MINOT, N.D. -- When Minnesota-based Great River Energy announced their plans to close down Coal Creek Station in central North Dakota, the wind industry's various flacks cranked up their noise machine.
"It's not wind's fault," they bleated over and over again, like Orwell's sheep.
This is a deliberately perpetrated insult to our intelligence.
They think they can say that because you're too stupid to understand what's going on.
In addition to closing down a power station employing hundreds of North Dakotans -- a move that will devastate communities, shuttering businesses and schools -- Great River announced that they'd be replacing Coal Creek's output with wind energy that will likely come with something like $1 billion in subsidies.
We're supposed to pretend like those subsidies aren't a factor in Coal Creek closing.
The wind industry, and the enormous taxpayer subsidies it enjoys, is absolutely a distorting factor in America's energy markets.
If wind was competing on a level playing field, if it were an equivalent form of energy to coal and not an intermittent source that cannot be relied upon for baseload energy without advancements in energy storage technology, which just aren't available today, then so be it.
But those things aren't true.
You don't have to take my word for it.
Recently a group of U.S. Senators signed a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, urging him to allow a massive tax credit subsidy for the wind industry to expire at the end of the year.
"We agreed with your decision to phase out the wind credit by 2019 and were disappointed when credit eligibility was extended for an additional year," the letter, which counts among its signatories Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, reads. "The wind industry is now mature and does not need more taxpayer subsidies. This would only exacerbate the distortive effect of wind on electricity markets."
This tax credit was supposed to expire at the end of last year.
It's supposed to have expired several times in the past. The wind industry's lobbyists have been successful at bringing it back time and again, usually while simultaneously claiming that the industry doesn't really need it.
There must be a class taught somewhere for lobbyists and politicians covering how one goes about talking out of both sides of the mouth.
Anyway, let me reiterate this from the article: Extending wind subsidies further "would only exacerbate the distortive effect of wind on electricity markets."
Distortive effects that will, if Great River Energy gets its way, cost many North Dakotans their jobs and economic security.
Again, the wind industry tells us it's not their fault that Coal Creek Station is closing, but that's just nonsense as anyone with an ounce of common sense can see.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.