By Robert Bryce • National Review
In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded a Nobel Prize for “his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.”
Unfortunately, when writing about energy issues in the Times, Krugman doesn’t bother to do any analysis at all. Instead, as he proves yet again with his April 16 column, “Earth, Wind and Liars,” Krugman likes to make glib pronouncements about renewables and how they can save us from climate change while making us richer and sexier. In this latest edition, Krugman completely ignores wind energy’s massive footprint and the growing backlash against the wind industry. Further, like his many fellow travelers on the left, Krugman refuses to acknowledge that if we are going to be serious about slashing carbon dioxide emissions, nuclear energy must play a major role. (I’ve written three articles in these pages about Krugman’s energy silliness. See here, here, and here.) Continue reading
Last week, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its second quarter 2015 U.S. wind energy market report. In a press release, AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan hails the report as indicative of a vibrant wind energy industry: “With a near-record amount of wind capacity under construction, this looks to be a strong year for American wind power.” However, Kiernan quickly changes tone, stating that “…to create longer term stability for the industry the full Senate and the House of Representatives must move quickly to extend the PTC,” or wind Production Tax Credit.
If the wind industry is “strong,” then why does it need subsidies for “stability”? This doublespeak is a favorite tactic of AWEA, who continues to boast about how vibrant the wind industry is while also lobbying for more subsidies that they supposedly need to survive. AWEA and wind advocates can’t have it both ways: if they expect Americans to believe their claims that wind energy is booming, then the industry should give up the PTC and stand on its own two feet. Continue reading
by Tom Steward • Daily Signal
Nothing strikes fear into developers and property owners more than a new critter on the federal list of endangered species.
Case in point: The northern long-eared bat, found in 39 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service probably will place it on the list in April.
The logging industry is worried.
“The economic loss to the entire state of Michigan would be devastating, if timber harvesting were to be restricted to the winter months in their habitat area,” said Brenda Owen, executive director of the Michigan Association of Timbermen. “This is not a viable solution to the bat’s decline, and it’s never a solution that the Timbermen would stand by and let happen.” Continue reading
by Ernest Istook • Washington Times
Crony capitalism plans are so lucrative for a select few that they are hard to kill. Those who get rich make generous campaign contributions, hire lobbyists and run massive public relations propaganda campaigns, using the billions of our tax dollars that they receive.
One “temporary” measure — the wind-energy production tax credit (PTC) — has received eight “temporary” extensions since 1992 and now backers want to add several years more. After 20 years of soaking taxpayers for billions of dollars in subsidies and raising electric bills, it’s overdue for the PTC to end. It expired at the end of 2013, yet some lawmakers want to give it new life, plus an additional $18 billion, during the postelection lame-duck session of Congress. Continue reading
by John Stossel • Fox News
Thanks, Environmental Protection Agency! You’ve required sewage treatment plants, catalytic converters on cars and other things that made the world cleaner than the world in which I grew up. Good work.
Today, America’s waterways are so much cleaner that I swim in New York City’s once-filthy Hudson River — right beside skyscrapers in which millions of people, uh, flush. The air we breathe is also cleaner than it’s been for 60 years.
In a rational world, environmental bureaucrats would now say, “Mission accomplished. We set tough standards, so we don’t need to keep doing more. Stick a fork in it! We’re done.”
OK, I went too far. America does still need some bureaucrats to enforce existing environmental rules and watch for new pollution problems. But we don’t need what we’ve got: 16,000 environmental regulators constantly trying to control more of our lives. EPA should stand for: Enough Protection Already. Continue reading
by Peter Roff • US News & World Report
America is about as likely to become reliant on green energy to meet its baseload power requirements as a unicorn is to stroll down the middle of Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue during rush hour followed by a pink elephant.
It’s just not happening – but that’s hasn’t deterred the modern day snake oil salesmen and their allies inside the Obama administration from continuing to make a push for wind and solar power as an eventual replacement for energy generated from traditional sources like coal, oil and natural gas. Renewable technology has improved, no doubt, but it’s a long way away from being ready to make a substantial contribution to the heating of our homes and the powering of our businesses unless the generous tax subsidies that create the illusion of cost competitiveness continue.
There’s nothing wrong per se with the pursuit of renewable energy; it’s just that what it actually costs is being masked by taxpayer subsidies, federal loan guarantees and renewable fuels mandates at the state level that force power companies to put wind and solar into the energy mix, sometimes at two to three times what traditional power costs. Ultimately, one way or another, the taxpayers and energy consumers are footing the bill even if they don’t know it. Continue reading
By Peter Roff
Does the “Oracle of Omaha” really need another tax break? It’s a fair question, given the way billionaire Warren Buffet made headlines several years ago with his complaints that his secretary paid more in taxes to the federal government than he did.
Of course, that was back when he was campaigning in support of higher taxes on the so-called “wealthiest Americans” in furtherance of the class envy strategy Democrats like himself, President Barack Obama and their allies in Washington have honed to a razor sharp edge. But now he’s got his hand out for corporate tax breaks that improve the bottom line for his Berkshire Hathaway company and the stock price of all the companies he’s invested in. Continue reading
George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom, commended Congress for allowing the decades-old practice of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the wind industry to expire with the New Year.
“2013’s end marked the expiration of the investment and production tax credits for the wind industry. As we ring in the New Year, Congress took advantage of this opportunity and permanently ended these wasteful tax credits. These subsidies did nothing but hide the true costs of these projects, subsidized corporate rent seekers, and dramatically increased the cost of electricity for taxpayers.” Continue reading
by Michael Bastasch
Towns all over Britain are blowing millions of dollars on wind turbines that are generating almost no revenue and will take hundreds of years to pay for themselves, reports the UK Telegraph.
The Telegraph reports that UK localities are spending hundreds of pounds installing wind turbines in an effort to boost renewable energy generation and fight global warming.
“Some turbines generate so little energy they would take hundreds of years to repay their original value,” reports the Telegraph. “Experts argue that the failure of some wind turbines to recoup their value shows how small wind turbines are a poor way to generate renewable energy.” Continue reading
The recent auction of 113,000 acres just off the coast of Virginia Beach, a popular tourist destination, may be a step forward for wind power in the state of Virginia, but it is several steps backwards for the taxpayers and consumers who will be forced to support it.
Wind energy has time and time again proven to be an unreliable means of producing electricity. Quite simply, electricity is only produced if the wind is blowing, and even then the amount is dependent on how strongly. A wind farm rated to produce up to 468 megawatts, such as the proposed Cape Wind project off of Nantucket Sound, will on average only produce an expected 174 megawatts. For power companies, this inefficiency can be a nightmare when trying to provide reliable power to a community. Continue reading