“Renewable energy subsidies harm the reliability of Texas electricity markets by resulting in artificially low sales prices, victimizing conventional energy generators and investors. Why build a new gas-fired plant when spot prices might be below production cost because wind receives a $0.02/kWh federal production tax credit?”
Last month, a cold front propelled Texas to a new record for wind power, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Wind-generated electricity provided 9,481 MW on Feb. 9, almost 28 percent of the power generated in ERCOT at that time. This surpassed the previous record of 8,667 MW set only two weeks earlier.
Hold the applause. These records are being set because of Texas’s renewable-energy mandate–the strictest in the nation–and a raft of special tax subsidies. This government largesse harms taxpayers, consumers, and businesses as documented in a study released by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) last November.…
Editor Note: Part I yesterday examined the property-right and economics problems with Texas wind development.
“The government is using corporations as its arm. They’re not just destroying my land; they’re destroying my heritage. I was taught for as long as I can remember to be a good steward of the land. Now the government has given this company the right to take what they want and do whatever they want with it. Believe me, what they want will damage my land forever. It makes me feel helpless.”
– Mark Cadra, a Wheeler County rancher along CREZ route
As discussed yesterday, Texas landowners are fighting against eminent domain associated with a $4.9 billion (and counting) transmission line project to get the state’s wind generation from nowhere to somewhere. This project is hardly essential and is a case of throwing good money after bad.…
Editor Note: Sam Pakan (full biography below) is a rancher and writer living in Wheeler County, Texas. Part II discusses the environmental controversy regarding Texas’s latest wind development push.
The eastern Texas Panhandle, a land of rolling sand hills, tree-lined creek beds and tall grass vistas, may seem a desolate place to outsiders. Still, it has its beauty, especially to the cattle ranchers and wheat farmers who work and live on it. But not for long.
Much of this land–the fragile habitat of the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Whooping Crane–is scheduled to become industrialized if the Texas Public Utility Commission (Texas PUC), the Department of Energy (DOE) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have their way. Incongruously, the demolition of this mostly native grassland is being proposed in the name of green energy.…