Wind projects prompt fight in Congress over subsidies

  • Article by: KEVIN DIAZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 18, 2011 - 8:52 PM

Foes of a Goodhue County project enlisted Rep.Kline for help in what one says is a David vs. Goliath effort.

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seedguy78Dec. 18, 11 8:08 PM

Wind energy makes everyone feel 'good' but does nothing to actually take a coal powered or nuclear powered plant off the grid. Wind is too unpredictable and will never be an economical source of energy!

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andybobolsonDec. 18, 11 8:34 PM

Wind would be competitive if we stopped subsidizing oil, gas, and coal. I don't have any issue with cutting subsidies, but if you're going to do so, target the entire industry, not just wind.

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beepDec. 18, 11 9:01 PM

@andybobolson You obviously need a huge education in economics. Oil, gas and coal do not receive subsidies from taxpayers. On average wind turbines take 50 years to pay for themselves and do not work in the winter when they are needed most. At -20 F the turbines shut down as the composites for the blades becomes too brittle and risks shattering and releasing killer shards before destroying the turbine. As the turbine is shut down, the lubricants need to be heated to maintain flow. So, when the turbines are needed, the become net energy users. A complete "feel good" disaster. Seedguy78 is absolutely correct.

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ruphinaDec. 18, 11 9:05 PM

andy- no way- oil gas and coal all pay HUGE royalties to all levels of government, and generate huge amounts of income for the workers to pay income, sales and FICA taxes and income tax on the profits for the energy companies. Those useless alternatives you cite pay no royalties, suck up huge tax subsidies to build, and require every consumer to pay way more for the energy FOREVER. "Green" energy is a joke. Bill G.

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whataboutmeDec. 18, 11 9:17 PM

not a correct answer yet, it's not about producing power, it's about the money and the cash cow subsidies and tax breaks, why else would Pickens (kajillionaire) be involved, its the Money!

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petelnghDec. 18, 11 9:45 PM

Turbines don't work when it's -20 degrees. That's the best you can do? Since we haven't seen more than a few hours under -20 degrees in a decade or so, I'm willing to risk having to shut down the turbines for those few hours per winter. This is especially true because it looks like, in our little corner of the world, those -20 degree temps will become more rare. For those who actually want to conserve oil, coal, and gas it's important to remember that all forms of alternative energy production alleviate the problem a little bit. No one ever claimed that they would solve all the problems immediately. Of course, there's not much sense in trying to argue with someone who refuses to buy light bulbs that will save them money rather than appear to agree with a "librul agenda". Making technical decisions based on politics is the height of folly and belies all reason.

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junifer15Dec. 18, 11 9:54 PM

whataboutme is right on the mark. T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner did an interview together and Pickens was asked about his switch to "going green." The Texas billionaire said something like, "I'm not going green. You don't need to worry about that. I'm not an environmentalist, I'm a capitalist and I'm here to make money. This is about making money." He also told a Fox News reporter who asked about trying to force this through the Mississippi River Flyway, "I don't have time to care about a few birds." This is anything but "green" and is as anti-environmentally responsible as it gets. The taxpayers of this country spent millions of dollars recovering raptors after DDT, so now we're going to wipe them and bats out with wind turbines whose actual production numbers are well below the claimed production capacity. We use coal to back these unstable power producers and pollute with the mining and manufacturing necessary to construct this spinning junk. They are a sWINDle being used to move money, not electricity.

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petelnghDec. 18, 11 9:54 PM

It wasn't that long ago that we faced an energy revolution. Highly paid politicians fomented fear among their constituents to stop these radical ideas that would cause the end of civilization. The revolution, of course, was the switch from coal to oil to power ships and trains.

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drposterDec. 18, 1110:01 PM

andybobolson really? Or did you just miss the stories about GE not paying any taxes? Same for TBoone "Green" is the latest tax shelter.

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9moonsDec. 18, 1110:16 PM

The oil industry doesn't get subsidies? I'll name just one. The TRILLIONS of dollars we've spent on Middle East wars, stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, and naval destroyers patrolling the Persian Gulf.

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