Maine governor: So, can we back off on all of these wind initiatives yet?

posted at 7:01 pm on May 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Over the past few years, along with the huge raft of federal support the wind industry receives via tax credits, payouts, regulations, and initiatives, it’s also been all the rage for states to set up their own wind-friendly subsidies and renewable portfolio standards to help out the wind industry so that politicians at all levels can trumpet how much they care about Being Green to their constituents. All the cool kids are doing it, so why not, right?

Well, because it’s unduly expensive, it isn’t delivering on its promises, it’s a drain on state resources, and it’s contributing to increasing everyone’s energy costs — so says Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage, who’s looking to roll back some of the provisions currently setting his state’s goals fro increasing wind energy capacity:

LePage’s energy director, Patrick Woodcock, made recommendations Thursday to rewrite the state’s 2008 Wind Energy Act, shifting focus from growing wind energy capacity to lowering electricity costs and making sure Maine sees an economic return on its wind energy investments.

The Maine Wind Energy Act, a priority of LePage’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, sought to expedite wind energy development in Maine. The law zoned much of Maine’s Unorganized Territory as suitable for wind development and set goals for the state to have 2,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity by 2015, 3,000 by 2020 and 8,000 by 2030.

Maine’s wind energy capacity today is about 435 megawatts, according to the Maine Renewable Energy Association.

“We are not going to be meeting that goal,” Woodcock said of the 2,000-megawatt threshold by 2015. “I think that it’s an unrealistic goal, and there should be consideration beyond that of whether megawatt capacity installed is really the best metric of our wind energy policies.”

The backing-off on the renewable-energy subsidies is not a Maine-specific trend by a long shot; governments around the world are facing the economic realities of their thwarted ambitions, and in the long run, that is actually a good thing. Long-term government aid that distorts free-market signals and encourages rent-seeking over merit-based competition is hardly a way to encourage price efficiency and bring these technologies to a place where they can stand on their own two feet and really reduce costs, not to mention that subsidizing them might be diverting resources and attention away from other fledgling technologies that may have some real competitive potential.

Even better, in the meantime, LePage is trying to use their Wind Energy Act as a model for expanding the state’s natural-gas infrastructure. Natural gas, I might add, has a much more effective track record than wind at reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs, and lowering costs — all without wind’s dependence on federal and state assistance!


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it won’t happen here.
too many idiots and, again, a D majority.
since the 2 yrs of R majority (2010 was historic for maine) could not fix decades of D issues the idiots here went back to D.
most people here deserve to starve to death.

dmacleo on May 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Needed the Atomic bomb picture..

Electrongod on May 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

…its Maine!…where the girls think they are Republicans…that Maine?

KOOLAID2 on May 11, 2013 at 7:12 PM

I shudder when I think about what will happen in Maine when our common sense Governor is no longer in office. Maine is the best state I’ve ever lived in, but sadly it’s only one breath away from becoming another liberal Hellhole due to an overabundance of misguided or willfully ignorant voters.

Birchbark on May 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

The Borg. Always we will fight the Borg.

M240H on May 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Well, that’ll have our Progs clutching their pearls and saying cutting, cutting things about our governor! AKA ‘business as usual’.

PersonFromPorlock on May 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Plus, the turbines make a huge sound when they whip down and cast weird shadows with their huge blades. Drives people crazy. Oh, they kill endangered birds, too.

PattyJ on May 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM

“I think that it’s an unrealistic goal, and there should be consideration beyond that of whether megawatt capacity installed is really the best metric of our wind energy policies.”

Yes….what he really is saying is that he’d like to be able say the wind initiative was a resounding success even if not 1 watt was ever produced. You see, success comes from feeling good about wasting someone else’s money.

BobMbx on May 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Out here in the sunny People’s Republik of Kalifornia, we’re still inhaling.

Gonna grow wind, cut all that evil carbon-heavy reliance on fossil fuels. AND solar!

Right now they’re paying a professor in San Diego to come up with a computer-run program to forecast when cloud cover will cause solar input to the grid to drop.

Gotta get power to replace what will be lost. Of course they haven’t gotten around to forecasting when the wind will drop, and cut output.

The grid will “magically” correct itself, and rainbow colored unicorns will make up the short fall so that the grid doesn’t crash.

Just ask Moonbeam. IF you can tear him away from his choo-choo.

GarandFan on May 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Wind power is all about democrats enriching donors and cronies based on exploiting the ignorant and imbecilic.

tom daschle concerned on May 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I shudder when I think about what will happen in Maine when our common sense Governor is no longer in office. Maine is the best state I’ve ever lived in, but sadly it’s only one breath away from becoming another liberal Hellhole due to an overabundance of misguided or willfully ignorant voters.

Birchbark on May 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

born here,live in Etna
its a hole now since early 90′s.

dmacleo on May 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Start spreading the rumor that windmills could hurt Moochelle’s taxpayer lobster supply and that could impede the implementation of this latest green fiasco.

That, and make PETA aware that if you really want to smack birds out of the sky a ginormous windmill is a fantastic ornithoblenderizer.

viking01 on May 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM

What will we do with all of those unicorns?

BDavis on May 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

What will we do with all of those unicorns?

BDavis on May 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

As nonpartisan said..

Fluck them..

Electrongod on May 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Wind power: the energy of the future …. since the 16th century.

PackerBronco on May 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

The problem here in MidCoast maine, (I live in Bath) is that the local newspapers are really democrat propaganda organs. Maine’s largest daily, the Portland Press herald, is owned by the husband of Democrat Congressman Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. Any guess as to how the news is shaded up here?

But to add even more interest to this fire, that Wind Energy law passed while Baldacci was governor was written to help out former governor, and current Maine US Senator Angus King and his pet energy projects. Where, or where, do you think King got all his money to run for office from? His wife Mary is a social bar fly too, and fits right in with the self-appointed aristocracy in Washington.

There is a huge stench of corruption all over that Wind Energy bill, and a lot of it is coming from Baldacci and King, and it’s way past time that those two were the subject of state and federal investigations.

TKindred on May 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

The state can simply relocate those at-risk birds to avian work collectives where they can contribute productively to History. Of course, their wings must be clipped, for their own good, to keep them from flying back into the people’s wind turbine power production zone, and also for equality, because it’s not fair that they should fly, when so many other revolutionary working plants and animals cannot.

Kenosha Kid on May 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Wind power: the environmentally-correct way of committing avicide.

PackerBronco on May 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Even better, in the meantime, LePage is trying to use their Wind Energy Act as a model for expanding the state’s natural-gas infrastructure. Natural gas, I might add, has a much more effective track record than wind at reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs, and lowering costs — all without wind’s dependence on federal and state assistance!

Maine would be a great place to expand the “natural gas infrastructure”. There’s a huge LNG (liquefied natural gas) import terminal about 90 miles over the border in New Brunswick (Canada), and Maine would be the first in line to receive the gas not used by the Canadians. It’s closer than shipping fracked gas from Pennsylvania.

Steve Z on May 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Green energy: producing energy through the process of burning money.

PackerBronco on May 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

We expect to freeze to death in Montana if the epa gets its way and closes down all the coal fired power plants. I think someone warned them and they are starting to rethink the new lower mandated emission levels. One cold day a few years from now, we won’t be able to drive the cars we currently own, use our lawn mowers or heat our homes(if we still own one)after the greenies and govt gets through with us.

Kissmygrits on May 11, 2013 at 9:35 PM

it isn’t delivering on its promises

The UK study showing wind turbines only last 12-15 years instead of 25-30 showed that the promises were near scandalous.

theperfecteconomist on May 11, 2013 at 10:20 PM

We expect to freeze to death in Montana if the epa gets its way and closes down all the coal fired power plants. I think someone warned them and they are starting to rethink the new lower mandated emission levels. One cold day a few years from now, we won’t be able to drive the cars we currently own, use our lawn mowers or heat our homes(if we still own one)after the greenies and govt gets through with us.

Kissmygrits on May 11, 2013 at 9:35 PM

All of that was predicted in a SciFi novel by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and others entitled “Fallen Angels”.

It’s frighteningly prescient.

TKindred on May 11, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Wow, it is almost as if just wishing will NOT make it so!

Adjoran on May 12, 2013 at 1:53 AM

If T Boone Pickens couldn’t make it work in Texas, it ain’t gonna work.

Pickens continued, “Obama needs to go in, study it, look at it, and decide what an energy plan is, and then go forward with it. He needs to explain to his people,‘Hey, we can get on everything green. We can get on everything renewable. Then the cost of power will go up ten times.’ So be careful when you start fooling with it. Know what you’re working with.”

txhsmom on May 12, 2013 at 3:39 AM

Government subsidized Wind Companies won’t face charges in condor deaths.

Federal wildlife officials took the unprecedented step Friday of telling private companies that they will not be prosecuted for inadvertently harassing or even killing endangered California condors.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-killing-condors-20130511,0,1790222.story

Obama has tossed California Condors under the bus in favor of windmill power – and kick backs from chronies.

papertiger on May 12, 2013 at 4:57 AM

I shudder when I think about what will happen in Maine when our common sense Governor is no longer in office. Maine is the best state I’ve ever lived in, but sadly it’s only one breath away from becoming another liberal Hellhole due to an overabundance of misguided or willfully ignorant voters.

Birchbark on May 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Ayuh! Left Maine some time ago for the bright sunny climes of Connecticut. It’s even worse down here but there was work at the time! What we need is a concerted effort to change the main stream media into telling the truth instead of propagandizing 24/7.

Boats48 on May 12, 2013 at 5:52 AM

Like Ethanol that reduces gas mileage, increase engine wear, drives up the price of food and every other product dependent on corn, and doesn’t do anything for the environment; wind, solar, electric car, and other green disasters are here to stay.

Why?

Because they are politically drive agendas that allow politicians to control huge sums of money for votes and significantly increases government control over every aspect of our lives. Oh yeah, and they get to do all of this with other people’s money without being held accountable for their miserable failures. The latter due mostly to low and no-information voters.

But the most amazing aspect to all of this is that it was 100% predictable as clearly and publicly highlighted by those who have opposed government mandated Ethanol, wind, solar, electric cars, and the other green nonsense.

Facts have never been of much concern when a politician can seize the opportunity to flush other peoples’ hard earned money down the political toilets.

No, politics have and will continue trump reason, logic, efficiency, and good government.

BMF on May 12, 2013 at 6:19 AM

Wind energy could have become a reliable peak demand electrical producer but the utilities were forced to buy the lousy electricity they produce whenever they produce it.

Slowburn on May 12, 2013 at 6:44 AM

When has a Progressive initiative EVER been rolled back, curtailed, repealed, reduced, or otherwise rethought?

Cleombrotus on May 12, 2013 at 6:58 AM

Without a war or other major civil upheaval, that is.

Cleombrotus on May 12, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Natural gas, I might add, has a much more effective track record than wind at reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs, and lowering costs — all without wind’s dependence on federal and state assistance!

Ya but it’s not cool

david kumbera on May 12, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The UK study showing wind turbines only last 12-15 years instead of 25-30 showed that the promises were near scandalous.

So like PV solar it never will payback unless energy costs soar.

1+1=POTATO

jukin3 on May 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Maine’s wind energy capacity today is about 435 megawatts, according to the Maine Renewable Energy Association.

Capacity. That is the amount of electricity produced under ideal conditions. What is the actual output? Typically it is less than 10% of advertised capacity. And at times, actual output is zero.

iurockhead on May 12, 2013 at 11:33 AM

I’m from a little town on the Maine coast, Eastport. They talked about putting an LNG terminal in the area. Would have created a crapload of jobs, and helped energy costs. But no, out of state libtards, looking to turn the area into Cape Cod North…… So glad I left. Nearly 20 years now.

DStreete on May 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM