Frank Maisano and the “merry handful”

What happened Mr. Maisano!  Didn’t you get the memo?  You won!  There’s nothing standing in the way of the Pinnacle Wind project, and there hasn’t been since the WV PSC gave permission months ago.  In fact, if US WindForce had been able to cross t’s and dot i’s this project would have been under construction months ago.

So … am I missing something in your attack on Wayne Spiggle in today’s Cumberland Times-News?  Why in the world is Dr. Spiggle still getting under your skin even after he lost the election?  Is your case that weak?  I mean, creating a “straw man” to knock down is hardly a tactic worthy of “a skilled media specialist with a track record of success.”  So what if he continues to ask questions!  Stop whining, and for land’s sake simply place fact against fact and let the readers choose.  All the better if, as you say, his points are “completely irrelevant claims?”

Now I know you don’t need advice from me, one untrained in the media arts.  But here’s what I’d do if I were you, Mr. Maisano.  Rather than just laying out a general narrative as you did in your personal slam, I’d slam the Doc with details.  Go for the jugular!

I know it’s hard to really lay out your case in a short letter to the editor, but ask for a full column to lay out the details.  Heck, if they won’t give you the space, you’re welcome to all you wish right here at Allegheny Treasures.  We’d be honored to host!

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions:

1 – Rather than simply talk about the 40,000 MW operating and generating enough power to run 10 million homes, publish the actual results.

    • How much electricity was actually generated?
    • How much electricity was actually utilized by grid operators?
    • What was the actual electricity generation as a percentage of nameplate capacity?
    • Insist that your industry publish the results by turbine unit, by location, by hour in a user friendly and easily accessible format similar to that published by our friends in Ontario.

2 – Rather than dismiss the tax incentive issue out by comparing to fossil and nuclear, provide the comparative details.

    • For example, you seem to like the US Energy Information Agency:
      • Wind – $23.37 per megawatthour
      • Solar – $24.34 per megawatthour
      • Coal – $.44 per megawatthour
      • Nuclear – $1.59 per megawatthour

3 – Don’t use terms like “create jobs.”

  • Insist your wind partners speak to communities in terms of labor hours.  When you say construction will generate 250 jobs, folks actually think 250 people will show up for work at the beginning of a project and be there until construction is complete.  You and I both know that portrayal is deceptive.  So let’s clear the fog by publishing the labor hour content so we can really see the contribution.

4 – “As much wind as possible.”

  • If I were a big shot in the wind business with your credentials, I’d be linking up a phone call between PJM and Bonneville Power so the folks out west could begin to understand how PJM is begging for “as much wind as possible.”  Bonneville Power, much like our friends in Ontario, is finding it necessary to unload the ill-timed generation from the uncontrollable wind plants at a substantial cost penalty.  Check out the problems in Germany!

5 – Define “jobs.”

  • If you really want to set Doc back on his heels you could publish where the labor content for projects such as Pinnacle is actually secured from and how much local labor (of what skill set) was utilized in the construction phase.  This would help the “modelers” your gang hired to sell the Pinnacle project to the WV PSC assess the accuracy of their predictions, since they didn’t seem to have a clue how their (coincidentally favorable to wind) economic benefit estimates play out in reality.
  • How about if you insist your wind friends publish the US v offshore labor content of major components.  A lot of the “merry handful” you reference seem concerned that the taxes they pay are going overseas in the form of subsidies and material purchases to enrich foreign manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, who at last report were to supply the turbines for Pinnacle.

Yes, I know it, as you say, “remains hard to believe” that some folks continue to wonder how our neighbors can be taken in to believe that such an inefficient, costly and antiquated product like industrial wind will benefit the United States demand for a cost-effective, secure, reliable, on-demand energy future.

But then, the “merry handful” can’t fathom how effective a “skilled media specialist” can be.  I mean … you’ve got to have a pretty sharp tool in your shed to convince an educated educator to publicly promote the ill-conceived and financially disastrous Escrow Agreement signed by our current batch of Commissioners is on par with the “Bill of Rights.”  Yes, that Bill of Rights!

I’ve got to admit that I was shocked when you said that “no one — except the tried and true opponents — has ever claimed that wind would supplant coal or nuclear.”  Not that we “merry handful” don’t agree with you.   Heck, with industrial wind being so unreliable and intermittent, how could it put a dent in fossil fuel use?  We could, of course, live with the rationed electricity supply resulting from industrial wind’s proliferation, but I doubt most folks in the US would be pleased with that scenario.

I had the sense all along that this wind replacing coal thing was bogus.  But I gotta tell you … it was good to finally hear it from a “wind expert.”  But if, as you say, wind “won’t supplant coal or nuclear,” how does it, in your words, improve our environment?”

You see, the component fabrication process generates tons of carbon emissions; the turbine “farm” requires literal “mountain top removal” and there is no benefit to wildlife, unless you consider trimming the species a benefit.  A lot of folks are concerned that, industrial wind is actually harmful to the environment, especially when you consider that industrial wind fossil plants to ramp up and back to support its variability, resulting in overall increases in emissions.

Am I missing something here?

I know you’re ticked that Doc keeps bringing up the subsidy and consumer price issues.  He’s such a pain in the ass with all his concern for spending taxpayer money wisely.  Finish him off once and for all, I say!  Demand true transparency from your industry and publish how much it receives in subsidies, grants and other incentive programs.  Publish the true cost of electricity to consumers and how much is pocketed as profits by the developers and operators.

One sure fired way to get rid of a skeptic is to provide them with the facts.  You might start by telling folks who you are.  Since you were so eager to portray Dr. Spiggle’s past life by mentioning his elected position several times, why did the editor have to slip in a tiny note to let folks know you’re a wind lobbyist?  That is your job, is it not?  Oh, and maybe the folks would be interested in your efforts before becoming the wind guru – Frank Maisano is the former spin-meister behind the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) – a front group for the oil and coal industries, which was created to thwart US ratification of the Kyoto Accords. For all your current interest in curbing greenhouse gas emissions now, this little tid-bit about the group you lobbied for might be interesting to more than just the “merry handful” – The GCC has been dubbed by Kevin Grandia, Operations Manager for DeSmogBlog, as “one of the most aggressive industry-funded climate science attack groups the world ever saw”

Finally, Mr. Maisano, maybe it’s not Dr. Spiggle or the “merry handful” you’re concerned with after all.  I’m beginning to believe it’s the growing number of citizen groups mounting an education campaign to inform the public of the ills of industrial wind that will become your larger problem.

You have to know that Congress is finally catching on to the scheme and the funds will soon dry up.  Lacking government hand-outs to wind, investors will look elsewhere and the developers your hawking will move on to another adventure.

But, not to worry … you’re “a skilled media specialist with a track record of success.”  You’ll be just fine!

As for me, I’m happy being one of the “merry handful” simply because it doesn’t align me with folks from your side of the business like Gabriel Alonso, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, runs one of America’s biggest wind-farm developers, (and) often reminds his employees their goal isn’t to stage a renewable-energy revolution. “This is about making money,” the chief executive of Horizon Wind Energy LLC tells his troops.

That, dear sir, is not one of the “Bill of Rights” my parents taught me to respect!

This entry was posted in Allegheny Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, Environment, Glenn Schleede, John Droz, Jon Boone, Wind Energy Shenanigans, Wind Power subsidies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Frank Maisano and the “merry handful”

  1. jrwakefield says:

    5 – Define “jobs.”


    jrwakefield says:
    April 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm
    The job creation myth of renewable energy has another aspect that is often overlooked. All jobs are not equal. There are two types of jobs.

    Wealth Creaing Jobs. These exist only in private industry. These industries create GDP for the country, that is, they create wealth. These companies pay taxes and their employees pay taxes that are used to run government and their social programs. That evil corporate profit funds pension and retirement plans.

    The second job type is Wealth Leaching Jobs. These are necessary work done but they do not generate any contribution to a countries GDP. They do not create wealth, but in fact consume wealth so wealth can be created (The costs of doing business). This includes government jobs, emergency services, and any job that is a cost to business (such as insurance, and importantly energy consumption).

    To pay for Wealth Leaching Jobs, there must be far more Wealth Creating Jobs. In the specific case of energy consumption, there has to be a wide base of people in the GDP growth sector of the ecomomy to pay for that energy. Once there are more energy jobs than there are people who pay for energy, then the system would collapse. (It’s one of the reasons the EU PIIGS countries are in serious trouble — too many government jobs and not enough private jobs to pay for them).

    Thus the goal of any country is to have as FEW energy jobs as possible, not more. The goal should be to allow industry to create as many wealth creating jobs as is possible, not the opposite.

    FIT programs, carbon taxes, do the exact opposite of what is needed for a healthy economy. They create Wealth Leaching Jobs at the expense of Wealth Creating Jobs. (1:1 loss would be bad enough, but 2.3 to 3.6 private jobs for every energy job is a road to disaster EU style.)

    But then again, that may be the goal of the eco-nut cases — collapse modern civilization.

  2. jon Boone says:

    You might have noted that before Maisano was hired as a wind hack he was making a living shilling for–uh–coal.

  3. Kaye Thomas says:

    Superbly written and should be enjoyed by a much wider audience.

  4. Pingback: Industrial wind … “the crawling menace!” | Allegheny Treasures

  5. Pingback: “Just the facts, ma’am.” | Allegheny Treasures

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