Some of you may have read this story in the paper over the weekend… The proposed windfarm on Poor Mountain in Roanoke County has been postponed.

Not because activists were able to influence the company building them to go elsewhere, or even our own Board of Supervisors who tailored an ordinance more or less to facilitate the thing last summer. No, the reasons Invenergy’s own spokesman gave tells the story even better than we could have.

“Due to the uncertainty associated with the federal production tax credit renewal, the lack of a mandatory renewable energy standard, and public policies regulating wind energy in Virginia, Invenergy now is targeting a commercial operation date for the project sometime in 2015.”

What a great set of ideas! Let’s force utilities to use a wildly expensive, inefficient, undependable source, that apparently isn’t worthwhile without government help. Even better than propping up the green energy industry with tax credits, let us also mandate the use of money-losing renewables! Surely that will lower our costs.

Sarcasm aside, I was reminded of something Senator Jim Webb was quoted as saying while sponsoring an amendment to end the ethanol subsidy. I remember it vividly, because it was one of those rare instances where I could come down on Webb’s side of an issue with a clean conscience. He said:

“Historically our government has helped a product compete in one of three ways: subsidize it, protect it from competition, or require its use. Ethanol may be the only product receiving all three forms of support from the U.S. government at this time.”

Think about that for a minute. All one needs to do to understand the way our government is destroying the free market is look at the way wind and solar energy are being pushed on us. Take the sentiment of Senator Webb’s quote on ethanol, and apply it to the issue of wind or solar power. Watch the Federal government subsidize it, systematically eliminate it’s competition, and ultimately, mandate it’s use.

Federal subsidies for electric generation - Institute for Energy ResearchThough we at RTP oppose ALL energy subsidies, solar and wind are both subsidized far in excess of coal or natural gas or any other source. The Obama Administration is openly hostile toward the coal industry, having said they intend to bankrupt any utility burning coal to generate electricity. And here we have a ‘renewable’ company complaining that Virginia doesn’t mandate renewable energy sources.

I don’t see where there dots need any further connecting. When the government picks the winners, we lose, every time. It’s as simple as that.

Gregory Honeycutt
President, Roanoke Tea Party

Print Friendly