Oklahoma’s Former Governor: Subsidised Wind Power a Multi-Billion Dollar Mistake

 

As Mark Twain put it: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” And, even when the dupe accepts his folly, sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Frank Keating was governor of Oklahoma 1995-2003 and is responsible for its wind power calamity, as he calls it.

Uncharacteristically of a modern politician, Keating taps into that fast disappearing virtue – grace – not only admitting that he was fooled, but sincerely apologising for the harm caused to Okies and their State.

Frank Keating: I signed wind industry tax breaks, and I was wrong
Tulsa World
Frank Keating
25 February 2017

In 2001, when I served as governor of Oklahoma, I signed legislation creating the Zero Emissions Tax Credit for industrial wind energy. The tax credit was designed to give a jump-start to a wind industry in its infancy in Oklahoma at the time. It was sold to us as a low-cost way to broaden our already robust energy and economic development program. It was supposed to create jobs and develop a more prosperous future for Oklahoma.

Signing this legislation was simply a mistake. What was promised to cost the state less than $2 million annually when I was in office has soared to $113 million for the 2014 tax year and is expected to cost billions in the future. Wind farms average 10 to 13 permanent jobs, which hardly lives up to the promised employment growth.

Because the tax credits weren’t limited or capped, the Zero Emissions Tax Credit has warped into a scam costing taxpayers millions to the detriment of other publicly funded services. In 2014, the credits became directly refundable, meaning the state writes wind companies checks for 85 percent of the value of each credit. That’s essentially a blank check funded by taxpayers that goes to multibillion-dollar corporations based outside of Oklahoma and mostly located in foreign countries. It’s the worst kind of corporate handout.

I’m shocked and dismayed that taxpayer money has been spent so recklessly and at the cost of funding Oklahoma’s education system, which we know continues to be at risk. Because of power purchase agreements with other states, people outside of Oklahoma enjoy the majority of this discounted power, thanks to the subsidies we fund. Yes, this really happens!

If you’re not upset yet, just wait because it gets worse. The wind industry will tell you there are already controls in place because the current law sunsets these credits in 2021. However, Oklahoma pays these billion-dollar wind companies for the electricity produced by each turbine for 10 years. Turbines put in operation this year will receive tax credits until 2027. Under current law, payments will continue until Jan. 1, 2031, for turbines placed in operation before Jan. 1, 2021.

The wind industry is also not telling you about plans to accelerate the pace of construction so it can benefit from these subsidies on more than four times as many turbines as the number that generated the $113 million claimed in 2014. This considerable growth could cost us up to $5.2 billion by the time the last bill is paid.

The costs will continue to rise, opportunity for education will be lost and taxpayers will be on the hook for billions if we don’t act now. Decisions made now will affect, and perhaps destroy, our state government financially over the next 14 years.

As your former governor and a proud citizen of Oklahoma, I encourage us all to work together to end this subsidy no later than July 1, 2017, before the planned growth compromises our future. Together, we can and we must protect Oklahoma.
Tulsa World

Find out more about the Windfall Coalition here http://www.thewindfallcoalition.com/

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM.

  2. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  3. Barry Switzer, former Oklahoma University/Dallas Cowboys Football Coach has been featured in advertisements lately telling fellow Oklahomans to write their representatives to tell them to stop the subsidies to windmill farms.

    I didn’t know the extent of the damage the windmills were doing to the Oklahoma budget until I read this article. Now I see why Barry is so adamant that we stop this insanity. Barry wants the money to go to Oklahoma schools instead.

    I’ve noticed over the last week or so, that the Windmill Association is starting to do some advertising on Fox News. I wonder if the wind industry is starting to feel a little pushback. I hope so.

    I can’t think of windmills without thinking of dead birds. It is a travesty to choose a method of electricity production that is so destructive to wildlife.

    I don’t see how people can put up with windmills when there are much better alternatives already available. it’s immoral, imo.

  4. Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    The costs are locked in for a long time to come.

  5. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Governor on the wind power fiasco: ‘Decisions made now will affect, and perhaps destroy, our state government financially over the next 14 years.’

    You couldn’t make it up.

  6. Jackie Rovensky says:

    While the politicians flounder and try to get out of trouble while getting deeper into it I have a very quick solution to the increase in electricity prices.
    Every time a Wind Project fails to meet 50% of it stated capacity it has to pay a fine, this money to go to the power companies who provide the backup for these failing turbine companies and that influx on money go towards the cost of producing the base-load supply to keep the lights on and companies functioning.
    With the Wind Industry not being able to offset this fine or draw it back by increasing energy prices to keep their profits up.
    I am sure no more would be built and prices would come down as most of these projects fail to meet 50% of their stated capacity at anytime.

  7. Noel Dean says:

    It is great to see a man like Mr Keating speak up and tell the truth publicly by admitting to an error of judgment. This error of judgment if it is like the Wind Industry in Victoria would more than likely happened because of the conniving tactics used by Managing Directors of wind farm operators in Victoria who claim that they comply to permit conditions. These conditions are based on draft conditions, in most cases put forward to wind farm panel after the conclusion of hearings without public scrutiny.

    Wind farms are bound by maximum limits. In Victoria these limits are identified by a noise contour Map that express the limit of 40 DBA contour line and a 35dBA contour line which is active until SACs have been assessed during operation. And in a complaint investigation process these contour lines are expressed as being LAeq as in equivalent (eq) sound pressure level dBA. In the pre-construction monitoring to estimate the received sound emissions.

    And yet post construction testing is illicit because of the use of LA90 in Victoria, which is NOT a maximum measurement, it only merely considers the quietest 10% of the measured period, which does not consider the measurement of noise experienced. On this basis the provision of wind industry subsidies are illegally obtained because the Victorian Planning ministers’, being former Planning Minister, Matthew Guy and present Planning minister Mr Richard Wynne, failure to understand the wording of fraudulent draft permit condition put forward by wind farm developers in Victoria.

    I was advised by my lawyer that the Victorian EPA has the power to shut the Waubra Wind Farm down within 24 hrs if the Windfarm has not complied to permit conditions.

    The EPA became involved in 2010. The former planning minister planning minister Mr Guy requested ACCIONA to limit operation to comply. ACCIONA refused to cooperate. In 2011 Mr Guy, requested again for ACCIONA to supply information and develop a plan that would ensure ongoing compliance. ACCIONA did not respond in a positive way. In 2012 the planning department had MDA and SLR develop a draft plan for targeted objective testing. This draft plan was leaked to ACCIONA prior to release for public consideration. Acciona staff and a long time friend in the department met to eliminate the possibility of this draft being implemented.

    In September 2013 ACCIONA’s Managing Director Mr Andrew Thomson submitted his own plan for testing for SACs.

    On 15/1/14 Mr Guy accepted an audit only process for SACs testing put forward by Mr Guy. In other words it only required, a subjective assessment to be recorded that the assessment was done nothing more. So in the end ACCIONA’s Site manager did the assessment herself in June 1014 when the trained SLR staff acknowledged to my son that the assessment was illicit.

    On 28/2/2015, a letter from the current Minister for planning advised ACCIONA’s Mr Thomson that he was satisfied that the conditions had been met when no measurement of sound was done and that AECOM had done the SACs assessment, when AECOM was not present when the assessment took place.

    Given that Mr Guy is the Leader of the opposition seeking government in 2018, it is unlikely he will be Man enough to admit he had made a mistake when he failed as regulator to remove non-compliant turbines at WAUBRA.

    I say not compliant because the closest turbines to our former property was required to be operated in low noise mode to comply, as specified by MDA pre-construction report. No evidence of this low noise mode was made available to us or the planning minister.

    I was advised that the turbines were required to be modified operation wise or physically to comply by council in 2012. Replacement turbine blades were transported to the wind farm area to modify the operation. The big blades were transported one at a time, the replacement blades were transported two at a time. This confirms to me that the large turbines were known to be a problem and now the blades proposed for amended wind farm permits can use up to 140 mts rotor diameter, and yet the proposed turbines for Waubra at the planning hearing was only 70 mts rotor diameter.

    Given the above I do not see Mr Guy admitting he had failed in his duty of care to ensure that sound measurement to determine if the maximum sound emission limits had been exceeded at Waubra, any time soon.

    If in fact people were civil and tried to resolve the complaints of excessive sound emissions the suffering would end within 24 hours for health and safety reasons.

    Noel Dean

    • BoyfromTottenham says:

      Noel, I noticed the term ‘dBA’ in your post. Please note that this means that the instrument used to measure the turbine noise level was calibrated to match human hearing, indicating how loud sounds appears to a human. However, wind turbines generate a lot of infrasound, i.e. sound at frequencies below what the ear can detect, and this is what affects the inner ear causing the nausea, dizziness etc. that upsets residents near turbines. Therefore any measurement of turbine noise made with an instrument (sound level meter) that is calibrated in dBA cannot and will not indicate the full extent of infrasound, because it is designed NOT TO! By the way almost every environmental agency in the world requires wind turbine noise to be measured in this way, using a type of sound level meter that guarantees not to detect most of the infrasound that turbines produce. Go figure.

  8. I’m stunned.
    Someone told the truth.
    July 1,2017 would be a wonderful place to start rolling that ball, knocking down every turbine in every country !!

    Another one bites the dust last night. This is right on the edge of Tuscola County, south west.

    http://www.abc12.com/content/news/Two-of-three-wind-turbine-blades-break-in-rural-Saginaw-County-430990423.html

  9. parliamentofideas says:

    Reblogged this on Live Long & Prosper.

  10. Melissa says:

    Bravo. Honesty to own mistakes, point out the facts and act protectively. It took 15 yrs to declare his mistake. How long will it take in Australia to recognise the mistakes. We have Senate Wind Farm Inquiry recommendations being ignored and too many people in power making decisions which are not assisting the public and are not independent of wind industry influences.

    Woe to Victoria. More and more wind farms are being approved and constructed. Rural Victoria as we knew it is being socially and economically put at risk and is being destroyed.

    The Victorian energy Minister was stuttering on the radio (today on 774 ABC about 11.30am) about more wind farm jobs; supposedly 300 jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs…. heard it all in Portland at the Renewable Jobs Forum. Unreal job figures which just sound good on radio or at public meetings as no wind farms employ that number of people long term. The Minister did not answer a direct question during the interview about what the Government is doing for and spending on the wind industry, and the “glass ceiling”. Perhaps she said the Victorian energy supply is secure and electricity prices will come down, but I may be wrong, due to her hedging and lack of clarity. What is being neglected elsewhere in Victoria with the escalating wind energy taxpayer burden? In 15 years Victoria and our other States could be utterly ruined because renewables just keep getting worse. An apology will be welcomed but after the remedy thanks.

    • Melissa says:

      STT quoted Mark Twain on fools and here is Abraham Lincoln who said way back in 1858,

      “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

  11. Terry Conn says:

    A gold star for Frank Keating, fancy that, a political leader ‘big’ enough to admit the truth of a very poor decision — can’t see it happening in Australia, particularly with the likes of Jay Weatherill in charge.

  12. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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