“Why They Go Green” (WSJ editorial says much in few words)

By Robert Bradley Jr. September 23, 2010When will Democrats and true environmentalists wake up to windpower, or what Robert Bryce calls the ethanol of electricity? Industrial wind is a scam when seen in all of its dimensions–economic, environmental, and esthetic. Bryce has identified five myths of green energy–and post after post at MasterResource by Kent Hawkins, Jon Boone, and John Droz Jr. have shown that meaningful CO2 reductions from windpower are highly debatable.

Industrial wind is chock full of environmental negatives and isn’t nearly as effective at reducing air emissions than advertised. Big Wind is  corporate welfare with companies like GE and FPL skipping their federal taxes. Wind today is the legacy of Enron, the Ken Lay model of political capitalism. Wind is an assault on lower-income energy users, not only taxpayers. (And Democrats are supposed to be for the little guy….)

Yet the Left marches onward with no inkling of a need–given their own purported values–to make midcourse corrections.

Industrial wind and on-grid solar were supposed to be competitive by now. Beginning in the 1980s, the (false) promises have come again and again from wind and solar proponents. Read the quotations here.

And now, desperation has set in for an industry that needs more government (point-of-a-gun) energy policy to continue its artificial boom. And so a fundraiser yesterday was held by the renewable lobby for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. Nevada) that caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal, which published this short op-ed, Why They Go Green:

In a free energy market, companies succeed by producing cheaper, better products than competitors. In a “green” energy market, companies succeed by holding Beltway fundraisers. For more on the distinction, ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who will benefit today from a tony Washington money-raising breakfast hosted by top “renewable energy” industry groups.

Democrats may be losing altitude with most of struggling corporate America, but it’s all about the love with the green sector, floating above economic realities thanks to stimulus handouts and other perks funneled them by the majority. Mr. Reid has been a strong advocate of this transfer, and the industry is showing it knows how to give back.

That, and watching its back. The companies that belong to the American Wind Energy Association or the Solar Energy Industries Association (among the fundraiser’s hosts) produce costly products that can’t compete against traditional fuels. Their business plans are written around Washington subsidies and mandates. They’re obviously worried a Republican majority might pare back the grants, loans and tax credits, in the name of cutting government waste. One can hope.

As the event invitation noted—in requesting $2,500 to attend—Mr. Reid’s Nevada Senate competition against Republican Sharron Angle is an “incredibly important race.” Indeed it is if your balance sheets depend on the Democrats’ special way with taxpayer money.

Can Democrats and the Left wise up and chuck windpower and on-grid solar? (Off-grid solar has a free-market niche.) Industrial wind is an environmental loser, not only an economic loser. The good news is that change is in the air as the grassroots environmental movement is rethinking–and rejecting–industrial windpower. When will Big Environmental question Big Wind–or do they secretly love industrial wind because its power is more expensive and less reliable than what industrial society needs?

Strange values, strange politics

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