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APOV: When government tries to pick winners, everyone loses

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Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 1:10 pm

As I read the report on Sen. (Kirsten) Gillibrand’s visit to Emerling Farm, I was reminded of what Ronald Reagan said were the nine most dangerous words in the English language: “I’m with the government. I’m here to help you.” (“Dairy issues top agenda in Wyoming,” story, Sept. 1.)

As noted by one of the gentlemen in attendance, ethanol has caused corn prices to triple over the past five years, putting tremendous pressure on regional dairy farmers. Sen. Gillibrand acknowledged that it’s a problem they are now working to eliminate.

With the accompanying rise in food prices, even Al Gore is now admitting ethanol was a bad idea.

This just proves that when the government tries to pick and choose the winners by what they choose to subsidize, we all end up losing in the long run. This has proven to be especially true when it comes to corporate-lobbyist-driven, “green” energy agendas President Obama admitted would “cause our electricity prices to necessarily skyrocket.”

As ethanol is to our feed and food prices, so industrial wind is to our electricity prices. Like ethanol, many have been warning of the dire consequences of pursuing this wasteful expenditure of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars on the redundant, antiquated source of industrial wind for years now.

Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported in his article, “Meet the New Ethanol: Wind Blows Past Corn as Subsidy King, No End in Sight” (http://tiny.cc/axup5), “Windmills have surpassed ethanol’s pocket-pickery ... analysis shows that under the Obama administration’s ‘green energy’ binge, current demands for taxpayer subsidies and other support to be provided the windmill welfare queens total $8 billion per year.”

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), a research and data analysis arm of the Department of Energy, released a report that details the amount of taxpayer subsidies that were distributed to energy producers in 2010. The government report confirms that federal energy-related subsidies have increased 108 percent in three years; and wind subsidies increased tenfold.

In response to the report from the EIA, Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued the following statement: “This new report shows the huge price tag for politically-favored energy sources. With the American taxpayer footing the bill, the federal government handed over $37 billion dollars to energy companies in 2010 alone. At a time when our nation is drowning in over $14 trillion of debt, Washington has no business propping up companies with taxpayer dollars.” (http://tiny.cc/7g90m)

Considering admissions of the failure of the government-chosen ethanol program by Gore, Gillibrand and others, it would seem it’s time to take the blinders off in regard to ethanol’s dysfunctional cousin, industrial wind. You would hope we won’t have to watch the money-grubbing, bipartisan dive to the bottom by willfully-ignorant elected officials and bureaucrats in pursuit of corporate welfare payments go on any longer.

As Albert Einstein told us, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”

Mary Kay Barton lives in Silver Lake.

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24 comments:

  • keep 'em honest posted at 12:42 pm on Tue, Sep 27, 2011.

    keep 'em honest Posts: 93

    Mary Kay,

    How do you find time to have a life outside of your anti-wind crusade? Boy, if I studied this electricity generating stuff like you I would not be able to hold a job, spend time with family or especially, have time for a life. Wow, you expect me to believe you spend all your time running down renewables pro bono?...very hard to believe indeed. You ma'am are a true American patriot.

    Why aren't you running down your fellow Silver Lake Association landowner who just happens to own property in Orangeville on Centerline road and whose property is listed as an LLC??? They have been one of the biggest opponents of a windfarm in Orangeville the entire time. This was demonstrated March 25, 2010 at the DEIS hearing at camp Wyomoco when he literally screamed/yelled at the Orangeville Town Board demanding a visual impact study very near his location showing the proposed Orangeville WTG's and the distant High Sheldon WTG's in one simulated view to the west...which by the way the developer subsequently provided. This same individual also took tens of millions in stimulus money for his bank and then balked at it when the Federal Gov't put restrictions/conditions on it after the fact. If you're gonna run down LLC's, then run them all down!

    I am not the electrical grid guru that you obviously are so I'll give my uneducated response to your question of what Capacity Value is. An electricity generator's Capacity Value is defined as the value placed (by some person or some entity) on that particular electricity generator's dispatchable capability at any given time. Here in NY State, the NYISO considers (for planning purposes) for the summertime months (typically May 1-Oct-31) that a wind power plant has a 10% capacity capability and a 30% capacity capability for the wintertime months (typically Nov 1-Apr30). I can tell you this, during the wintertime months out here in Wyoming County with the consistent winds we all witness, the capacity factors of all of these wind farms greatly exceeds 30% and some (i.e. High Sheldon WF) even blow (pun intended) past a 40% CF in the winter months.

    And as for eliminating ALL subsidies, I would love to see that. More food would be imported and what food is available would only cost more $$$; not to mention the questionable safety of it. I understand some countries still use human waste as a means of fertilization on crops intended for human consumption. Now that's palatable ain't it! As far as the ethanol subsidy goes, go ahead pull $.50/gal subsidy. I would love to see what the price of gasoline would be with a 10% less of a supply of it (especially in the summer months) as ~10% of the gasoline supply in the US is ethanol. Go ahead pull the coal industry's ~$8 billion in subsidies & the nuclear industry's ~$9 billion in subsidies. There goes your "cheap" baseload electricity prices. Yes indeed, maybe we should pull all the subsidies. All the overweight americans would eat less (which would be good) because food would be way more expensive and energy costs would skyrocket resulting in us using way less of it (in particular, gasoline and electricity) which would be good for the environment. The only bad thing about eating less and using less energy is the drop in our standard of living which we as americans WOULD NOT TOLERATE as we are ENTITLED to excesses in everything.

    Now it has been said before and I will say it again, a case can be made BOTH for and against WTG's. They don't bother my field of vision and they are great for the rural economy so I choose to accept them.

     
  • Hmmm posted at 7:57 pm on Sun, Sep 25, 2011.

    Hmmm Posts: 488

    Taxpayer

    I understood that the article was stating your opinion, why is the government trying to pick winners. I think that ethenal and wind have at least onething in common, both are old energy sources that have been surpassed and only continue to exist because of government subsidies.

    The unfortunate thing is that these windmills are a perminate fixture in the beautiful countywide and will serve as a constant reminder to our governments failed policies.

    I am very interested in how all parties involved will handle hydrofracing when it enters the county. Considering that neighbors likely will be able stop each other from allowing wells on their properties. To me, the dangers associated with each have similar validity. Natural Gas however has proven to be a realia less and efficient energy source.

     
  • mepot posted at 12:22 pm on Sun, Sep 25, 2011.

    mepot Posts: 1170

    Mary Kay you are so right on this..for some they think that government is the answer to everything and that they need to control in this case forcing all to use ethanol that was backed by junk science...Others such as myself believes we can do more for our selfs without government ...

     
  • taxpayer posted at 12:07 pm on Sun, Sep 25, 2011.

    taxpayer Posts: 953

    How about just ending subsides to any of them? If we stopped giving the oil and gas companies money, maybe real cost effective alternatives will come along. But how can alternatives compete with government money?

    Stop subsidizing things like the solar company that took $500 million and went bankrupt. Stop subsidizing Ethanol that has us burning our food, driving up food prices and uses more energy than we get from it.

    Giving any of them money hurts the chances of other forms being found.

     
  • distresing posted at 11:06 am on Sun, Sep 25, 2011.

    distresing Posts: 271

    Its official, then. Mary Kay is afraid to disclose where CSOO's funding comes from.

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 5:19 pm on Sat, Sep 24, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Once again, you demand something to which you are not entitled.

    There is no conspiracy against you.

    It is not mudslinging when your "facts" are shown over and over and over and over to be fictions. You claim you are on the side of critical reasoning, show it.

    Once again, a reasonable and rational person can doubt your position and the evidence for it. That is one of the reasons that election after election goes against your side.

    I will admit that you bring people togther. Your group has made the Democrats and Republicans of Orangeville endorse the same people for office. Good for you!

    Oh, Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

     
  • Mary Kay Barton posted at 11:41 am on Sat, Sep 24, 2011.

    Mary Kay Barton Posts: 529

    Not demanding anything -- other than you answer a question, which you continue to avoid by replying with more mudslinging.

    I guess it's OK for you & your associates to DEMAND our tax money to be able to perpetrate this scam on all of us -- but somehow, when we demand PROOF of your industry's claims, somehow we're the bad guys. That's an interesting twist.

    I agree -- end ALL subsidies to everything. Guess what -- Your job of promoting wind will be over. You might want to consider the fate of the MANY other wind salesmen we've seen come & go over the years -- not a one of them is still here. If you think these mega-corporations give a hoot about you, the environment, or any of the rest of us -- you're totally deluded. They'll use you, and anybody they can, as a means to their desired end -- MONEY.

    As God tells us over & over again in His Word, "The love of money is the root of all evil."

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 10:16 pm on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Only a bully demands that others play only by her rules. If you do not like the Daily News' rules, then you might want to go elsewhere. No one is forcing you to post. There is no conspiracy against you.

    I suggest that you focus on providing good evidence for your claims, and trying to rebut mine with good evidence. Tracking down evidence that is not supplied by the oil, gas, and coal companies against their competitors should keep you busy for a very long time.

     
  • distresing posted at 9:30 pm on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    distresing Posts: 271

    Where does CSOO get the money to pay the lawyers that cost local governments so much in legal fees? Is the answer to that question difficult or just uncomfortable?

     
  • Mary Kay Barton posted at 4:53 pm on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    Mary Kay Barton Posts: 529

    Only cowards hide behind fake names.

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 2:51 pm on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Hmmm.

    If you cannot see how that refutes Ms. Barton, then there is not much more to be said. The author of the article, who is an actual expert in energy, says the capacity value is a dead letter. It is based on thinking from the 1940s that has been out of date since the 1990s. It is almost as if someone keeps complaining about carburetors on new cars without realizing fuel injection systems are the standard.

    Ms. Barton,
    Nice try, but once again, it doesn't matter. You like to poison the well because that seems to distract you from the weakness of your case. If you cannot argue without red herrings, then it may be that you need to change your view.

     
  • Hmmm posted at 9:35 am on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    Hmmm Posts: 488

    Fish,

    I am not sure why you think that Wind-Works.org article disagrees with Mary Kay. No one is arguing that wind can not be integrated into the grid; only that it is not economical, 100% "green", or something that could be used to consistently sustain our base load requirements.

    I suspect the fact that we are close to two hydroelectric plants on the Niagara River is the reason that we often see the windmills are not turning. If we are producing enough electricity with hydro, then there is no reason to turn the windmills on. Certainly there are situations when wind can be used to supplement other energy sources. The referenced article even states "up to 8% of its power supply from wind plants (in low load, high wind conditions)"; indicating that under optimal conditions a maximum of 8% of power was produced by wind.

    I certainly believe in developing renewable energy technology. However I believe that other technologies such as geothermal and hydroelectric will prove to be far superior to wind and solar. You can see in the article’s Capacity Credit table that Geothermal clearly has the highest percentage of Relative Capacity Credit. Why is there not a big push for Geothermal?

    The push for wind in Wyoming County seems to approach racketeering. With several seemingly ill-informed people deciding what the landscape of our county will have to live with foreseeable future. Forcing an archaic technology to indefinitely hover over our community in order for a few to profit does not pass the smell test for me.

    If you do research, you would likely find that most of the politicians that push “green” technologies are in position to profit hugely if it takes off. In fact, many regard “green” as the next bubble. Just think Solyndra.

     
  • Mary Kay Barton posted at 9:32 am on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    Mary Kay Barton Posts: 529

    Smillfish, You must be a politician or a wind salesman because you don't know how to directly answer a question., and choose to insult people instead

    One thing's for sure, only a coward has to hide behind a fake name when attacking those with whom they disagree.

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 6:59 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Ms Barton,

    Apparently, you do not know what it means, although you use it like someone uses a crucifix on a vampire. Try looking at http://www.wind-works.org/articles/GridIntegrationofWindEnergy.html

    Really, it only takes one minute to check your "facts" to find out they are fictions. At least make it more challenging.

     
  • Hmmm posted at 2:48 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Hmmm Posts: 488

    Sure the oil companies get subsidies, but I am pretty sure that more money is paid in taxes then profit for each gallon sold. In other words, governments make more money on selling gas then the oil companies (shouldn’t that pay for improved infrastructure). Also, most “foreign” oil in the USA is from Canada. If you don’t like burning coal and natural gas, then turn off your air conditioner and most of your other electrical appliances because the power companies use these resources to balance the base load when you use electricity.

    As for electric cars and windmills, you likely don’t want to know what resources are required for these technologies. China is the source for about 95% of the worlds Rare Earth resources (required for both technologies) and they have recently banned exports of these raw materials. Not to mention the radio active elements mined with these resources. So if you think you can power the world with wind be prepared to spend huge amounts of energy to grind radioactive rock and pay the Chinese for “green energy”. Sure wind is renewable, but if we were to use this for our base load you would have to turn off your air conditioner when the wind stops blowing because windmills do not store energy.

     
  • Roy60 posted at 2:04 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Roy60 Posts: 574

    If oil gets the $41 billion per year subsidy doesn't that money get returned to us 30 times with the 18 cents per gallon federal tax? I believe the USA uses close to 390 million gallons of gasoline per day. This doesn't include diesel fuel or motor oils. How much does wind pay back to us? To make this even better there is state and county tax and the retailer gets paid also. Guess what your car starts every day and you don't have to hope for a windy day to get to work or the Thruway comes to a halt because the wind died down.

     
  • Mary Kay Barton posted at 2:00 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Mary Kay Barton Posts: 529

    You guys ought to go into stand-up comedy! I guess now I'm working for Big Oil & Coal, huh?!?! What a joke!

    Again I ask: Do any of you know what Capacity Value is?

    Are you aware that industrial wind provides virtually NO Capacity Value???

    Since wind is subsidized to the tune of nearly $24 per MWh while providing virtually NO Capacity Value, and all of our RELIABLE conventional sources get far less -- natural gas - 25 cents per MWh; coal - 44 cents per MWh; hydro - 67 cents per MWh; and nuclear - $1.59 per MWh - each having a Capacity Value of 99% -- we are actually getting something for our money from the RELIABLE sources.

    Comparing wind to to any of these is like comparing a paper airplane to a Boeing 747, and makes about as much sense. There is NO comparison.

    So yeah - remove ALL the subsidies! Wind will be history.

    Stop the mud-slinging, and have the courage of your convictions to come out of hiding from behind your fake names.

     
  • distresing posted at 10:39 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    distresing Posts: 271

    Mary Kay likes to accuse others of gaining some benefit from supporting wind power but continues to promote the interests of the oil and coal companies by using their mouthpieces to provide massaged information. Yet, no one, NO ONE from CSOO will divulge the source of funding that allows them to force the local governments to keep spending on legal fees. Who pays CSOO's legal bills? "In the interest of full disclosure" ma'am

     
  • keep 'em honest posted at 10:23 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    keep 'em honest Posts: 93

    Just wanted to correct jsmillfish's typo in his/her last paragraph. Last I knew the oil companies were getting ~$40-$41 BILLION/year in taxpayer subsidies, not $4 billion/year. I don't believe Mary will have much to say about the oil industry's subsidies though (you know, don't bite the hand that feeds you...).

    Why does the mature oil industry need all those taxpayer subsidies for a commodity that has a finite supply and that will eventually run out??? Subsidies were/are meant to spur the development of newer technologies like wind.

     
  • Mary Kay Barton posted at 9:00 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Mary Kay Barton Posts: 529

    I'm all for cutting ALL subsidies Mr. smillfish. The nation is broke. We simply can't afford to have our government continuing to try & pick the winners. The fact is however, that industrial wind gets far more in subsidies than all of our reliable, dispatchable baseload power sources - especially when you consider that they actually provide RELIABLE, affordable power.

    What says more about your lack of an argument than anything else is your lack of courage of putting your real name out in front of all the mud-slinging you like to do. I have always signed my name to all the factual articles I write - and will continue to write.

    By the way, Mr. smillfish, do you know what Capacity Value is? Are you aware that industrial wind provides virtually NO Capacity Value???

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 3:34 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Ms. Barton.

    Once again, I do not have any affiliation with the wind turbine companies. I don't, and won't, get a lease. Won't get my taxes paid for me. You have been told this multiple times, but you continue to try to to poison the well by alleging some sort of conspiracy. That says more about your lack of an argument than anything else.

    Good to see you stick to your guns defending the oil companies. By the way, electric cars and other devices that will no longer need the the oil companies' oil will put a crimp into their $30 billion dollars a year profit.

    By the way, where are your letters complaining about $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies going to the oil companies each year when they are making a profit of $30 billion?

     
  • Mary Kay Barton posted at 10:46 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Mary Kay Barton Posts: 529

    Mr. Smillfish, In the interest of full disclosure sir, wondering if you might let us know how many turbines you are signed up for???

    In case you didn't notice the name sir, it's the Institute for Energy Research -- that would mean anything that provides energy -- thus those nasty sources that have provided us reliable, affordable electricity all these years that you love to hate would be on the list of the companies they would research.

    And by the way, less than 1% of our nationwide electricity output is from oil, and that oil is a tarry residual sludge that isn't good for anything else. We've always been energy independent when it comes to our electricity sources. It's the transportation sector that creates the problem with "foreign oil dependence."

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 4:30 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Decided to check out one of her other "facts." Turns out that the Institute for Energy Research likes to get money from the oil companies:

    According to the ExxonMobils Corporate Giving Reports the IER received 307.000 US$ from the oil company or its foundation between 2003 and 2007.
    The institute also received 175.000 US$ from Koch Industries according to a Greenpeace report. (http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Institute_for_Energy_Research)

    Why does Ms. Barton always pick the oil companies over her fellow citizens?

     
  • jsmillfish posted at 4:26 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    jsmillfish Posts: 1427

    Another poor piece of research from Ms. Barton. In this one, she cites Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a libertarian group that thinks the government should get out of the business of keeping you safe, for example, safe cars and drugs.

    The institute "is funded by donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Past and present funders include the Scaife Foundations, Exxon Mobil, the Ford Motor Company Fund, Pfizer, and the Earhart Foundation." (Wikipedia) Took less than a minute to track down the oil company funding, and those who want less safety measures on drugs that we take.

    Why can't Ms. Barton do a simple search?
    Why does she continue to support oil companies over the fine folks in western NY who need investment, jobs, and tax relief?

     

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