Wed Feb 17, 2010, 12:35 PM EST
Keyser, W.Va. –
‘Industrial wind’ helps corporations, not taxpayers
To the Editor:
We are about to throw away $131 million dollars on a wind farm in Mineral County. I say we, since much of the money for this project will come from our tax dollars. (To date, subsidies—read “our tax dollars”—for industrial wind exceed $100 billion.) Sadly, all this money has done nothing to reduce our carbon footprint or the toxic elements released by coal burning. And it sure doesn’t reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What’s going on? Why is our money being wasted this way?
First, we need to understand the single greatest problem with industrial wind–it’s intermittent. Wind varies so much that power companies must keep their coal-fired boilers operating at 50 percent in order to instantly supply needed power when the wind drops, at which time, more pulverized coal is added to increase the boiler temperature.
So whether the wind blows or not, the coal is burning, adding more bad stuff to our atmosphere, stuff like mercury, a neurotoxin, and carbon dioxide.
The industrial wind people proclaim that their turbines reduce coal burning, but they offer no evidence. Unfortunately, West Virginia doesn’t require wind companies to offer scientific proof that what they say is true, and I’ve never read that any wind company anywhere has done so. Could it be there is no proof? That what they say is a sham?
Don’t forget, wind companies lie to us right from the start when they tell us how much electricity their turbines will produce. They always state the maximum rated capacity, which is never achieved, has never been achieved in the real world, and never will be achieved. The national average for what wind turbines produce is around 28 percent, and it’s unlikely turbines on the Allegheny Front get close to even that low level. But of course, wind companies hide the actual figures so that we, who are financing these projects with our tax dollars, can’t make a rational assessment.
Who’s benefiting from these wind farms? Basically, as Tom Stacy of “Save Western Ohio” says, “…it’s a greedy tax avoidance scheme for large corporations to increase their bottom lines at our expense…. [and] it makes our energy situation worse, and our pocket books much lighter.”
Greed triumphs once again. Money before people or the planet.
Mineral County has roughly 13,000 homes. With $131 million, we could give approximately half the homes in the county a basic solar system that would, in fact, reduce our carbon footprint and save people money.
At the same time, we would create good-paying jobs for the long term, keeping the money in our area.
Many benefits would accrue.
Unfortunately, people like Senators Byrd and Rockefeller and Congressman Mollohan—and most of their colleagues in the Congress—don’t really care about us, don’t really care about how we’re being ripped off by industrial wind. They only care about the next election. Do you think the industrial wind lobby might be contributing to campaign coffers?
However, forces are moving in the county to stop this dreadful waste of our money.
But those forces face a formidable foe with big pockets. Maybe, if enough of us cry out against this insanity, we can stop this wind farm. Other communities are fighting back, and some have been successful. Perhaps we can add to those successes. After all, it’s our money.