Getting past the hype behind wind energy

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Let’s skip the hype and think rationally about this for a minute, and see if this sound-bite actually makes sense.
 
If we use all energy sources, that would include expensive sources — how is that a good idea?
 
If we use all energy sources, that would include unreliable sources — how is that a good idea?
 
If we use all energy sources, that would include environmentally destructive sources — how is that a good idea?
 
If you are connecting the dots here, you can now understand why Bode loves the “All of the Above” slogan — as (surprise!) such a lax directive would qualify her expensive, unreliable and environmentally destructive product to be included in our energy mix.
 
It’s not paying sufficient attention to details like these that gets us into trouble. We then spend a lot of money, time and effort — and 20 years down the road we say: how come we have so little to show for our sacrifices?
 
We have many conscientious and competent representatives, so how is it that they get so fooled? It’s not really rocket science: it’s because they have been inundated by incessant one-sided, unverified, marketing propaganda.
 
Energy is a technical matter and our policy decisions should be based on real science, not marketing pitches from hustlers. So far genuine science is being shut out. (For more objective information, see PTCFacts.Info.)
 
Here are some other PTC tidbits that those smooth-talking AWEA hucksters won’t be mentioning…
 
A one year extension of the PTC will cost taxpayers over $12 Billion — how is that a good idea?
 
All that $12+ Billion will increase our deficit — how is that a good idea?
 
Almost all of that $12+ Billion will be borrowed from China — how is that a good idea?
 
A large part of that $12+ Billion will go to foreign conglomerates — how is that a good idea?
 
Yes, we know that the PTC is a tax credit. But what that means is that this tax credit will enable high income taxpayers to pay less tax. But wait a minute!  Aren’t the Democrats committed to having higher income taxpayers pay more tax to carry their “fair share”? Extending the PTC does exactly the opposite — so how can they say that this is a good idea?
 
And the AWEA job numbers bandied about have never been transparently presented, or independently verified to be accurate. For instance, while they claim that there are 7000± wind jobs in Iowa (the most for any state), independent experts have only been able to identify around 2000. When AWEA is asked to prove their numbers, they decline to provide the evidence. So Congress should simply take their word for jobs? How is that a good idea?
 
Wind energy often provides less than 30% of its rated capacity — but their salespeople want us to believe that wind energy has some equivalence to full-time sources of electricity. Interestingly, the Iowa employment figure of 2000 vs 7000 is less than 30% accurate as well. Evidently AWEA thinks 30% is close enough to 100% to call it even with jobs too.
 
Even if their speculative job claims were true, a one year PTC extension would amount to some $325,000 per job — how is that a good idea?
 
Actually, even more to the point, independent experts have repeatedly shown that wind energy is a net jobs loser. (This is due to a variety of proven consequences — like the higher cost of wind electricity resulting in other businesses laying off employees.)
 
So let’s condense this down to the real issues here…
 
AWEA says that Congress should provide a tax credit for high income earners to pay less than their "fair share," while middle class taxpayers borrow $12+ Billion from China, to subsidize an expensive, unreliable, environmentally destructive, alternative energy source, based on unsubstantiated claims, that will actually result in net job losses!  Exactly how is that a good idea?
 
So what should be our energy policy? How about “All of the Sensible”?
 
Since the real consequences of extending the PTC are anything but sensible, you can be sure that AWEA  will not be advocating that strategy.

Droz is a physicist and founder of Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED).