I am writing in response to your recent article by Richard Mertens, “Wind Energy: Boom Sputters as Industry Tax Credit is Set to Expire.” This piece describes the plight of wind-industry workers and their families in the face of political uncertainty with the Production Tax Credit at risk. The implicit assumption of Mr. Mertens is that these jobs are worthy for a better environment and for a more sustainable energy future.
Please consider a very different view: that this industry is an artificial construct of cronyism; squanders resources at the expense of consumers and taxpayers; and toys with workers and their families who continually find themselves at the mercy of temporary political majorities.
Being a Christian myself, I am not sure how supporting a business that is based on mistruths and bilks taxpayers and ratepayers out of billions of their hard-earned dollars can in any way be considered “Christian.” The industrial wind scam is the furthest thing from being “Christian” that one could ever imagine – and I say that based on my own personal experience of dealing with the wind industry over the past 10 years.
I live in Wyoming County of Western New York State – an area that has been under siege by the wind industry over the past decade. I have been researching and writing about the wind mess since, and I can assure you — The only thing that has ever been reliably generated by wind is complete and utter civil discord.
Wind is actually a NET JOBS LOSER, one reason being (as President Obama forewarned) the “necessarily skyrocketing electricity prices” that come from replacing conventional energy with costly, unreliable substitutes.
Because wind is NOT reliable, dependable, or dispatchable, it provides virtually NO Capacity Value/firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand), and therefore, needs constant “shadow capacity” from our conventional power sources (typically, natural gas – which is most easily ramped up and down to accommodate wind on the grid). See here and here.
Paraphrasing my friend in Christ and director of the Cornwall Alliance, Dr. Calvin Beisner, who explained it in easily understandable terms, the hidden assumption in Mr. Mertens’, and similar stories, is that providing jobs is the proper end of business — which would put jobs on the revenue side of the ledger.
No! Providing income to owners/stockholders is the proper end of business, and providing products and services to customers at a price/value ratio at which the customers are willing to buy it is the means to that. Workers are the means of providing those products and services.
The jobs, therefore, are on the expense side of the businesses’ ledgers, not the revenue side. The measure of policy is not whether it results in people’s being employed, but whether it results in consumers’ needs being met — which entails at prices they can afford. When that happens, jobs happen; when it doesn’t, jobs don’t.
Wind is inherently a more diffuse energy source than coal and natural gas, and therefore cannot provide electricity at a price/value ratio customers want. That’s why it can’t survive without subsidies. The subsidies only take from all taxpayers in order to give to some to make up for the failure of the recipients’ failure to provide goods and services at a marketable price/value ratio.
Bottom line: subsidies — to any business — waste resources by directing them to inefficient, rather than efficient, methods of producing for consumers. Consequently, they impoverish the people as a whole, even though they might enrich some in the process. They — not the market — are a zero-sum game.
Here are a few of my more recent articles that you should read – please also research all the included reference links.
For further research, please consult this comprehensive slide presentation on science-based energy solutions. Much valuable information can also be found here.
A couple other must-reads include: The Wind Farm Scam by Dr. John R. Etherington, and Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce.
Mary Kay Barton has been described as “a tireless advocate for scientifically sound, affordable, and reliable electricity for ALL Americans.”