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Hot air from the unsustainable wind-energy industry

By J.J. Jackson
web posted December 13, 2010

Wind energy; you hear a lot about how great it is.  But what is the truth?  Well, apparently this source of power which environmental activists tout as the solution to all of our problems is more unsustainable than it is sustainable.

Right now the wind-energy industry is lobbying hard to get subsidies which have sustained it renewed.  For all the bluster about how great this alternative source of energy is, apparently it is not very economically feasible and has become yet another government boondoggle along the lines of the whole ethanol industry.

Just perusing the articles of the past couple days we see that those making their living off wind-energy are really concerned about not getting their hands into the precious government cookie jar.  At DesmoinesRegister.com, there is an article called "Wind industry pleas for subsidy".

The article bemoans how these subsidies are keeping the industry afloat and how the loss of the subsidy, ostensively because of evil people soon to take over the House of Representatives, would cost jobs.  Yes, it is the same old government creates jobs song and dance that we have heard many times before.  Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, is quoted in the article as laying the ground work for the complaint as to what will happen if those dastardly Republicans do not give them their money.  "No one will want to have another series of people, a group of people in unemployment lines, in the renewable sector," she said.

Hey Denise, sweetheart, why not find a way to actually make money instead of trying the same old complaints about how without government you cannot succeed?  This article also points out how wind installations dropped from 10 gigawatts in 2009 to 5.5 gigawatts this year despite the subsidy.  But, miraculously if the subsidies are renewed that number will jump to "seven to eight gigawatts in 2011" or so Ms. Bode's group claims.  Again, you cannot increase installation capacity on your own why exactly?  Possibly some sort of economic laws which, try as you might, cannot be violated?

Then there is this article in the Dallas Morning News which was the long, unwieldy title of "Wind industry says 3,000 Texas jobs could be lost if key subsidy isn't renewed".  Apparently the federal government, so the article reports, has had to dump $1.3 billion into Texas wind-energy companies in the past two years.  And only with that huge government bailout has this business been able to sustain itself and keep on going.  Bemoans Denise Bode some more in this article that there are some 20,000 jobs nationwide hang in the balance if the subsidies are not renewed.  3,000 of those workers, we are told, will be in Texas alone.

Sniff.  I – I don't know what to say.  How can we be so cruel as to not send tax payer dollars to businesses that have such a pathetic business model that they cannot survive without government aid?  How can we be so callous as to send thousands of workers to the unemployment lines and food kitchens even though they are obviously not producing something their fellow man wants?  How can we not, just this one more time, say that even though there is no authority in the Constitution for this sort of spending we have to still spend it because so many people will suffer and not be able to suckle at the teat of government?

Ok, I was being quite facetious with all that bellyaching in the last paragraph.  But these are the excuses people like Denise Boyd and others, who are making their own living off of convincing government to give up some of our tax dollars to them, are basically trying to craft.  Because without those subsidies and if the wind-energy industry goes the way the free market obviously wants to make it go they would have to actually find something productive to do with their lives rather than being leaches.

No industry should be subsidized by the federal government.  Enough is enough.  The hot air of the alternative power industry must be allowed to blow over.  Succeed or fail by your own merits and stop, for the love of God, looking for a government handout because you have not figured out how to do the former. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com.  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.


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