America's big 'green' wrecking machines
By Mary Kay Barton
The destruction of rural America is ongoing, thanks to those who continue to push industrial wind energy as a fantasy-cure for the alleged problem of "Climate Change."
$Trillions have been spent on ‘renewables' worldwide, yet carbon dioxide has not been significantly reduced, while rural America is paying the ultimate price. Our countrysides, wildlife and Constitutional private property rights are being sacrificed on the altar of "green" energy … for no net benefit.
U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers need to awaken to the environmentally destructive wealth transfer and corporate land grab that is industrial wind energy, before more of our priceless American countrysides and wildlife are destroyed.
Ironically, many states are outlawing certain pesticides to "protect bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators," while continuing to use Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) to mandate industrial wind sprawl, which slaughters pollinators, eagles, and countless other birds and bats.
Elected officials – Democrat and Republican alike – who are onboard with President's Obama's ‘green' assault in the name of halting "climate change" – are complicit in destroying the rural fabric, environment and wildlife that is the grandeur of America, including the slaughter of our nation's bald and golden eagles. This assault must be ended, and those who promote it removed from office.
Why should American taxpayers continue to fund dysfunctional wind energy, when even USEPA air chief Janet McCabe admits that the EPA's analysis shows "wind power can expand throughout the Clean Power Plan compliance period, from 2022 to 2030, even if the tax credit is not renewed"? As long as taxpayer-funded wind welfare (the Wind Production Tax Credit, or PTC) exists, states without RPS policies are subsidizing the market-distorting, environmentally-destructive energy choices imposed by the politically powerful, while those with RPS policies are shielded from the true costs of wind energy.
Having fought industrial wind development for years in my community, I have come to understand that only a grassroots rebellion, led by rural environmentalists against the wealthy, powerful, special-interest urban fake-environmentalists will be able to turn the tide.
A brochure recently distributed by APEX ‘Clean' Energy in western New York State, along the shores of Lake Ontario, is typical of deceitful windy-disinformation campaigns seen across the United States. Much like APEX's website – which pictures APEX's staff in an idyllic countryside setting with NO industrial wind turbines in sight – the front cover of APEX's brochure pictures a farm without a single industrial wind turbine in sight! It is absurdly titled: "Wind Energy: Good for Property Values."
How stupid does APEX think people are? Any honest real estate agent will tell you the most important consideration when buying a property is: "Location, Location, Location!"
Even worse is the shameless Wyoming County (New York) supervisors who are quoted in APEX's brochure: Eagle's Joe Kushner and Sheldon's John Knab, both of whom will not seek re-election this year. At least one is reportedly leaving the area.
Both Kushner and Knab pimped their towns out to Big Wind for a few recycled taxpayer dollars, making themselves some of the wind industry's favorite go-to-guys. Sheldon Supervisor John Knab has traveled as far as the state of Alabama (that we know of), speaking on behalf of the wind industry. The two seem despicably intent on turning more countrysides into bird-slaughtering, industrial wind factories, by aiding and abetting Big Wind hucksters like APEX and their blowhard-disinformation campaigns.
The civil discord and environmental destruction that Knab and Kushner orchestrated here in Wyoming County, NY is reminiscent of Native Americans who sold Manhattan for a bunch of beads, their naiveté taken advantage of by those who could not care less about them.
APEX's brochure also disingenuously lists two Orangeville, NY properties as selling above assessed value, while failing to mention that both properties had significant acreage. That's an important consideration, since Wyoming County farmland has been selling for $6,000 - $12,000 per acre since the Batavia yogurt factory was built.
For obvious reasons, APEX did NOT mention the fact that at least ten Orangeville properties have sold belowtheir assessed value since Invenergy's wind factory went up, and many others haven't sold at all.
APEX's brochure also neglected to mention the ongoing lawsuit in Orangeville, and our skyrocketing Wyoming County tax rate, which has risen yearly for the past 12 years (another 9.68% this year), in direct correlation with the installation of wind factories here. It is likewise no surprise that APEX didn't include this report – which shows a 56% decrease in property values near APEX's Illinois project.
More wind also means "skyrocketing" electricity rates – just as President Obama promised, and as is happening in New York and other "green" energy states.
According to NYSERDA, the average NYS residential electricity rate in 1999 was 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour. The first NYS wind factories went up in 2000 (Wethersfield & Madison). Twenty wind factories later, the average residential electricity rate in NYS as of February 2015 is 19.8 cents per kWh (according to the EIA, as cited by NYSERDA). That is one of the highest rates in the nation, and nearly a 50% increase since New York State began mindlessly plastering countrysides with industrial wind factories. Only 2% of NYS's electricity comes from coal, and we have an endless supply of hydro.
The truth is, wind energy's actual performance shows it is a LEMON by any measure. Indeed, New York State's wind factories have been averaging a pathetic 24% of rated capacity. Any other piece of equipment – be it a machine, person or animal – that operated only 24% of the time would have been put out to pasture long ago! Who among you would buy a vehicle that only operated 24% of the time? You wouldn't. You couldn't afford to. It's just that simple.
But when the state and federal government are in charge of spending our money, economic reality doesn't seem to matter. It's not their money, and they are never held personally accountable.
Physicist and Malone, NY town board member Jack Sullivan recently explained the reality of wind power's abysmal energy output in his article, "Some lessons from New York." Both Vesta and GE turbines have a manufacturer's life expectancy rating of only 20 years, he notes – and yet "no New York wind project is on track to sell enough electricity in 20 years to pay for itself." [emphasis added]
Even worse, Sullivan's calculations are based on the wind industry's self-serving claim that turbines have a 20-year life expectancy. The added inconvenient reality, however, is that "wind turbines last only half as long" as the industry claims – making their cost-benefit claims even more fraudulent.
These facilities are not "wind farms." They're tax farms. They are in the business of harvesting our hard-earned taxpayer and ratepayer dollars – and transferring them into the pockets of rich, multi-national corporations that then give big dollars to the politicians who keep this scam rolling merrily along.
All of this is enabled by obscene cronyism in high places and by the short-sightedness, willful ignorance and rampant greed of those who are willing to suck on the teat of wind welfare at the rest of our expense.
Mary Kay Barton is a retired health educator and tireless, never retired advocate for reliable, affordable electricity for all Americans.