Tilting at Windmillson January 25th, 2011 at 9:17 pm
The group Common Sense held a meeting Monday to discuss the pros of the Poor Mountain Wind Farm project.
5 different groups presented:
- US Green Building Council
- Sierra Club
- Roanoke City Cool Cities Council
- Greater Roanoke Valley Asthma and Air Quality
- An experienced pilot who discussed concerns about turbulence on air traffic.
We had a healthy contingent of Roanoke and Salem Tea Party members in attendance.
The presentations were extraordinarily painful to sit through, with the exception of the pilot, who’s short talk was, at least on the surface, persuasive that concerns about air traffic are not well founded.
Their arguments for the project are, to paraphrase.
- Coal is bad.
- The icecaps are melting
- This will save us from bad air
- Roanoke County will get $800,000 a year in property taxes
These arguments don’t stand up to close scrutiny.
It is well established that climate change science is effectively a ponzi scheme to allow companies like Ivenergy to claim millions of dollars in grants from the government and smart scientists millions of dollars in research grants. Lots of info at this link on the joke that “climate change” science really is…
So all of this effort to stop something that isn’t happening is a waste. Now if Ivenergy wanted to spend their own money, (pardon the pun) tilting at this windmill, that would be fine with us.
But they are using your money to pursue this!
None of these groups could or would elaborate on how much of this project will be paid for with tax money. The cost to build the 15 proposed 400 foot tall windmills is about $100 million. Some estimates state that up to 90% of this would come from federal grants and stimulus money.
A member of the audience opined that this was not a big deal…that this is just how business is done.
This is of course true and which is why our nation is bankrupt.
Defenders of this make great pains to (correctly)point out that oil, coal and nuclear all receive substantial subsidies from the government. From a dollar perspective much more money is used subsidize fossil fuels than wind/solar power.
As if this justifies the expense here…I would point out two things…
1. The Roanoke Tea Party opposes all subsidies for all of these companies. The government needs to get out of the way and allow the market to decide where money is invested and stop subsidizing businesses with our tax money.
2. That being said, at least the money we waste on oil and coal subsidies actually produces energy efficiently. For example, per megawatt hour of energy produced, the subsidy for coal amounts to .44 cents. For wind, $23.37 per megawatt hour.
Efforts to get more detailed information on the claimed reduction in pollutants and carbon emissions were not answered. So blatant was the stonewalling that the engineer/scientist that asked these questions go fed up and left the meeting.
When tough questions were asked they were dismissive and evasive. For example, one of the presentations touted the Department of Energy’s goal to have 20% of our energy produced by wind power. When asked how many windmills would have to be built to meet that goal in Roanoke, the question was dismissed in a flippant way.
One resident came armed with significant wind data that clearly showed that the wind on Poor Mountain is not consistent during peak energy months (on hot July and August days…the wind often doesn’t blow enough to power the turbines) He was actually a supporter of the project, he just wanted to know why they weren’t planning for this obvious problem. He was dismissed out of hand.
Ivenergy is using the well intentioned and the ill informed (Lenin called them useful idiots) to push this project through.
You may ask…how could we be against a project that could add $800,000 in property taxes for the county. I don’t know about you, but spending $90 million dollars of federal tax money, to generate $800,000 in tax revenue seems like a pretty cruddy investment.
Without going into the ecological impacts (they are a hazard to bats and birds they catch on fire) and the wicked inefficiency of wind power…the bottom line is this….
If Ivenergy wants to invest their money in this boondoggle, that is one thing. But if they are using our tax money for a significant amount of this project…then we the people should have a say in what happens here. And that word is a resounding NO.
One other notable takeaway from the meeting….
If you have been following our work on Agenda 21, you will note these groups all talk sustainable development. More to come on this soon….