Monday, March 20, 2017

Why Do Republicans Hate Wind Power - Because It's a Good Deal For Real People, Not Billionaires

GOP Show Less Than Zero Concern for the Environment - Supports Policies to Make Things Worse

One would think a wind turbine farm in a poor region of North Carolina would be a win-win situation, and it is.

But the project has brought relief for some residents in the region, one of the state’s poorest. The wind farm is now the largest taxpayer in two counties, employing 17 full-time staffers. Roughly 60 landowners signed deals to host turbines at $6,000 per turbine a year, funds that help offset increased competition and declining crop income from their fields.
Horace Pritchard, who agreed to have nine turbines on his 1,300 acres, says he hopes elected officials will see that wind energy helps farmers like him.
Horace Pritchard, who agreed to have nine turbines on his 1,300 acres, says he hopes elected officials
 will see that wind energy helps farmers like him. PHOTO: ALEX BOERNER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Don't count on it horace, benefits be damned, republicans have an
ideology to uphold
Third-generation farmer Horace Pritchard, 68, said he agreed to have nine turbines on his 1,300 acres because the $54,000 annual payment can help offset uncertainty in commodity prices and bouts of bad weather, like last fall’s flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

Wow, sounds like a great deal. Who could oppose it? Oh, of course, conservatives.

The recent wind-energy push has caused an unusual fight among North Carolina Republicans, with some GOP politicians opposing the project because of its reliance on federal tax credits and potential risks to the military, . . .

Wind power “gets a lot of subsidies. People end up paying more for it,” said state Sen. Bill Cook, a Republican who represents the northeastern North Carolina region where the wind farm is located. Mr. Cook opposed the project.

The result of Republican opposition is huring people and the environment.

North Carolina’s contentious $400 million wind farm, run by a unit of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola SA, was built to provide power to an Inc. data center. State lawmakers have renewed a push against the project, citing risks to nearby military operations. The company says it wants to build more wind farms in North Carolina, but has put its plans on hold because of the political uncertainty. Another planned project is currently stalled: Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, Va., is scaling back its 105-turbine project after county commissioners denied a necessary zoning permit.
Other developers say they are staying away as the state legislature weighs tighter permitting guidelines.
“Until we get to a stable policy climate, we’re going to continue to see a lot of unknowns, and that is never good for multimillion-dollar investments,” said Katharine Kollins, president of the Southeastern Wind Coalition, a trade group.

Yep, jobs, cleaner environment, and future investment. No wonder the GOP hates it. As for voters the message is clear. WAKE UP, the Republicans are not on your side.

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