Wind Industry Welfare: How Crony Capitalism Drives the Great Wind Power Fraud

 crony-capitalism

‘Wind PTC Action Hub’: Time to End Energy Cronyism
Master Resource
Robert Bradley Jr.
9 October 2015

“Without the PTC, any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.”

Congress enacted the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) in 1992 as a temporary measure for an “infant” industry.

Decades and nine extensions later, it is time to eliminate the PTC.

Subsidized wind power inflates electricity costs, compromises taxpayers, and destabilizes the electric grid (wind-generated electricity is intermittent).

The huge tax credit allows pricing that ruins the economics of steady, conventional generation sources. Wind power, indeed, is the perfect imperfect energy.

The PTC It is most beneficial to wealthy wind developers who are able to reduce their tax rate at the expense of the rest of us. It is past time to end corporate welfare for this mature, and in their own words, competitive, wind industry.

Obama Needs the PTC

President Obama and the EPA’s aggressive regulation of existing power plants amounts to a federal takeover of the electricity system. One of the goals of this regulation is to shift electricity from affordable and dependable sources like coal toward expensive and unreliable sources like wind. (On-grid solar does the same thing.)

Without the PTC, any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.

Extending the Wind PTC helps Obama/EPA get away with this phase of their forced energy transformation. It is past time to let wind producers stand on their own merit.

In short, a vote for the PTC is a vote for the President’s federal energy takeover.

To this end, the American Energy Alliance has launched a Wind PTC Action Hub. Yesterday’s press release follows:

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Energy Alliance launched www.EndWindWelfare.org—a resource and activist hub aimed at eliminating the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).

With this new tool, which includes a legislative tracker and an action center, AEA will encourage lawmakers to support efforts to end this taxpayer-funded handout. One feature of the hub is a video illustrating how the PTC is tied to President Obama’s new carbon dioxide regulation.

The goal of this regulation is to shift electricity generation from affordable and dependable sources like coal toward expensive and unreliable sources like wind. Obama’s plan will unavoidably raise electricity rates – hurting poor and middle class families the most. But without the PTC, mandating industrial wind power is a much more difficult task, as wind power needs handouts to survive.

Thus, Congress can take meaningful action against the Obama’s administration’s anti-energy agenda by eliminating the PTC. Watch the video below:

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The hub’s legislative tracker shows which representatives have publicly taken a stand against the PTC, allowing Americans to thank their elected leaders for opposing this handout, or hold them accountable for supporting wind welfare.

Our action center will also serve as a resource for policymakers and activists by providing recent reports, blog posts and ongoing advocacy efforts on the PTC.
Master Resource

In Australia, exactly the same forces are at work, driven by wind industry plants inside Environment Minister, Greg Hunt’s office, like Patrick Gibbons – who just happens to be very best mates with Vesta’s little darling, Ken McAlpine.

One of STT’s operatives recently stumbled across a cache of documents – recording a mass of work done by Gibbons, McAlpine and Miles George – of near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen – back then known as Babcock and Brown. This mountain of documents – including internal memos, emails, press releases and presentations given to their political targets, like then Labor leader, Mark Latham – detail efforts by the trio to downplay any likely obstacles to their plans; and to blow the claimed ‘benefits’ of Babcock and Brown’s wind farms – and a planned Vesta’s blade manufacturing plant – out of all proportion with the truth.

Babcock and Brown’s investors, shareholders and creditors all ended up more than just a little worse for wear (to the tune of about $10 billion) as a result of precisely that kind of spin-doctoring shenanigans (see our post here).

In recent times, Gibbons is still working overtime to protect the wind industry by, among other skulduggery, rigging the terms of reference for the new wind farm commissioner in his benefactors’ favour; and appointing one of their own – a former renewable industry crony – as the commissioner.

Gibbons was also in there stacking the expert panel on wind farm noise emissions with hand-picked wind industry pets, like Kym Burgermeister – a noise ‘expert’ who has been defending his wind industry clients in the usual way for years.

Gibbon’s efforts to ‘fix’ it for his wind industry mates, by derailing the work done by the Senators on the Inquiry into the great wind power fraud, has left the Senate Cross-benchers – including STT Champion, David Leyonhjelm – furious.

Wind farm watchdog’s powers ‘not enough’ for crossbench senators
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
10 October 2015

The federal government has been accused of “reneging” on its commitment to crossbench senators regarding the powers of a scientific panel established to monitor wind turbine noise and health.

Australia’s renewable energy industry has promised to co-operate with a new wind farm commissioner and independent scientific committee appointed yesterday to handle complaints, and provide advice on health concerns and low frequency noise monitoring.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the appointments honoured a deal between the government and crossbench senators after a long Senate committee investigation earlier this year.

But senator David Leyonhjelm, who was on the committee, said the government had fallen short of its promise made to ensure passage of its renewable energy target legislation.

“I welcome the appointments of both the wind commissioner and the members of the expert scientific panel,” Senator Leyonhjelm said. “However, Minister Hunt has substantially strayed from the commitment he gave to crossbench senators on 23 June in the terms of reference for the expert scientific panel released today.

“Mr Hunt has reneged on his commitment, and it is difficult to see how the crossbench will be able to believe any of his undertakings in future.”

Crossbench senators had expected the panel to have greater investigatory powers.

But under the terms of reference the committee’s role will be to “improve science and monitoring of the potential impacts of sound from wind turbines (including low frequency and infrasound) on health and the environment’’. It will provide advice on the development of Australian methodologies and frameworks in sound measure­ment and standards for wind farms, including in the field of infra­sound and low frequency sound.

Mr Hunt appointed Andrew Dyer as National Wind Farm Commissioner for three years. Mr Dyer is a former chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Council and has worked in the renewable energy industry.

The independent scientific panel will be chaired by RMIT adjunct professor Jon Davy.
The Australian

Patrick Gibbons has been the captain of crony wind industry capitalism inside the (purportedly) Conservative Coalition; and has fought tooth-and-nail to ensure that the most colossal industry subsidy scheme in the history of the Commonwealth – that will cost all Australian power consumers $3 billion a year in higher power prices – all of which will be directed to Gibbons’ wind industry mates – is maintained:

Out to Save their Wind Industry Mates, Macfarlane & Hunt Lock-in $46 billion LRET Retail Power Tax

Thankfully, Australian banks and power retailers aren’t having a bar of it:

Let the Sun Shine In: Australia’s BIGGEST Power Retailer Determined to Kill Wind Power

Wind Industry Still Wailing About ‘Uncertainty’ as Australian Retailers Continue to Reject Wind Power ‘Deals’

Which means that Gibbons’ plans to destroy Australia’s economic future, on behalf of his mates at Infigen & Co, will eventually come to a shuddering halt:

Australia’s Most Notorious Wind Power Outfit – Infigen – Blames $304 Million Loss on the WIND

Wind Power ‘Investors’ Cut & Run from Australia as Ponzi Scheme Implodes

Any policy that is unsustainable – as America’s PTC and Australia’s LRET most clearly are – will inevitably collapse under its own weight; or be ignominiously scrapped by those that created it. And that is a fact of economic and political life.

turbine fintona 4jpg

An ‘industry’ simply incapable of standing on its own two feet.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. barbara durkin says:

    The PTC is a tax credit that along with public subsidies form a magnet that attracts organized criminals, world-wide, according to experts.

    Christine Duhaime is a corporate and regulatory lawyer and certified anti-money laundering specialist, a U.S. designation, and author of the below article about Europol’s reports about organized crime ongoing in the renewables sector.

    http://www.antimoneylaunderinglaw.com/2013/07/lord-of-the-winds-assets-confiscated-over-alleged-wind-turbine-money-laundering-scheme.html

    Clips-

    Europol report ties mafia to renewable energy
    By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D.

    “This week, Europol released yet another report tying the financing, development and operation of renewable energy projects, particularly wind energy infrastructure projects, to organized crime in Europe.

    The involvement of organized crime in wind energy and renewable energy generally, poses significant legal,
    reputational and financial risks. The latter arises from, among other things, the potential forfeiture of assets acquired in whole or in part from suspected proceeds of crime, whether directly or indirectly.

    The latest Europol report follows on the heels of an earlier one, the “Serious & Organized Crime Threat Assessment 2013′′, which similarly found that organized crime is involved in, and in some instances controls, renewable energy financings and project developments for the purposes of laundering proceeds of crime…”

    cut, Duhaime article continues…

    “Generous subsidies are attractive to organized crime
    Organized crime is attracted to wind energy for three reasons: (a) generous government subsidies and feed-in tariffs; (b) corporate tax credits; and (c) the ease with which they can launder proceeds of crime as a result of the lack of knowledge of the mafia, money laundering and forfeiture risks on the part of financing and governments participants in the wind and renewable energy sectors.

    In the current global market, organized crime is uniquely situated in that they have an abundance of cash that they need to invest (hence, launder) at a time when credit is hard to come by for corporations. The renewable energy sector provides
    the perfect money laundering vehicle to legitimize criminal operations because of the multi-layered corporate and financing structuring required, and the lack of money laundering awareness within the sector. Given that renewable
    energy is expected to grow by at least 20% by 2020, the problem is expected to get worse not better….”
    ———————————————————————————-

    Experts of law and international law enforcement agencies are warning that renewable energy serves as the perfect money laundering vehicle. Should this information be ignored?

    The World’s largest renewable company, SunEdison, bought First Wind (UPC). UPC is of record subsidiary and affiliate of IVPC subject of anti-mafia police asset seizures for wind energy fraud in order to obtain public subsidies. Should this information be ignored?

    The below link is to a Hawaii Free Press front page article about First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor they referred to as:
    ‘Hawaii Wind Developer tied to the Largest-ever asset seizure by anti-Mafia police’
    http://hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID
    /4008/Hawaii-Wind-Developer-tied-to-
    Largest-ever-asset-seizure-by-anti-Mafia-police.aspx

  2. Terry Conn says:

    Buoyed by your optimism STT I’m off to Wellington council meeting on 28th October re Infigen and Bodangora wind farm and council’s motion to withdraw its previous decision to support the project. There is no doubt the ‘locals’ are getting it figured out!

  3. Terry Conn says:

    The opinion piece by Dyer referred to in my earlier post was published by the ABC’s The Drum in Apil 2011.

  4. Terry Conn says:

    As Mr. Bradley points out above President Obama needs the PTC tax to allow the federal takeover of the electricity grid. Likewise the left wing ideologues in Australia need the RET to achieve the same thing which ultimately allows them to build the wind mill driven ‘clean’ energy fantasy and eliminate ‘free market’ operators. The reluctance of electricity retailers such as Origin and AGL to sign new ‘power purchase agreements’ is frustrating the game plan but Andrew Dyer’s appointment as wind farm commissioner is a timely boost for our fantasists — in 2011 an opinion piece published by Dyer recommends a ‘retail levy’ on a kilowatt of power that will allow development of a fund ‘like the future fund’ that will give some government body control over all future electricity generation development and eliminate the ‘free market’ players and therefore, ultimately, allow this new ‘body’ to provide all electricity demand from clean energy! What is Greg Hunt’s ultimate goal in this? One thing is certain, victims of wind farms will still need to keep their local members firmly in the loop as well as the senators involved in the wind farm enquiry — it appears the job needed to be done has just hit a rather large snake on the ‘snakes and ladders’ board.

    • Terry, we don’t share your sense of negativism. This is not the USSR pre 1989. The banks and retailers call the shots and the retailers are out to kill the LRET – it is a policy that is directly contrary to their interests.

      Hunt, Gibbons, Dyer etc may think they’re in control, but they are deluding themselves in the same way John Kerin thought he controlled the wool market, when the buyers closed ranks and killed the Reserve Price Scheme in 1991. Same forces at work here, except that there is and was a market for wool; there is no natural market for wind power (or they would not need the LRET, the shortfall penalty or RECs) – it would sell itself.

      History is littered with jumped up petty bureaucrats, like the trio above, who were foiled because what they propounded defied logic and the rules of politics and economics – think the USSR after 1989, and all of its satellite states and followers around the globe. They have spent the last 30 years trying to get some runs on the board: it was anti-trade rallies in the 90s, followed by the global warming alarm-cult – both with the same aim – wrecking free-market capitalism. The climate change industry is about seizing control of energy policy (& profiting from it) in order to kill manufacturing, industry, mining etc, etc – which fits with the same deluded world view that had them support people like Stalin and Mao. They lost; and they never got over it. Witness the Occupy movement (that lasted in New York until the snow set in); same intellectual pygmies; same pointless anger; same “we know better than everyone” piety and certainty.

      Hunt is not Grant King. And he cannot force Origin or anyone else to sign a PPA. No PPA, no wind farm, it’s a simple as that. Keep smashing the developers at the community level; keep signalling the risk to bankers/retailers re litigation by neighbours for damages and injunctions for noise nuisance, and the cowboys like Infigen that are still trying to get projects up will die a natural death – starved of PPAs and finance. These posts give the reasons why.

      https://stopthesethings.com/2015/09/06/wind-industry-still-wailing-about-uncertainty-as-australian-retailers-continue-to-reject-wind-power-deals/

      https://stopthesethings.com/2015/09/13/let-the-sun-shine-in-australias-biggest-power-retailer-determined-to-kill-wind-power/

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