corporate welfare programs that enable the industrial wind boondoggle to exist.
The $2.2 billion dollars of Stimulus money given to renewables (mostly wind) – 80% went overseas – transferring our wealth into the pockets of rich, multi-national corporations that have no allegiance to anyone or anything except their profit margins.
The "Section 1603 Direct Cash Grant Program" from the U.S. Treasury is worth 30% of the value of these industrial wind projects. The Production Tax Credit (PTC – aka "Permanent Tin Cup") pays another 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour.
The project manager of the Lackawanna Steel Winds Project told us (in 2008) that each turbine cost approximately $5 million. (It could be much more by now, as in December 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration determined that the cost of new wind projects increased by 21% in the previous year.) That makes Invenergy's proposed ‘Stony Creek’ project of 59 industrial wind turbines in Orangeville, NY worth approximately $295,000,000 – with the 30% Direct Cash Grant totaling $88,500,000. Nearly 250 wind turbines have already been installed in Wyoming County. Do the math.
The PTC and 1603 Direct Cash Grant money is a TAX that ALL U.S. taxpayers are forced to pay for a product that doesn't even work. Their real function is to generate income via tax avoidance schemes for rich multi-national conglomerates – and enable those conglomerates to use our tax and rate money as campaign contributions to ensure that friendly legislators and bureaucrats remain in power.
Still more subsidies
In addition, the state of New York is involved. With the blessing of the NYS Public Service Commission, NYSERDA administers System Benefits Charges (SBC), Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and a market in Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) – all subsidized by fees collected through your electric bills.
On a per kWh basis, wind receives 80 times the public subsidies received by fossil fuels, but produces no reliable electricity capacity and very few American jobs. In fact, for every green job that wind supposedly creates, it destroys two to four regular jobs – in large part due to "skyrocketing" electricity rates.
Why would anyone willingly pay for such an obvious "lemon"? Government is subsidizing defective machines, not because it will improve electricity generation (quite the contrary), but rather because politicians are enriching their friends in Big Wind – and in turn, Big Wind helps them get re-elected. They are pretending to challenge the status quo, while in fact they are reinforcing it big time, while playing shell games with ratepayer and taxpayer money via the IDA's nefarious loan programs.
The IDA is now trying to convince us that our recycled taxpayer money is creating secondary jobs across the county, thanks to wind (including McDonald’s workers who sell burgers to wind turbine installers). Most likely, these jobs will be added to the Administration’s list of supposed "green jobs,” in continued attempts to hoodwink the American public as to how many jobs the
Green Scam is actually producing.
Questions for the IDA
In the face of this overwhelming evidence that wind power is a civilly, economically, and environmentally destructive energy option, the Wyoming County IDA wants us to believe that it is somehow a good idea to keep pouring money into a one-dimensional economic development plan.
The WCIDA needs to answer some critical questions:
- 1) Shouldn't the IDA be worried about what happens to a county that is so heavily dependent on a single government program, when the government could suddenly end that program – which in the case of industrial wind is inevitable, because it is simply NOT economically sustainable?
- 2) Shouldn’t the IDA be concerned about the growing negative public realization that payoffs are being made by corporate interests to government agencies and elected officials, who then have a vested interest in perpetuating and expanding this taxpayer-funded industry in return for "donations"?
- 3) Doesn’t the IDA have a responsibility to ensure that the programs, projects and industries it supports and subsidizes first and foremost do not harm people, or destroy vital ecological resources – including bird and bat species that are vital to the county’s and region’s agricultural base, tourism and ecosystem?
- 4) Would the IDA support any other industry that had such harmful impacts on people and the environment?
Why should Wyoming County, the State of New York, the United States Congress and even the US Fish and Wildlife Service be subsidizing, protecting and promoting the destruction of both people’s lives, and these valuable and endangered species? Why should they do it on the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers? New Yorkers and, indeed, all Americans need to know the answers.
On July 13, the Ithaca Journal article, Report says IDA investment fails to create jobs, stated:
"The annual analysis of Industrial Development Agency data, produced since 2009 by the statewide Getting Our Money's Worth Coalition, shows ‘a widespread failure of New York's main economic development tool to meet job creation goals.’ The analysis shows $182 million in IDA tax breaks went to companies that cut jobs, failed to create jobs, or didn't even promise to create any jobs."
All this suggests that the WCIDA would much better serve all of us by developing a comprehensive and diversified economic development plan that does not rely on recycled tax dollars from the