BigWind getting 7 x THE SUBSIDIES of coal/gas… 7 x !!!

Aren’t you sick of the public being ‘hoodwinked’ about the subsidy game? All the electricity providers get subsidies- that is what we hear.  But, how much electricity do each of the players actually PRODUCE? The difference between coal/gas/nuclear and BigWind is like comparing the value of a shortstop to that of a 2nd stringer on the bench! Let us pray that Rick Perry sees the truth and that he isn’t influenced by lobbyists to hide it. States like, Ohio, where BigWind is planning explosive growth, NEED the help of the federal government to keep these companies at bay…

When Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested a study of electric grid reliability, wind and solar energy lobbyists were predictably alarmed. Perry wanted to know how federal policies were shaping wholesale electricity markets and whether public policies were responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.

The government has long had a role in the electric power industry, so asking for a survey of its effects should not be controversial.

The reason for the alarm? The request mentioned government mandates and subsidies, which have driven wind and solar energy’s growth, as possible drivers of reliability concerns. The industry lobbyists are right to be sensitive. Despite constantly touting the rapidly falling cost of wind and solar, industry growth over the next decade depends on mandates and subsidies….

This “everybody does it” claim about subsidies needs to be put into perspective. DOE data from 2013 show that federal subsidies for coal and natural gas amount to about 0.05 cents per kWh of electricity, while wind gets 3.5 and solar receives 22 cents per kWh. This money is not an investment in the future, but rather a subsidy to developers and financiers for the installation of existing technology….

 

Source: DOE grid study has wind and solar lobbyists spooked — rightly so | TheHill

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Ohio media still wearing Halloween mask supporting BigWind

Whew! What a week! As the election nears, “conspiracy theories” don’t look so conspiratorial anymore. They look like the real thing. With this in mind, we thought we might share a few “conspiracy theories” that have been raised in connection with industrial wind.

Rigged! Let’s start with “media bias”. On Friday, Senator Bill Seitz decided to call out the media on their biased reporting. In one example sent to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Seitz charges(a similar article from Columbus is referenced, below):

“Today’s Plain Dealer contains two articles by you, one on the “nine major companies” who want green power rules restored and one on the Greenlink group report. To their credit, the Nature Conservancy and EDF shared the Greenlink report with me last week and I am in the process of reviewing it to provide a response.

What is frustrating to me is that you cover all such pro-mandate reports and press releases, but never seem to get around to covering the other side of the story. I sent you the Ohio Business Roundtable (OBR) report a few weeks ago, whose conclusion was to end mandates altogether. OBR surely represents a wider swath of “major companies” than do the nine whose press release you devoted several column inches to today. Where’s the balance?

I now enclose a report I received just last week from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the ultimate representative of “major companies”. That report shows a multibillion dollar drag on Ohio’s economy if Ohio pursues European Union style green energy policies as advocated by Clinton, Sanders, and their allies. Specifically, Ohioans could stand to lose 187,000 jobs, and see an annual rate increase of $5,000 per household. This is on top of the nearly $14.8 billion in total GDP Ohio’s economy stands to lose. How about some coverage on that?

And I also shared with you the Canadian news story about the utter failure of Ontario’s rush to renewables. We needn’t go so far as Europe to see the fiscal consequences of these policies when Ontario is only one narrow lake away from Ohio. Why no coverage of that?

I am all for intense coverage of this vitally important issue on which there are reasonable arguments to be made on both sides, but you do your readers no favors by failing to covering one side so thoroughly and making it appear as though “major companies” support what the clear majority of them vigorously oppose.”

Rigged! Environmental Lobby & Public Opinion Polls Funded by Billionaires and Russian Oligarchs! Take a look at the well-oiled machine behind wind and solar as they pull the strings of gullible policy makers at both the state and local level. We recommend you read the article from Paul Dreissen of CFACT entitled “Billionaire crony corporatist schemes: Financing “green” companies and pressure groups, to get richer off taxpayers and consumers.” And we wish you a Happy Halloween, too. An excerpt from Dreissen’s column:

“As the investigators reveal, the billionaires’ green network transfers millions of dollars from individual, corporate and “charitable foundation” donors … through tax-exempt “educational” nonprofits that do not have to disclose donor names … to activist and pressure groups that work to influence elections, legislation, regulations, legal actions and public perceptions on energy and environmental issues. A lot of money originates with Russian and other foreign interests that want to protect their monopoly revenues.

Many wealthy donors and foundations that bankroll these operations also have venture capital firms that invest in “green” energy companies which benefit from the laws, policies, regulations and lawsuits – and from government contracts, grants, guaranteed loans, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, and mandates for energy systems, ethanol blends or wind and solar electricity. In turn, US money can end up in the coffers of radical Australian groups that block coal exports to India, thereby keeping its people mired in poverty.

Coal billionaire/climate activist Tom Steyer and other club members invest in for-profit prisons where inmates make ultra-low-cost solar panels. Warren Buffett funneled millions through his family foundation to the secretive Tides Foundation to pressure groups campaigning against the Keystone and Sandpiper Pipelines, thereby benefitting his railroad and tank car companies that haul oil. Others support North Dakota pipeline protesters who destroyed equipment, mutilated cattle and harassed local residents.

One of the most clandestine, devious arrangements involves firms owned or controlled by Nathaniel Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons. Tax records reveal that their Sea Change Foundation gives tens of millions a year to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, US Climate Action Network, League of Conservation Voters, Center for American Progress, White House counselor John Podesta’s Progressive Policy Institute – and Sierra Club, which received millions from Sea Change for its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign, to battle drilling, fracking, pipelines and hydrocarbon use. “

Is Trick or Treat over?….

Some of the world’s largest corporations employing more than 25,000 in Ohio oppose plans by state GOP lawmakers to get rid of state standards requiring utilities to sell increasing percentages of power generated by wind, solar and other renewables.

Nine corporations, including manufacturers Whirlpool and Owens Corning and food giants Nestle and Campbell Soup, released statements Tuesday urging state lawmakers to bring back rules requiring power companies to provide annually increasing amounts of electricity generated by wind, solar and other renewable technologies.

The nine, many of which have also worked with the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association to oppose changes in Ohio’s renewable energy standards, this time organized with Ceres, a non-profit group that works with global corporations and investors around the world to encourage corporate sustainability….

Source: Corporate leaders urge GOP to reinstate renewable energy

Iowa wind farm generates more tax credits than electricity-Ohio will too

The information below is not only true of Iowa, but also Ohio. Our BlueCreek industrial wind site does not have high production numbers (this is public info); in fact, there is no industrial wind site in Ohio that does! Our wind is not sufficient for producing large amounts of wind energy, but you would not know that if you listened to BigWind. BigWind is lobbying, hard, for reduced setbacks in Ohio, along with automatic tax breaks (PILOT), and promoting their ‘jobs’-ha, that’s a laugh. There is absolutely no comparison in the number of jobs that traditional fuels (natural gas and coal) create with their power plants. BigWind generates a handful of construction jobs and then, typically, less than a dozen once the site is up and running.  Wake up America. One Presidential candidate wants to ram these industrial monsters into our communities, while the other says NO.  This industry is raising, and will continue, to raise our electricity rates and that is terrible news for Ohioans, Americans, industry and our poor….

…the Warren Buffett-owned utility company MidAmerican Energy may soon build a massive new wind farm in Iowa. The thing is, electricity is far from the only thing it will generate. Known as “Wind XI,” the proposed 2,000 megawatt wind farm—Iowa’s largest ever—has the potential to produce a lot of electricity, but even more tax credits.

In total, Wind XI could generate up to $1.8 billion in tax credits for its backers over the next decade.

The winners? Warren Buffett; MidAmerican Energy’s other investors; and Facebook, Microsoft, and Google—MidAmerican’s biggest customers, who will receive tax benefits of their own for using wind energy. The losers? Taxpayers and other ratepayers footing the bill.
Unfortunately, this is part of an ongoing trend in wind energy across the country. It’s not the demand for more electricity that’s driving construction, but rather the government’s preferential tax treatment and counterintuitive energy mandates.

The demand for electricity in the U.S. has been nearly flat over past decade, due to slow economic growth and gains in energy efficiency. Despite the lack of new demand, new wind farms are popping up across the country because of the tremendous tax credits they generate for their owners….

And the tax credits Buffett mentions are substantial. Although MidAmerican Energy likes to note that Wind XI is not receiving any financial incentives from Iowa, that’s only half of the story. The federal government provides $23 in credits for every megawatt hour—the large-scale unit of production for energy– of electricity produced by wind and other alternative energy sources. Known as the production tax credit (PTC), this government giveaway means that MidAmerican’s new wind farm could generate $180 million in credits each year.

The federal government does even more than that to ensure green energy producers get ample benefits. MidAmerican Energy can use the PTC for up to 10 years, after recent regulatory changes expanding the life of the credit. In addition to the tax credits, government regulators set a fixed rate of return for MidAmerican Energy to charge its customers. MidAmerican will receive a guaranteed 11 percent return on equity for Wind XI, meaning it will rake in $395 million in profit over the roughly 30 year life of the project.

Another set of reasons why new wind farms are in high demand are energy mandates at both the state and federal level. Currently, 29 states have renewable portfolio standards mandating utilities to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from sources such as wind and solar. On the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent carbon regulations—if eventually upheld by the Supreme Court—will shutter many traditional power plants, leaving wind farms to take their place.

In other words, government policy is doing everything in its power to set the stage for wind….

Source: Iowa wind farm generates more tax credits than electricity

Christmas always reminds us of Hope

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In this season of hope, we were surprised to see a glimmer reported in the Toledo Blade yesterday. During a year-end interview with Governor John Kasich, the subject of renewable energy came up and this is what was reported:

“Mr. Kasich recently called “unacceptable” a legislative committee’s recommendation to indefinitely continue the two-year freeze on the state’s renewable and energy efficiency mandates. But in talking Tuesday about the accomplishments of his administration and the General Assembly in 2015, he said he doesn’t want to return to the mandate that utilities find a quarter of their power from such sources by 2027. “This is a tough one,” Mr. Kasich said. “I believe that we need to develop renewables and build them at a rate that is consistent with the ability to not drive up the costs so high that our manufacturers have to buy out-of-state power at higher prices and put people out of work. “But I also think we have to be part of the national solution on renewables, and the legislature is now beginning to look at what we should do. Hopefully, we can reach agreement because I would hate to go back to a 25 percent mandate.”

To the Ohio Environmental Council, this was a Christmas “lump of coal” (pun intended!). It was probably also a siren call for the environmental left to gear up for more pressure in 2016 but it certainly is an improvement over the Governor’s earlier statement that a permanent freeze was “unacceptable”. Thank you for reading our blog this year. Nothing is more powerful than an informed citizenry. May your Christmas day be filled with joy.”…for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”
[Luke 2:8-14 KJV]

COLUMBUS —

Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday…he doesn’t want to see the restoration of the state mandate that utilities find 25 percent of their power from renewable or advanced technology sources…

Source: Kasich rejects bond issue to battle algae in Lake Erie

Winds of change blow Everpower out of Ohio…

More than a month ago, we learned that Everpower intended to close its Bellefontaine, Ohio office on or about August 1st.  At the time, the Bellefontaine Examiner called to verify the story and Jason Dagger denied it.  On July 22nd, Everpower’s Dagger and Mike Pullins sent a letter to Buckeye Wind Leaseholders advising them that the local office is indeed closing and the Pittsburgh office will handle any related business.  The letter goes on to say Dagger and Pullins will continue to be available locally and that an ‘operations and maintenance facility’ will open when construction begins.  In the meantime, they express concern over the ‘uncertainty’ caused by the renewable energy freeze and the elimination of the in-state mandate (SB310) as well as the threat of new setback requirements.  Everpower believes the change in setback language was enacted without any ‘qualified experts’ like the wind industry.  They assert that the language implementing new setbacks is ‘unclear’ but could impact Buckeye I and II and Scioto Ridge.  Notwithstanding, Dagger and Pullins remain optimistic that the projects will go forward but warn that “Landowners and community support is more critical than ever.”  They as for a demonstration of “Strong community support” and state:

“The more that is demonstrated by public officials, the better the investment environment for Everpower.  We encourage you, your family and friends to reach out to your local officials and share your support of the projects and ask that they take a public stand in support of the projects.”

We do not know what this plea for support means.  We do know that Pullins and Dagger have asked the Union, Urbana, and Goshen township trustees to withdraw their lawsuit filed in the Ohio Supreme court on July 16th.  They have attended Township Trustee meetings recently to vigorously argue for a negotiation rather than a court action.  The County and the Townships current appeal to the supreme court makes the case that Everpower was unlawfully granted amendments to their certificate withOUT a hearing.  Thie is important to understand because it appears they are trying to do it again by filing a motion to extend the deadline of the their certificate of approval.  Under the current certificate of approval, Everpower must dommence construction by March 22, 2015.  By attempting to obtain an extension by motion INSTEAD of an application, Everpower eliminats the opportunity for the public to comment.  If Everpower is required to file and APPLICATION seeking an extension, the public would have an opportunity to comment.  More important, if the Ohio Power Siting Board were required to hold a hearing on the request for an extension, it likely would not hold the hearing before the new setbacks become effective September 15th.

Please take this opportunity to let the Township Trustees and County Commissioners know you support their appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.  If you believe and application should be required for Everpower’s certificate extension, please let them know NOW.  If you would like to write to the Ohio Power Siting Board to request a hearing on the extension of Everpower’s certificate, you can email the OPSB at contactOPSB@puc.state.oh.us  and you must reference this case no:  08-0666-EL-BGN.  Written comments can be mailed to OPSB 180 E Broad St, Columbus, Ohio  43215 and you must also include the case number.

 

Ohio Utility To Increase Renewable Surcharge By 390 Percent!

We have received word that Kim Wissman, Director of the Ohio Power Siting Board was terminated.   Many of us remember years ago when Ms. Wissman came to Urbana to address the community and stated flatly that unless we had wind power, the lights would no longer come on when we flipped the switch.  Everyone now knows this to be false. 

 Hearings will resume on Tuesday in the House Public Utilities Committee and there is a possibility of a vote on Wednesday.  We pray for swift passage. The advocates for keeping energy efficiency mandates have repeatedly talked about all the cost savings being enjoyed.  Little did they know that on Friday, AEP filed a rate increase to cover the energy efficiency costs. “Just yesterday, AEP-Ohio filed for new rate increases with the PUCO to comply with the energy efficiency mandate. Come August, AEP-Ohio residential customers will see a 115 percent increase in their mandate surcharge and large electric users will see a whopping 391.6 percent increase in their efficiency surcharge.”  It is clearly evident that, Chris Pandoni, author of the article below, is someone that you don’t want to cross!…

 …But let’s leave the realm of the hypothetical. Munson states, “that utilities admit the clean energy standards are saving money. In filings to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio PUCO, the power companies admit energy efficiency programs alone have netted Ohio consumers more than $1 billion in savings to date, and will result in more than $4.1 billion in savings over the program’s life.” It is true that utilities are required to report these numbers to the PUCO. It is also true that utilities are required to use the “total resource cost” model. Under other models, like the “ratepayer impact test” or the “participant test,” the “benefits” of the energy efficiency mandate are much less impressive.

Today Ohioans are paying substantial amounts of money for benefits that may or may not materialize. Duke’s surcharge for the electric usage reduction mandate is increasing by huge percentages: 45% for residential and 25% for all other customers.

And Duke isn’t alone. Just yesterday, AEP-Ohio filed for new rate increases with the PUCO to comply with the energy efficiency mandate. Come August, AEP-Ohio residential customers will see a 115 percent increase in their mandate surcharge and large electric users will see a whopping 391.6 percent increase in their efficiency surcharge. So while Munson quotes AEP higher-ups speaking in generalities about the merits of energy efficiency, their customers might think differently.

One of the first iterations of SB 310 allowed customers to opt-out of the energy efficiency program if the mandate caused costs to increase by more than three percent. If the mandate’s benefits are so self-evident, why did opponents force legislators to strip this provision from the final bill? Furthermore, if ratepayer electricity fees yield such huge returns, why is a law required to force these investments…

via Ohio Utility To Increase Efficiency Surcharge By 390 Percent.

Will Ohio rollback BigWind’s mandates???????

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee was greeted by fifty witnesses wishing to testify on Am. Sub. S. B. 310 yesterday.  The group was a mixture of both supporters and opponents and only a small number were able to be heard.  Many were asked to hold over until next week.  Among those who were not heard were the wind developers.  Copies of all testimony submitted can be obtained on the Committee website at http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/public-utilities.  

Iberdrola rests its support for the renewable mandate on climate change and the idea that the fuel   – wind – is free. Iberdrola objects to how renewables are characterized:   “The Energy Mandate Study Committee’s foregone conclusion is telegraphed in the legislation that creates the committee and uses terms like unreliable, unaffordable and unrealistic.” Ominously, Iberdrola warns that “If you proceed with passage of SB 310, you are jeopardizing the viability of two additional investments in Ohio we are planning that would total about 250 MWs of generation capacity…”   These two unannounced projects are in addition to Blue Creek Dog Creek and Leipsic Wind.  We have no idea where the two new projects are targeted to be.

EDPR, developer of Timber Road in Paulding County, testified that project was the “direct result” of the mandate. Like Iberdrola, EDPR has unknown projects of 400 MW’s in the very early stages of planning.  Where?

Everpower’s Michael Speerscheider gives testimony  indicating his belief that tax abatement through the PILOT is a foregone conclusion because he states the amount the company will be paying for Buckeye I, Buckeye II and Scioto Ridge.  Everpower acknowledges “The investments that EverPower has made in the state have been made possible by the policies that the Ohio General Assembly put in place.”   (That policy is an unconstitutional mandate to build in-state renewable energy.)  Speerschneider cites numerous industry sponsored research papers to support the notion that renewables do not increase costs and that the subsidies they receive are far less than what other companies receive.   In saying this, Everpower tries to equate tax credits and tax abatement with oil depletion allowances or investment tax credits available to any company as part of the tax code.  This is a phony argument but, remarkably, he goes on to say “Denouncing wind energy because it relies on some level of government incentives is intellectually and ideologically dishonest.”

While not testifying, the American Wind Energy Association’s  (AWEA) lobbyist Dayna Baird filed a comment on yesterday’s story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer saying: “ First, AWEA is supportive of a compromise amendment to SB 310 that makes significant changes to the renewable energy standards .”    We do not know what the proposed “compromise” amendment might be but we are pretty sure it would eliminate the two-year freeze on the mandate while the Committee undertakes its review of Ohio’s mandates.

 Amidst all of the cheerleading for why the energy efficiency and renewable mandates are good for Ohioans and good for business, the annual survey of 500 Chief Executives was announced showing that Ohio has dropped five spots to number 26 as the best place in America to do business.  Regulations and taxes put us in the bottom half of the country with places like New York and California while our neighbor Indiana, with no energy mandates, was rated 6th best in the country.  Hmmmmmm…..

Twenty-nine states and the District of Colombia have passed renewable energy mandates that require consumers and businesses to consume minimum amounts of wind, solar, and other green energy. A handful of states have also enacted laws that require states to reduce their total energy consumption. These mandates have increased energy prices, causing many legislatures to reexamine their value.

While legislative efforts began and stalled in a handful of Republican states like North Carolina and Kansas, Ohio is positioning itself to be the first state to rollback its mandate, known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard RPS, and energy reduction program. As is generally the case, the mandate begins small and relatively painless but quickly ramps up, requiring utilities to use more and more renewable energy….

A study by the Manhattan Institute’s Robert Brycerevealed that, “in 2010, the average price of residential electricity in RPS states was 31.9 percent higher than it was in non-RPS states. Commercial electricity rates were 27.4 percent higher, and industrial rates were 30.7 percent higher.” Indeed, “in the ten-year period between 2001 and 2010—the period during which most of the states enacted their RPS mandates—residential and commercial electricity prices in RPS states increased at faster rates than those in non-RPS states.”…

Since Ohio is part of the multi-state PJM power market, any reduced energy prices resulting from reduced energy usage are spread throughout the entire PJM system while being financed entirely by Ohio ratepayers. Dr. Jonathan Lesser quantifies it this way:

80% of the price suppression “benefits,” to the extent they might exist, flow to customers outside Ohio and customers of Ohio municipal utilities and cooperatives, which are exempt from the electricity usage reduction mandate and the mandate tax. Thus, 80% of the alleged benefits accrue to “free riders” who do not pay for those benefits.

If left unchanged, the Ohio energy reduction mandate has actually created a situation where residential consumers could pay close to $4.00 extra per month for a retail reduction benefit of only $0.37 cents per month, according to Dr. Lesser….

via Ohio Moves to Rollback Costly Green Energy Mandates – Forbes.