Our county executive issued a press release a few months ago praising LEEDCo for getting a $3.7 million grant from the Department of Energy to support the construction of industrial wind turbines in Lake Erie. She evidently believes getting access to millions of taxpayer dollars to spend on green energy projects is a good thing. She has also predicted green jobs will spring up in our area as a result:
The Icebreaker project is the first step toward building an exciting new industry in the Lake Erie region with the potential to create thousands of jobs over the long term, many of which could be from firms here in Erie County
What about that?
Green energy loses in the marketplace
The wind industry Dahlkemper thinks will bring green jobs has a major flaw, without government subsidies to the wind industry, there is no wind industry. Stop the tax credits and subsidies and it ceases to exist because it cannot compete in the marketplace with stable, reliable and cost efficient forms of energy. That also means, any jobs created are simply government jobs that depend on a constant flow of your tax dollars. Those “thousands” of imaginary long term jobs would require long term subsidies and the green energy industry has a horrible record on the job creation front, regardless of how many are predicted before the money is spent. The jobs we need in Erie County are jobs created by companies serving real needs and it’s why we need a business friendly environment that enables companies to start up and earn profits to support those jobs.
Then why do big investors support wind?
Wind advocates like to point out Warren Buffet is a big investor in wind farms, so they must make sense. Right? If he does it, why shouldn’t Erie County promote it, too? Well, he was asked about that in an interview and here’s what he had to say:
I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate, for example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.
~ Warren Buffett – from interview with Fortune magazine
So, Warren Buffet agrees that without government tax credits, wind makes no sense.
Is our county executive a better investor than Warren Buffet?
Unless you believe our county executive and all of the other wind energy advocates are better investors than Buffet, then you might reasonably assume they’re supporting bad investments with your money, for a project that will produce very expensive and unreliable electricity for us, while the tax credits and subsidies go to the companies involved in the project. You might also believe our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to pick favorites in the energy industry, but instead, we should let the best forms of energy win in the consumer marketplace, even if wind is such a darling of the current administration and their climate change crusade.
Erie County should not be partnered with LEEDCo, our county executive should not be on the board, she should be focusing her attention to matters here in Erie County. We have problems enough without our elected officials hoping green jobs will save the day.
What is driving this wind energy push and Erie County’s partnership with LEEDCo?
Destination Erie/Emerge 2040 – page 69 – Environment Priority Projects:
E – 10. Promote Wind Energy Projects
Create and implement a plan to promote wind energy by identifying and reducing barriers to the development of both on-shore and off-shore wind energy projects. The plan should also focus on maximizing the impact of local supply chain development and job creation
E – 13. Create a Renewable Energy Corp
Establish a public/private partnership to develop renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and/or others.
This plan is already being implemented and there is a good chance you know very little about it. If you live in Erie County, your money is being spent, your future is being determined by government planners. Look carefully at what they’re planning, … and why. You might be surprised.