers and sound science be damned.

With 250 industrial wind turbines already strewn across Wyoming County, a number of our rural Townships have been turned into industrial wind factories – devastating the quality of life and property values of many local residents. These peoples’ homes have been rendered virtually worthless. Many of these folks can’t afford to take a huge loss, so they end up stuck there – many suffering from the ill effects of ‘infrasound’ known as “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”

Rural Blight

The desperation of those stuck living amongst industrial wind installations is evident within this e-mail I recently received from one of those residents:

We are at our wits end. My last call to Invenergy two days ago was, needless to say, useless. I told her to shut them off at night or I will cut the locks off and do it my self! My next e-mail will be to the Sheriff — again! If I can get arrested, just maybe I will get my day in court. We have spent at least $20k so far, and are out of money. The health dept also refuses to return my calls.”
It is hard to believe that treating our neighbors like this is actually going on in America today, but it is. All for “the love of money – the root of so many kinds of evil.

Sadly, NYS officials have publicly acknowledged that ‘infrasound’ is a problem from industrial wind factories worldwide, yet they have done absolutely nothing to stop this corporate assault on their taxpaying citizens.

Governor Cuomo has remained shamefully silent, despite lawsuits by NYS citizens who are suing Iberdrola because of the noise issue, and calls to do a long overdue health study. (I wonder if Governor Cuomo would buy one of these noise-damaged homes and move his family in there…!?)

The sad thing is that all of this devastation is for naught. Industrial wind is NOT economically, environmentally, nor scientifically sound energy policy – period.

No Intellectual Justification

The wind industry exists because of their claims that wind would significantly reduce CO2 emissions and thereby reduce Global Warming. After decades of giving $BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to RICH multi-national corporations like GE, BP, Iberdrola, NextEra, AES, FPL, First Wind, Invenergy, etc, CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced – ANYWHERE!

Since none of the volatile wind production is indexed to actual reductions in fossil fuel generation or CO2 emissions (because it can’t achieve those reductions), the wind PTC is useful only as a means of reducing tax obligations for Stony Creek Wind’s equity partners.

Income generation through tax avoidance has been what the wind industry has been about since the days of ENRON, once the nation’s leading wind producer. Massaging the tax code via phony calls for more “renewable energy” has yielded multinational corporations like General Electric and Florida Power & Light a fortune over the last decade — they haven’t paid a dime in federal income taxes.

To rally support for the PTC corporate welfare program, AWEA is now focusing on their “jobs creation” claims — which are plain, unadulterated hogwash. As anyone who’s done an ounce of research on the wind issue knows – wind is actually a NET JOBS LOSER.

As was reported in the article, NYS Money Road to Nowhere, “On a per kWh basis, wind receives 80 times the public subsidies received by fossil fuels, but produces no reliable electricity capacity and very few American jobs. In fact, for every green job that wind supposedly creates, it destroys two to four regular jobs – in large part due to “skyrocketing” electricity rates.”

Crony Corruptocrats

Beyond all the “green” energy pie-in-the-sky promises that morally-bankrupt wind salesmen or crony-Corruptocrats may offer in the name of The Wind Farm Scam, the incivility of throwing up scores of useless machines (they would be considered lemons if they were any other sort of modern machine or appliance) is a sad testimony about how cheaply people’s values can be bought, and how little many care for the welfare of their neighbors.

If people wonder why the world is in the sad shape it is in, they need look no further than the neighbors stuck living within the massive footprints of dysfunctional wind factories, whom they are choosing to ignore. Selling ones’ neighbors out for the biggest “Swindle” to ever come down the pike is hardly what Jesus had in mind when He told us, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.

It’s time to END the PTC! For more information, see: http://ptcfacts.Info/


Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator, a small business owner in New York State, and a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for ALL Americans. She has served over the past decade in local Water Quality organizations and enjoys gardening and birding in her National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.”


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