Thank you Gov. LePage, who sees the realities behind BigWind. BigWind contributes to the instability of our electrical grid and requires backup support from coal and natural gas. Additionally, we subsidize the industry, at astronomically high rates, and then pay more for their unreliable electricity. Maine is paying the price, with high electricity rates that hurt their citizens and business environment….
According to the governor, Maine’s electricity prices are among the highest in the nation, ranking 11 in states with the highest rates. LePage said, “When you see your electricity bill, you should know that rates are artificially high.” This, LePage said, is due to subsidies and something called “stranded costs.”
In common parlance, this means that the reason our electricity rates are so high is because of the taxpayer dollars that go to the solar and wind industries to buoy them financially. Readers of this column may recall that I have long argued that taxpayer funds should not subsidize startup industries in the fields of solar and wind power generation. My reasoning was, and is, that such enterprises should stand alone and whether they prosper or fail should not be predicated upon “contributions” from unwilling ratepayers….
But in the case of wind and solar, capitalism is displaced by taxpayer-funded subsidies. As Gov. LePage said, “Alternative forms of energy are worthwhile, but they are expensive — and you pay the price.”
Nationwide, a 2015 study from the Energy Information Administration concluded that federal subsidies to wind power are more than 70 times the cost of oil and natural gas subsidies. The same study found that federal subsidies for solar power are more than 340 times the rate for oil and natural gas.
LePage said that while he supports all forms of renewable energy, when electricity rates are increased because of subsidies for solar and wind, ratepayers are paying for their energy twice. “On the front end,” the governor said, “consumers pay for the government welfare these companies need to stay afloat.” LePage went on to say, “On the back end, you pay more in higher electric bills.”…