Letters and comments for October 28, 2011

By Observer Upload October 28, 2011 07:14 pm
Letters and comments for October 28, 2011

Wind losing support

To the Editor:

It has been gratifying for this anti-wind energy campaigner to see the effect of educating people on the true cost of wind energy. Even wind-energy proponents now admit they need lots of spin to overwhelm the truly informed. At a conference on Communication Strategies for the Renewable Energy Industry it was pointed out that after reading arguments for and against wind, wind lost support. (Bryce, National Review Online, www.nationalreview.com, Oct. 12, 2011).

In other words, the more people know about the wind-energy business, the less they like it.

Case in point is government support for General Electric’s Shepherds Flat project. The Energy Department is giving GE a $1.06 billion loan guarantee, and as soon as GE’s 338 turbines start turning at Shepherds Flat, the Treasury Department will send the project developers a cash grant of $490 million.

The project backers will only provide equity equal to about 11 percent of the cost of the project, but will receive an estimated return on equity of 30 percent. Over the past year, according to Yahoo! Finance, the average electric utility’s return on equity has been 7.1 percent.

Thus, taxpayer money is helping GE earn more than four times the average return on equity in the electricity business!

Shepherds Flat is yet another example of corporate welfare. Why is the federal government providing loan guarantees and subsidies for an energy project that could easily be financed by GE? Why is the Obama administration providing subsidies to GE, which paid little or no federal income taxes last year even though it generated some $5.1 billion in profits from its U.S. operations?

Write your state and national elected officials and let them know you do not support their squandering our tax dollars in this manner!

Linda Bond