Skip to main content

String of 2.5-megawatt wind turbines along a ridge on the Kumayaay Indian Reservation near Campo, California.
String of 2.5-megawatt wind turbines along a ridge on the Kumayaay Indian Reservation in California.
Mitt Romney's views on the federal production tax credit for wind power—he thinks it should be ended—clash with views of people across the spectrum in the swing state of Iowa, including Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. His views on the credit also clash with some of his own energy advisers although he is lockstep with them on just about everything else related to energy. Even though his energy advisory team is dominated by leftovers from the Bush administration, lobbyists for the fossil-fuel industry or men who have been made unspeakably wealthy by fossil fuel, some of them do not go so far as to reject green energy out of hand.

Romney's views in this matter also clash with common sense. For those who want to know, I'll get to the details in a minute. But for now, the important thing about the production tax credit is that it works. However, for months now, it's been in limbo. It sunsets on Dec. 31. This has happened three times previously. Each time the credit is revived. But each hiatus causes havoc within the industry and its suppliers. That's what we're beginning to see again. Since wind farms typically take 18 months to complete from the time a permit is received until the turbines are up and spinning, investors already are shying away from new projects because of the iffy nature of the credit's future. Fewer investors means fewer wind farms, fewer technological innovations, fewer jobs and more dependence on the fuels that nature is informing us every day we must stop burning.

There was, finally, one bit of good news last week. The Senate Finance Committee managed to stick a one-year extension on the production tax credit in legislation it sent to the whole Senate. But while that item may pass the upper chamber, in the House a determined, climate-change-denying crew of know-nothings and fossil-fuel fans will do what they can to scuttle it. And they'll have Mitt Romney on their side.

He spoke against the production tax credit while he was in Iowa last week. But this isn't the first time he's expressed opposition. This time, after he did, Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher had this to say:

By opposing an extension to the wind production tax credit, Mitt Romney has come out against growth of the wind industry to support 100,000 jobs by 2016 and 500,000 jobs by 2030. Meanwhile, he supports $4 billion in oil and gas subsidies for companies that have rarely been more profitable.
Half a million jobs down the chute. No big deal to the Bain buccaneer. For a guy who likes to fire people, this would be the cherry topper.

Too bad the Obama campaign must maintain a sense of decorum. It would be good to hear Fetcher or others just say flat out what this stance on energy means. Either: 1) Romney is a numbskull; or 2) Romney is up to his eyebrows with his fossil fuel buddies and will kill jobs and continue wrecking the planet just so they all, and he, can profit.

There is a good reason Iowans love wind power. Their state not only gets 19 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, the second highest percentage in the nation, but the wind industry also provides as many as 7,000 jobs in the state. Some 85 percent of Iowans think wind power is beneficial, according to a poll commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group. Even 41 percent of Iowa Republicans told pollsters they are less likely to support a presidential candidate who doesn't favor expanding wind power.  

Iowa isn't the only state getting a high proportion of its electricity from the wind. South Dakota is first, with 22 percent. North Dakota, Minnesota and Wyoming all get at least 10 percent of theirs that way. All told, wind has an installed generating capacity of 49 gigawatts in the U.S., about 4.3 percent of the nation's total. Wind generated slightly more than 3 percent of total U.S. electricity in the United States during the 12-month period ending in May this year.

That may not seem like much. But a decade ago, it was one-tenth that. Phenomenal growth.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Just 10 years ago, boatloads of so-called "experts" were saying renewable sources of power, including wind, would never amount to much. In 2002, for instance, the federal government's official forecast projected that the U.S. would add less new electricity-generating capacity from renewables by 2020 than was added from wind alone by 2007. Let that sink in for a second: The forecast of the guys who are supposed to know was off by 13 years. The International Energy Agency's forecasts have been even worse. These off-base forecasts have led a lot of smart people to say things like: Wind power will never amount to anything.

Subsidies constitute a crucial element of wind power's leapfrog growth everywhere in the world it has demonstrated success. In the case of the United States, the subsidy, introduced in 1992 during the first Bush administration, is the production tax credit Romney wants to jettison.

It's straightforward. For every kilowatt-hour generated during the first 10 years of a wind (solar, geothermal or closed-loop bioenergy) facility's life, the government provides 2.2 cents. That's an obvious attraction for investors in a technology that in many places can't yet compete, economically speaking, with established methods of generating electricity. But in some places it already can compete, and it's getter closer every year.

The idea has always been to eliminate the subsidy once a renewable industry reduces its production, installation and operating costs low enough to compete with other energy sources. They do this both with more efficient technology and economies of scale. Wind power developers have already made gigantic strides in both arenas, and additional advances are being developed every day. Wind turbines now are more powerful, more efficient and more capable of producing electricity at lower wind speeds than they were even 10 years ago, much less 30 years ago when the first modern versions were installed. But wind power still needs this modest subsidy boost before it can get a truly solid footing. Many wind advocates put that horizon at around five years.

The latest proposal, the one that was passed by the Senate Finance Committee Thursday, would extend the credit for just one year. That's better than letting it expire, but not long enough to give investors real confidence. We need five years at least, but a decade would be better. Better yet would be a gradually dwindling feed-in-tariff a la Germany or Japan. But that's clearly a hurdle too high for a Congress of the current composition.

Republicans and libertarians have had tantrums over this production tax credit. Despite the long history of subsidies to the fossil-fuel and nuclear industries, they want to "level the playing field" and no longer "play favorites." This government meddling is unseemly, they say, as if Bolsheviks had grasped the nation's energy policy.

In the case of Mitt Romney, it's charitable to call this level-the-playing-field kind of talk a pile of manure.

The man is on record for axing the production tax credit yet he's also on record in support of continued fossil-fuel subsidies. That's not even a mirage of a level playing field.

Libertarians can make a more principled case. Many, perhaps most, would lop all subsidies. But their argument fails on two grounds. First, there are residual benefits from decades of subsidies. So the "playing field" is not made level just by cutting off subsidies now for everyone. Second, as noted in a previous essay—solar subsidies follow a path well known to oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries—it has traditionally taken about 30 years before subsidies boost a specific energy industry into a self-sustaining entity:

These subsidies aren't required forever. They are meant to get the industries up and running and gaining enough market share to drive further innovation and lower costs. It just takes time. Like it did with other energy industries. The ones that still get subsidies of various sorts. While howling about the new kid on the block. The ecologically crucial new kid.
There's another issue as well. Economic "externalities." These include safety and health risks affecting workers, water and air pollution, climate-changing emissions and military spending to maintain access to world oil resources. These externalities aren't accounted for in the price of electricity generated from fossil fuels. Thus, these forms of energy get a hidden subsidy. While renewables also contain externalities, their impact is far less than for fossil fuels or nuclear power. As the joke goes, what's the environmental damage from a wind-turbine spill?

As mentioned above, some Republicans are not on board with Mitt's plans to kill green-energy subsidies. They actually see the benefit, perhaps a self-interested benefit, say investment opportunities or campaign cash. Or perhaps a few of them just don't buy the mainstream GOP's conventional wisdom these days that clean energy is, like global warming, some kind of byzantine hoax.

It would be tempting, given the trail of error we just witnessed on Romney's six-day European tour, to chalk up the guy's stand on energy to cluelessness. But that would be a mistake. For one thing, even his advisers who support the production tax credit stand foursquare behind policies favoring carbon-emitting sources of electricity generation. They see clean energy as a sideshow; however, they don't want to crush it.

In many ways, Romney is a buffoon. But it should never be forgotten that while we justifiably ridicule him, he is also a predator. As we have seen, his approach to business is like that of the buffalo hunters of the 1870s. Shoot the animal, skin it and leave the carcass behind to rot.

That's the type of politician the fossil-fuel industry has always sought to fulfill its needs. That's what Romney is about. He doesn't understand a creative business like green energy. Only the kinds that suck a resource dry and leave the wreckage of its exploitation behind. That's how he ran Bain. That's how he would run the nation. That he can state in the same breath that maintaining subsidies for carbon-based fuels while dumping them for clean energy makes for a balanced approach reinforces what we know about who he is.

It is tempting to say that, in addition to his buffoonery, Romney is blinkered. But that's not so. He knows exactly what he is doing and where he will go if he has the imprimatur of a November victory. That destination, in energy as in so much else, is a dead-end.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Well, Romney's just a pervert generally. n/t (16+ / 0-)

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:02:05 AM PDT

  •  Love the description of his as buffalo hunter (18+ / 0-)

    That  is perfect--kill, skin and leave the carcass to rot, just like he did with Bain.

    Is this enough to deny him Iowa though?  That is a pretty big line-up against him.

    The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

    by Mimikatz on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:06:13 AM PDT

    •  except buffalo hunters had to be straight shooters (5+ / 0-)

      and the Lord spoke unto Abraham and said "I shall give you obedient & subservient wives in all the corners of the world" and Abraham said, "But Lord, you have made the earth round" and the Lord spaketh, "I get My laughs where I can."

      by bnasley on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:10:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AllFleshFromGrass
      Is this enough to deny him Iowa though?
      It will certainly lose some votes for Mitt.

      Steve King is a charter member of the "climate-change-denying crew of know-nothings and fossil-fuel fans," but even King supports the wind energy production tax credit. King likes to brag that his congressional district is number one in the country in wind energy production. I believe it. I can look out my back window and count 100 turbines, and there are many more on over the horizon plus more on the way. It's not just a jobs issue. It's revenue from the leases for farmers who have turbines on their land.

  •  He's got the gift of garble. (12+ / 0-)

    The man is slickness personified. After he speaks, no one knows what he said, but when did that ever matter?

    If he were selling life insurance, would you put your family's future in his hands? Of course not.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:07:22 AM PDT

  •  Don't Forget to Tax (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Odysseus, cocinero

    I am sure the Republicans will propose a solar and wind depletion tax. Plus give a credit to green house emissions.

    Since oil production is underground, wind and solar need to move their production underground to be level with oil.

    Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

    by Tuba Les on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:07:36 AM PDT

  •  Romney 2012 (5+ / 0-)

    "I hate clean energy. I hate the planet. I hate working people."

    Buffoon indeed!

  •  He's in the fossil fuel producers pocket... (4+ / 0-)

    ... a numbskull!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:11:51 AM PDT

  •  Solving the Wind Power Conundrum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven

    1) Government purchases Premiere Network.
    2) Government leases their, err, premier windbag, R Limbaugh
    3) Enough wind power for Canada and Mexico as well!

    Such a deal!

    Dig the new single from Papa Knuckerhole himself: http://soundcloud.com/jangellamf/my-les

    by Johnny Wendell on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:18:37 AM PDT

  •  As per externalities ... (21+ / 0-)

    worth mentioning, no, that they overwhelm the direct "cost" of the energy. For example, there is decent work showing that the "externalities" subsidy re coal electricity is above 10 cents per kilowatt hours (health issues, mercury in the ecosystem, acid rain, damage to ecosystems through mining, global warming, etc ...).  The "true" cost of a gallon of gas, in the United States, if we could pollution, health impacts, security subsidies, etc amounts to something like $15-$20 a gallon rather than the under $4 that people pay at the pump.  

    Our children's lungs and futures are subsidizing the burning of fossil fuels ... MASSIVELY!

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:19:03 AM PDT

  •  Put down that sling shot David. We need to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, JeffW, eyesoars, melo

    talk about the rules.

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:23:36 AM PDT

  •  We're all overlooking what I think is one of the (18+ / 0-)

    greatest benefits of wind power production.  In Iowa, nearly all of the wind power is generated on farm land with an annual fee paid to the farmer for the use of his land.  As I understand it, each windmill provides roughly $20,000 per year to the owner of the land.  With future droughts more likely, if I were a farmer in Iowa, I'd allow the wind power developers to place as many turbines as they want.  This is direct income to lots of different farmers rather than some polluting coal-fired power plant owner.

    "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

    by LouisMartin on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:30:16 AM PDT

  •  capitalist paradox: natural law & natural capital (0+ / 0-)
    These subsidies aren't required forever. They are meant to get the industries up and running and gaining enough market share to drive further innovation and lower costs. It just takes time. Like it did with other energy industries. The ones that still get subsidies of various sorts. While howling about the new kid on the block. The ecologically crucial new kid.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:33:39 AM PDT

  •  Mitt is likely to change his tune (4+ / 0-)

    Many in the oil and gas industry love wind for several reasons.

    1) it is more easily controlled by corporations. Though wind energy can be generated on a micro scale, it's geographic locations are more limited than solar.
    2) Oil and gas companies are getting a significant amount of these tax credits. I would really like to know exactly how much. Maybe some journalist types can reveal this.
    3) there is new development happening that will allow wind turbines to be powered by natural gas when the wind is not blowing.  This is especially significant given the glut of natural gas being created by increased production from fracking.  Gas profits have taken a hit from falling prices. They know that they need to do everything they can to increase demand for natural gas.  Wind turbines could prove to be a good means of doing this.  

    From a progressive perspective it is not enough to push for clean energy. We need to push for clean micro energy that is not controlled by industry and does not suffer significant line losses in transmission.

    Currently Romney's political engines are being turned by the winds of the Koch brother and tea party hatred of all things green and healthy.  In the horor that he should get elected he would be unlikely not to flip on this flop of an idea.

       

    •  That makes sense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eyesoars, Calamity Jean

      Natural gas can complement wind. New gas power plants are much less expensive than new coal plants. They are also easier to start up to meet peak demand and shut down when demand drops. If the wind speed is too low, just turn on the gas.

      The wind-gas combination is a threat to coal.

  •  Why maintain decorum? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom

    They should just come out and say Romney is a stooge for big energy?

    I have an idea, an idea so smart that my head would explode if I even began to know what I was talking about.

    by warlock on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:58:57 AM PDT

  •  Here is a photo of what the alternative is (9+ / 0-)

    At a mountaintop removal coal strip mine in West Virginia that was shutdown by protesters Occupying the site. Talk about living in exciting times, the exit from the mine back to camp was a gantlet to be walked for 8 miles and driven for many more. And the West Virginia State Police, ever in the pocket of King Coal, enabled this.

    boonewv_0728_0514.jpg

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:59:30 AM PDT

  •  Does anyone mind if I just lightly edit and change (0+ / 0-)

    the punctuation on this headline?  

    "Mitt Romney perverts concept of a level playing field in energy. Not by accident."

    "Mitt Romney, pervert."

  •  I hope to hell OFA is pounding this in to Iowans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom
  •  Temporary help to US firms to start up and (4+ / 0-)

    get going in an industry sure to expand greatly around the world.

    Short-sighted, backward looking GOP, swallow the lines of leaders who tell them one thing while accepting the big $$ bribes from competing energy corps.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:11:11 AM PDT

  •  I like your word "predator!" (3+ / 0-)

    "Pervert" fits, too.

    And g'damn Romney, anyway.  You've said it all Meteor!  Some of my Republican "friends" and "family" pretend not to know what this man is about.  You know damn well they know exactly... birds of a feather and bird-brains follow this man out of desperation to win the race, instead of logically choosing the right person to lead this nation into a better future.

    My father was a miner from age 12 into his late teens before he went into the Air Force.  His brothers as well.  First they suffered dust in their lungs from the dust bowl and then from the mines as evidenced with the four of them in their mid-30s photographed sitting on a bench together, all dependent on oxygen tanks they had to drag around.  I know if they were all living now, they'd be on Obama's side about much, but especially clean energy sources and every bit of reasoning about this issue that you've written.

    I believe Romney is going to lose this election, but is there any hope we can take back the House and keep our Senate majority?  I worry.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:14:52 AM PDT

  •  Romney's stance is simple corruption, but (6+ / 0-)

    it's also in line with GOP/wingnut ideology. Wind and other sustainable energy tech just doesn't lead to monopoly capitalist wealth and power. It is not centralized, and can't be. Unlike the fossil economy, it inevitably reverts to a kind of democratic, decentralized, socially responsible system where a few money manipulators have no niche for skimming all the income off the top and screwing the workers. It is more like the Internet than 19th/20th-century industries in that abuses of workers and customers can be foiled by routing around them. It lends itself as well to control by communities, unions, workers, co-ops as to Big Corporate.

    As such it is a genuine threat, both as reality and example, to the way wealth and power are currently doled out in America and much of the rest of the world today. The GOP pols are faced with either choosing a path that finally weakens their financial and political masters' hold on ridiculous wealth and power, or fighting to keep things as they are and moving America and the planet to a new feudalism followed by living hell for everyone. Most of them are currently choosing the latter course. The soulless mendacity is stunning beyond belief.

    We already tried a dumbass rich kid, remember? That really wasn't enough?

    by DaveW on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:17:18 AM PDT

    •  One of the virtues touted by capitalists used to.. (0+ / 0-)

      ..be capitalisms' unerring ability to fill a need (in this case energy) more efficently than other forms of economic production; the perfect system..

      Unlike the fossil economy, it inevitably reverts to a kind of democratic, decentralized, socially responsible system where a few money manipulators have no niche for skimming all the income off the top and screwing the workers.
      ..a very suspect notion imo, but now it is as you describe. Romney/republicans goal is control/ownership of resources, production, labor - everything, monopolizing the means of filling that need  - energy - so the entire plank of the republicans platform is antithetical to "free market forces", and what they fight for is almost completely opposite of what they advertize themselves to be.

      And what is so blinkered (putting it nicely) is that with interest rates  historically low, now is the time to do so many things about our crumbling infrastructure.
      Smart grid desgned for the future renewable energy (which is the future/now) is only one job to be done. There are many more.

  •   "3 percent of total U.S. electricity" (4+ / 0-)

    3% of a huge number is a huge number itself .

    In many ways, Romney is a buffoon.
    In what way is he not ?

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:17:59 AM PDT

  •  Get in on the action: (4+ / 0-)

    the Sierra Club is targeting Republicans in congress who oppose the tax credit extension:

    The Center for Public Integrity:

    The Sierra Club’s nonprofit has released three new ads yesterday targeting Republican congressmen who have opposed renewing a tax credit for the wind energy industry.

    The Sierra Club so far has taken aim at six Republicans in its pro-wind campaign: Reps. Bob Latta of Ohio, Blake Farenthold of Texas, Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Joe Heck of Nevada.

    The TV and radio ads are all variations of the same template, calling on the congressmen to “save wind industry jobs” by voting to renew the wind production tax credit. The production tax credit gives owners of renewable energy projects an income tax reduction based on how much electrical output their projects create.

    The American Wind Energy Association estimates there are currently 75,000 jobs in the wind industry, 37,000 of which would be at risk if the tax credit expires.

    Action link:  https://secure.sierraclub.org/...

    How did Supreme Court decision ACA help the 23 million still uncovered? Ask the 18,000 Doctors of PNHP -- they're not waiting, FORWARD now to pass H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act .

    by divineorder on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:20:31 AM PDT

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom, Eric Nelson

    for posting this info. Since we talked about this a couple of weeks ago I have done some research on the subject. The recent advances in wind technology are amazing. We need more subsidies, not less. You're right about it being sad that we used to be leaders in this field and now we're followers. What happened to this country. We used to be visionary, now we're just reactionary. On a side note, are there any plans to replace the obsolete turbines out by Livermore? Oh yeah, the buffalo hunter analogy was perfect.

    Keep fighting the good fight

  •  Ya had me at: "Mitt Romney pervert....." (0+ / 0-)

    Though that is taken completely out of context....

    "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

    by caseynm on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:36:21 AM PDT

  •  It's the same "Level" playing field (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, Eric Nelson

    that Mitt RomBot uses for His Great "Tax Plan".

    More for the Folks that Already have a Huge pile of Wealth,
    Less for Everyone Else.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:01:42 PM PDT

  •  Major disruption coming to the wind sector... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, offgrid, mimi, Eric Nelson

    Just one of the game-changers coming our way from ARPA-E - http://arpa-e.energy.gov/...

    Makani Power is developing an Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) that eliminates 90% of the mass of a conventional wind turbine and accesses a stronger, more consistent wind at altitudes of near 1,000 feet. At these altitudes, 85% of the country can offer viable wind resources compared to only 15% accessible with current technology.
    I have interviewed Makani's chief engineer; their technology has two huge advantages over ground based systems. The wind almost everywhere is steadier at 1000', and their system works in low wind speeds much better than conventional turbines.

    http://www.makanipower.com/

    In case anyone didn't know, ARPA-E was created on paper when the party that believes in science ran the House and Senate, and created for real after Obama was in office.

  •  I was suprised to see (0+ / 0-)

    that Iowa has several thousand jobs from wind energy. Construction of a wind farm generates about 100 jobs for 6 months and then it only takes a couple of folks to run it.

    There are a few part time temp maintenance jobs per wind farm also.

    I am curious how that adds up to 7000 jobs in Iowa, which is quite a few in a relatively small state, probably as many as from  ethanol production.

    •  Here's a report from... (4+ / 0-)

      ...18 months ago that is outdated but gives you the reasons why this is more than just construction and maintenance: The Wind Energy Supply Chain
      in Iowa
      .

      Here is the Iowa Wind Energy Association's website with more up-to-date information.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:29:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        for the link.  I asked because I've seen huge stores of windmill parts and turbines in freight yards at the Port of Longview in the Northwest, that were shipped to the US from China.

        So I had assumed we weren't doing much windmill manufacturing here but am pleasantly surprised to see there is some manufacturing in Iowa.

        I am still a little concerned because that link also discussed a variety of tax breaks to the windmill industry that will erode local communities' abilities to maintain their tax base.

        I'm all for subsidizing the wind industry big-time but would rather see the Feds take the financial lead instead of bleeding local governments of potential income.

        Where I live, the wind farms (or any new employer) can get a 15-year property tax holiday, at a time when several rural counties are going broke.

  •  Reminds me of their stand on education! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid

    It's all the same motivation:  money and keeping the moneymen happy...and perhaps a little privatization thrown in as well.

    Education reform works the same way...just privatize it all and pervert another cause.

    Aldus Shrugged is the antidote to Ayn AND BAIN!!!

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:18:19 PM PDT

  •  Only because of Constant Vigilance (0+ / 0-)

    If PG&E had their way they'd be charging you an extra fee for having a solar panel or wind turbine.

  •  OMG, I am just floored reading this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    How did you get to this level of detail and knowlege and compassion for truth in reporting ?

    This piece needs to be mass-emailed and mass-faxed to the WH.

  •  Feed-in Tariffs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, melo

    Great article! And it looks like wind energy policy could be a big factor in Iowa and perhaps Colorado.

    As you said, the PTC and even more important MACRS subsidy (authorized in the same law, I  believe) are better than nothing. But they are not better than Feed-in Tariffs. And with FITS, a lot of the legislative hostage taking possibilities by Republicans would not exists, nor would arguments about tax losses to the treasury.

    So, perhaps with any legislation to extend the PTC, a modification to the 1978 PURPA law could be added which would allow states to do FITs, should they choose to do so. It is all of 132 words,has already been written (Section 102 of the unpassed Waxman-Markey ACES bill, and the best part of that bill IMO) and would cost the US Treasury nothing, and stimualte renewables far more effectively than would the PTC and MACRS. Plus it would get us out of a lot of hostage taking territory..

    See  also for more about FITS in NY State..

    Nb41

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site