Wind Power Lunacy – Tea Party Nation

Wind Power Lunacy – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Can you love nature when it is covered with wind turbines? Or solar panels?

Putting aside the scientific, engineering, and economic idiocy behind the use of wind turbines and solar panels to generate less than three percent of the electricity used nationwide—or that, if the wind is not blowing and the sun not shining, electrical energy must be supplied by back-up traditional coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants.

My personal objection to wind power is the sheer ugliness of these devices. The notion of covering hillsides and plains with them is an offence to the land—to the nature Greens profess to love—and to the many thousands of birds they slaughter every year.

I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the only reason we have any wind energy, i.e. windmills and solar panels, anywhere in the U.S. is a combination of the huge propaganda power of the Greens, bribery, the stupidity and chicanery of politicians, and the gullibility of people who actually believe that wind—which does not blow all the time—is a rational source of power generation.

Suffice to say, the wind power industry would not exist without state government mandates for its use, federal tax credits, and the deafening silence of environmentalists who want to save every species on Earth with the exception of the wind turbine’s slaughter of a million of eagles, hawks, geese, bats, and other flying creatures every year.

The cliché is that great minds think alike and recently there have been a spate of editorials and commentaries, all coincidently written by colleagues of mine. One of them is Dr. Jay Lehr, the science director of The Heartland Institute, for which I am a policy advisor along with others with far more impressive credentials than my own as a longtime science and business writer. On June 17, The Wall Street Journal published Dr. Lehr’s commentary, “The Rationale for Wind Power Won’t Fly.”

“After decades of federal subsidies—almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm—nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant.” Dr. Lehr inferentially raises the question of why any nation would spend that kind of money without receiving sufficient and equivalent electrical power. It is a very good question.

As Dr. Lehr noted, “It’s known to everybody in the industry that a wind turbine will generate electricity 30% of the time—but it’s impossible to predict when that time will be.” There are about 24,000 of these hideous machines according to the American Wind Energy Association and, given their lobbying, that number could double in the next decade. They will still not produce sufficient electricity—let alone predictable and constant electricity—for a small city.

Neither wind nor solar power will provide sufficient electrical energy. This begs the question why they even exist.

The short answer is that wind and solar have been sold to the public (which pays more for the electricity they produce) as not producing “greenhouse gas emissions” that are blamed for a global warming which is not happening, but the main gas, carbon dioxide, is vital to all life on Earth, being the “food” for all plant life, much of which we consume as crops such as wheat, corn, and rice. As a demonstration of the idiocy and hypocrisy of environmentalists, huge quantities of corn are, by government mandate, converted to ethanol—moonshine—that must be added to gasoline.

Another colleague, Rich Kozlovich, has a commentary in circulation that asks why the “Precautionary Principle” that is beloved by the Greens is not applied to wind turbines. Rich quoted another colleague of mine, CFACT’s Paul Driessen, “The Precautionary Principle insists that no new technology should be permitted until it can be shown that it will pose no threat to human health or the environment.” If fully applied, humanity would be denied another medication, chemical, or technological innovation.

“The hard reality is that the green movement does not care about facts, wildlife or humans,” says Kozlovich, “and logical consistency is totally alien to them…Green elites ‘know’ what is best for all of humanity,”

I doubt he will get the plaudits and recognition he deserves, but Dr. John Droz, Jr., a physicist, has devoted his knowledge to providing the best collection of scientific date available regarding the futility and stupidity of wind power. Dr. Droz has a website where you can learn the FACTS about wind power or you can Google his name to find his many excellent articles on the subject.

I have cited some of those facts, as has Dr. Lehr, Paul Driessen, and Rich Kozlovich, but it does not take an advanced degree in physics or any other science to grasp why constructing thousands of wind turbines to produce a miniscule amount of electricity has been one of the most idiotic enterprises to emerge from the vast global warming/climate change hoax.

Instead, we live in a nation whose president insists that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind and who is devoting the powers of government to shut down coal-fired plants, deter exploration and extraction of energy reserves on lands owned by the federal government, delaying the construction of a new pipeline, and the construction of new nuclear facilities. One of his suggestions for power generation is algae, pond scum.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Time to End the Wind Power Tax Credit – Tea Party Nation

Time to End the Wind Power Tax Credit – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Like so much else that involves the absurd “renewable energy” scam—wind, solar power and ethanol—the public remains largely in the dark about its actual costs. They come straight out of their pockets in the form of higher costs for electricity and, in the cast of ethanol, lost mileage and engine damage.

At the end of this year, unless Congress does something spectacularly stupid—always a possibility—the Wing Production Tax Credit (PTC) will expire. If extended for just one more year, it will cost $12 billion. If wind energy was (1) reliable and (2) economical, one could make a case for it, but it is the very opposite.

Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, says “The wind industry claims a PTC extension will create 37,000 jobs. At a $12 billion price tag, that’s $327,000 taxpayer dollars for every job. But even with the PTC, the industry lost 10,000 jobs between 2009 and 2010, a 12% drop.”

Another way the wind industry has stayed in business, but not in the competitive sense of other industries, has been renewable energy mandates that require state utilities to purchase wind powered electricity generation. Many states have opted out of such mandates as they realized the cost to consumers.

The wind industry in America, according to Pyle, has cost taxpayers $20 billion over the past two decades “and, today, the PTC is so lavish that wind producers are actually paying the electricity grid to take their power, just so they can collect more taxpayer money.”

All the economic advances America has made have been the result of the discovery and utilization of energy generation from oil, natural gas, and coal. If you want to harm America in the most fundamental way, you would attack these sources of energy and that is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing since it took power. For decades coal represented fifty percent of all the electricity used, but incessant attacks by the Environmental Protection Agency, using clean air regulations, has reduced this significantly.

The reality is that 94% of all electricity generated in America comes from traditional sources, coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. America is home to century’s worth of inexpensive coal, is the largest producer of natural gas, and invented nuclear power.

The absolute least sensible way to generate electricity is wind power, followed closely by solar power. Since the wind does not blow all the time or with sufficient ability to turn the blades of the huge turbines, it would seem obvious that wind is a moronic way to produce electricity, but that has not kept those reaping taxpayer tax credits and benefitting from mandates for its use from lining their pockets.

It is a curiosity of the debate over wind power that its impact on bird and bat species is rarely, if ever, discussed or reported. In a recent article, Paul Driessen noted that “The impact of mandated, subsidized and ‘production tax credited’ industrial wind facilities on eagles, whooping cranes, bads, and other value species is horrendous, ecologically devastating, intolerable—and growing. In fact, it is infinitely worse than the widely quoted figure of 440,000 birds per year…the actual USA death toll is 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!”

The expert I turn to for information about wind power is John Droz, Jr., a physicist and a leading activist against its use whose website is worth visiting.

Wind power doesn’t meet any of the major criteria for the generation of electricity. Droz points out that it only produces about 30% of the power it allegedly can or should produce. This is because “it takes over one thousand times the amount of land for wind power” that a single nuclear power plant produces. Moreover, that land has to be located far from the cities and suburbs that need to access its power.

Is wind power reliable or even predictable? Compared to traditional power generators, it doesn’t come close compared to the standards set for them. Indeed, “when power is really needed,” notes Droz, such as hot summer afternoons, “wind is usually on vacation.” It most certainly cannot be depended upon to dispatch power to the grid on demand, nor can it supply power reliably to meet a 24/7 demand.

Along with the Wind Protection Tax Credit, the industry is subsidized far more than any conventional power source, Cost per megawatt-hour, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, is subsidized to the tune of $23 per megawatt-hour. Compare that with coal that receives 44 cents! Natural gas at 25 cents! Hydroelectric at 67 cents, and nuclear power at $1.59.

The advocates of wind power are the same charlatans who keep shouting about carbon dioxide (CO2) as the cause of global warming—and now “climate change—when CO2 plays no role whatever in causing or changing the climate. It is also touted as being environmentally beneficial, but tell that to the thousands of bird and bat species the wind turbines kill every year.

Allowing the PTC to expire at the end of the year will not mark the end of wind power, but it will surely make it even less competitive in the years ahead and, like other nations that bought into this fairy tale, those dependent on it are going to suffer some dire consequences, particularly as the current cooling cycle the Earth has been in for the last sixteen years deepens.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


DRIESSEN: Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species – Washington Times

DRIESSEN: Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species – Washington Times.

Thousands of birds killed by wind turbines


The American Wind Energy Association wants its production tax credit (PTC) for wind electricity extended yet again. Congress should say no — and terminate the PTC now.

Wind energy is expensive and unreliable. It does nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is land- and raw-materials-intensive, parasitic and redundant. Whenever the wind is low or inconsistent, every megawatt of wind power must be supported by electricity generated by fossil-fuel plants. Even more damning, wind turbines disrupt wildlife habitats and butcher birds and bats that are vital to ecological diversity and agriculture.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States, along with countless insect-eating bats.

New studies reveal that these appalling estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every year.

These shocking figures reflect the presence of more than 39,000 turbines in the United States, many located in habitats with large numbers of raptors, other birds and bats, says Mark Duchamp, president of Save the Eagles International. The estimates are based on a 2012 study by the Spanish Ornithological Society, which used data from 136 official turbine-monitoring studies in Spain, and is corroborated by a 1993 study of bird mortality from wind turbines in Germany and Sweden, Mr. Duchamp says.

Over the past 25 years, an estimated 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by turbines just at Altamont Pass, Calif. According to Save the Eagles International biologist Jim Wiegand, the subsidized slaughter “could now easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our Western states, plus many bald eagles. Entire flocks of birds often get mowed down by turbine blades, whose tips move at 100 to 200 mph.

In an 86-square-mile area blanketed by the Altamont wind facility, no eagles have nested for more than 20 years even though the area is prime habitat, Mr. Wiegand says. Overall, there has been an 80 percent population decline for the golden eagle in Southern California, he notes.

Since wind turbines began proliferating, Oregon has had a 47 percent loss of raptors and Iowa has experienced a 42 percent decline in bird populations, according to FWS and Department of Natural Resources research.

After being nursed back from the brink of extinction, magnificent 5-foot-tall whooping cranes face annihilation because of thousands of turbines within their 200-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long migration route, former FWS whooping crane coordinator Tom Stehn fears.

More than 200 endangered cranes have “gone missing” in recent years, and now FWS is delaying its 2012 “whooper” count until after Congress votes on the PTC. It also has changed its methods for counting turbine kills to ones Mr. Stehn calls “unacceptable and useless for species recovery management.”

The new methods help hide turbine kills, according to Mr. Wiegand. The Interior Department has used sage grouse and lesser prairie chickens to justify restrictions on oil leasing and drilling. It has prosecuted oil companies for the unintentional deaths of 28 mallards in North Dakota. Yet it has never penalized a single wind-turbine company.

Now the Fish and Wildlife Service wants to issue “programmatic take permits” that would allow wind-turbine operators to systematically, legally and “inadvertently” injure and kill eagles, cranes and condors.

The Department of the Interior and FWS also let monitoring ornithologists search for dead birds within 130 to 165 feet of turbine towers, thus missing numerous birds that were flung farther by the impact or limped off to die elsewhere. What’s more, they search for carcasses only once every few weeks, enabling scavengers to take most away. In addition, wind facility crews remove and bury carcasses illegally, Mr. Wiegand and Mr. Duchamp say.

Officials also let operators treat kill data as proprietary trade secrets, safeguarded under nondisclosure agreements or put into private databanks immune from Freedom of Information Act requests. They impose high security at turbine sites to make accurate, honest, independent mortality counts impossible. Moreover, they filter, massage and manipulate data to make mortality appear minimal.

No other American industry is allowed to operate with such immunity and impunity. It is time to end the wind PTC and the blatant favoritism and exemptions for the wind-power industry. Big Wind must be held to the same standards, laws and regulations that apply to other industries.

Industrial wind operators must be required to permit access by unbiased outside experts to their facilities to ensure compliance with the law and facilitate regular and independent bird and bat mortality counts. They must be required to comply with the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other environmental laws.

Before acting on the PTC, Congress should demand an accurate and verifiable 2012 winter count for the whooping cranes, hold hearings on bird and bat kills, and prohibit the FWS from implementing a programmatic take permit system. It should demand an independent multiyear study of bird and bat mortality at every wind facility in America before allowing another turbine facility to be built in the United States.

Failure to take these actions will cause an ecological catastrophe of monumental proportions.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).

Only if the Wind is Blowing – Tea Party Nation

Only if the Wind is Blowing – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

I’ll bet you didn’t know that June 15th is Global Wind Day. Wind is part of the Earth’s atmosphere and, depending on whether it is blowing gently or strongly, there isn’t a darn thing anyone can do about it. Except for measuring its velocity and direction, wind like clouds remains largely a mystery to meteorologists.

Not so for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control, the people who brought you the global warming hoax, asserting that carbon dioxide, a gas on which all vegetation depends, was raising the global temperature—largely as the result of burning coal and oil as sources of energy.

The Earth, however, has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1998 and the advocates of “green energy” have been in a tailspin, a death spiral of an inadequate capacity to deliver electricity and the inability to compete with more reliable, affordable, and traditional energy sources.

Simply put, wind and solar energy is a fool’s dream and one that must be backed up by traditional energy sources at all times in the event the wind isn’t blowing or during the nighttime or if clouds obscure the sun, causing solar energy to cease producing electricity. Only an idiot would want to be dependent on wind or solar to provide a reliable source of electricity.

The Renewable Energy Industrial Index (RENIXX) tracks the stock value of wind and solar companies. In May—though you did not read about it in the mainstream media—it announced that thirty of the largest renewable energy companies were trading at “an all- time low” and the index “had lost over 90% of its value since 2008.”

So, naturally, the Sierra Club was eager to tell me about Global Wind Day and that my home state of New Jersey had the “potential to replace all the dirty coal and gas plants in the state.” The distance between “potential” and reality is roughly the distance between New Jersey and the planet Neptune.

The Sierra Club (along with a rogue’s gallery of environmental organizations) wages war on all forms of energy production and use. They urged me to join others “at a beach near you for a kite-flying rally and celebration of New Jersey’s offshore wind potential.” Not only does it oppose the use of America’s vast reserves of coal, but it also has a “Beyond Natural Gas” program as well; another huge source of power for the nation.

I won’t bore you with the list of RENIXX companies that have filed bankruptcy, but they include the ill-famed Solyndra, Beacon Power, Ener1, and others in which the Obama administration has “invested” and lost billions in taxpayer funds that could have been devoted to highway and bridge repair or restoring our ailing military power. Another fourteen companies were listed as “teetering on the brink” of bankruptcy.

In May 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pulled the state from membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the only mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. The RGGI would have required New Jersey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (the vital carbon dioxide plants need). Maine and New Hampshire had previously bowed out of the former ten-state coalition that would have reduced their capacity to provide electrical power. In doing so, Governor Christie diverted $65 million from RGGI and helped balance the state budget.

It is worth mentioning that New Jersey derives 50% of its electrical power from nuclear facilities. For reasons beyond my understanding, Governor Christie signed off on a project to build a grid of a wind farm of 96 turbines 16 to 20 miles off our shoreline. If the permitting process can be stopped, New Jersey’s shoreline will not be saddled with this awful project and the miles of cable it will require to deliver the few megawatts its “potential” promises.

Europe which led the charge to build wind and solar power projects as the result of its obsession with carbon dioxide emissions has since discovered that neither can compete with fossil fuel and nuclear power. France is the exception, getting most of its power from nuclear facilities. In England, its citizens are increasingly suffering from “fuel poverty” as the cost of electricity continues to soar thanks to its reliance on wind and solar projects.

Not only is the European continent suffering a financial crisis thanks to the failure of the European Union’s effort to get 27 sovereign, member nations to act in concert with one another, it is facing a shortage of energy to maintain its industrial base and service the needs of its population.

So, on Global Wind Day, feel free to go to the beach, but remember that it is an extraordinary bad way to generate energy.

It will no doubt be on the agenda for the forthcoming June Rio+20 Earth Summit that is self-described as “the ‘institutional framework for sustainable development’; a system of global governance” aimed at achieving the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel’s plan to control the world’s “social, environmental, and economic” policies.

And you thought wind and solar power was just about electricity.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Wind Energy Versus Keystone – Political Calculations – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Wind Energy Versus Keystone – Political Calculations – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

How much power does America’s wind industry produce every day?

To find out, we started with the U.S. Department of Energy‘s current estimate of the total installed wind capacity in the United States, as of 30 September 2011.

Here, we find a total of 43,635 MW of installed wind power capacity across the U.S.

Next, we borrowed the Coyote’s back-of-the-envelope math to estimate how much power that installed capacity is generating from the wind, coming up with an estimate of 314,172,000 kiloWatt-hours per day.

Then, we compared the amount of energy that would have been pipelined through the U.S. if President Obama not arbitrarily rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project: 1,530,000,000 kiloWatt-hours per day. U.S. Current Installed Wind Power Generation Capacity, 30 September 2011

So we see that just this one pipeline project, which would add to the estimated total of 55,000 miles of crude oil trunk lines in the U.S., would outproduce the entire U.S. wind power industry in terms of actual energy production by a factor of nearly 5 to 1. And it’s not like major crude oil pipelines don’t already criss-cross the entire continent:

Selected Crude Oil Trunkline Systems

You would think with that kind of influence over the White House, that the U.S. wind industry lobby would be able to stop the expiration of the federal government’s wind energy tax subsidies, which will help pay for the recently announced payroll tax cut. But apparently, they collectively couldn’t generate enough support to keep that particular corporate welfare program running.

Graveyards of wind turbines hit America!


English: Wind turbines at Altamont Pass near L...

Image via Wikipedia

Graveyards of wind turbines hit America!.

by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer, NaturalNews

Literal beacons of the “green” energy movement, giant wind turbines have been one of the renewable energy sources of choice for the US government, which has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing their construction and use across the country. But high maintenance costs, high rates of failure, and fluctuating weather conditions that affect energy production render wind turbines expensive and inefficient, which is why more than 14,000 of them have since been abandoned.

Before government subsidies for the giant metals were cut or eliminated in many areas, wind farms were an energy boom business. But in the post-tax subsidy era, the costs of maintaining and operating wind turbines far outweighs the minimal power they generate in many areas, which has left a patchwork of wind turbine graveyards in many of the most popular wind farming areas of the US.

“Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California ‘big three’ locations which include Altamont Pass, Tehachapin and San Gorgonio, considered among the world’s best wind sites,” writes Andrew Walden of the American Thinker. “In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.”