Maine media bias in favor of wind development has been obvious for some time

Two Letters to the Editor from the 8/10/12 Bangor Daily News

The Maine media bias in favor of wind development has been obvious for some time. A recent BDN article served as a perfect example. The story of the truck losing its wind tower load in a ditch went the extra mile for the industry by devoting much of its space to promotional data for First Wind and the industry in general.

I don’t recall other stories reporting truck accidents including favorable factoids about the company or industry involved. When a logging truck loses its load, the related article doesn’t tell how many jobs were created by the logging job the truck was working. We don’t hear how many homes will be built by the company’s timber products.

But, with a wind tower in a ditch, we get a wind power sales pitch.

On top of that, the promotional data is misleading. The article said that First Wind’s projects in Maine could supply the “energy needs of 85,000 homes.” Hardly. Wind turbines supply electricity only. Maine homes use a variety of energy sources other than electricity, especially for things such as heating. Supplying all their energy needs with wind electricity would make the 85,000 figure much smaller.

The Maine media’s pro-wind bias might not change, but the objectivity and accuracy of the reporting should. A 2010 University of Maine poll showed that 79 percent of Mainers get their information on wind energy from newspapers.

With this type of reporting, it’s no wonder the Maine public’s wind energy IQ is so low.

Kay Michka

Lexington Township

 

 

                                    ##################################################

Two hundred jobs and power for 85,000 homes has been cited over and over when reporting anything about First Wind’s industrial turbine projects. Are these 200 new jobs for Mainers? Or are they the same jobs that build all projects? The Reed and Reed employee who testified at the Land Use Regulation Commission public hearing in Ellsworth when the Bull Hill project was being permitted stated that if LURC gave the OK the crew would move right over to Bull Hill after Rollins Mountain.

Are the 185 megawatts that are quoted as being produced by First Wind’s projects the capacity on paper or the actual production? In Maine, wind projects typically produce approximately 14 percent of their total capacity. This would then actually provide energy for far fewer homes.

Where are these homes? In Maine?

What does it mean to state “enough energy for 85,000 homes”? All the electricity they’ll use in a week? A year? Ever? It’s too vague a statement to be printed without clarification. These “facts” are reprinted with almost each news item covering wind projects in our area. Please find the answers for us.

Mary Ann John

Eastbrook

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/09/opinion/friday-aug-10-2012-ba...

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Comment by Mike DiCenso on August 10, 2012 at 10:32pm

Good job Kay!! I am surprised they printed it.

Well said Mary Ann, also. 

Comment by Ellin Beltz on August 10, 2012 at 2:04pm

When Shell Wind Energy decided not to build in Humboldt County, CA, they said they were not building because they couldn't get their components *into* the county (probably our lousy sandbar and jetties, plus lack of unloading facilities, docks, cranes etc.).

They announced... and instantly the folks from Humboldt State University (including the President and former head of Schatz Energy Research Lab) were all over the newspapers and blogs whimpering about how the anti-winds down here in Ferndale were responsible !!

I point this out because the media bias followed their lead and made a rag-tag bunch of anti-winders into the reason why babies will go hungry and old folks lose their social security, not to mention the downturn in the world economy and I'm sure they could blame us for more.

So the bias works both ways.  Media LOVES windmills (probably because those companies pay for advertising or pay for something)... the university LOVES windmills because they got $200,000 grant to be in favor... some rich locals LOVE windmills because they were going to get paid in leases. 

I see the pattern.  Loud and clear... Money talks and you know the rest of it.

Seems like the only ones who don't LOVE windmills are us poor jerks who will be stuck paying for them from now til eternity. 

Don't forget the GREEN JOBS of picking up dead birds and lying to the public. 

Comment by Gary Campbell on August 10, 2012 at 10:52am

I suspect that First Wind will get credit for creating several new "green jobs": the crane and tow truck operators who pulled their truck out of the ditch!

Comment by Gary Campbell on August 10, 2012 at 10:50am

Matt Kearns of First Wind testified about jobs at LURC's Bull Hill hearing. He started with some ridiculously high number (the kind the media parrots) but with relentless questioning by LURC Commissioner Ed Laverty, he finally admitted that the Bull Hill project will employ three fulltime Maintenance and O&M individuals. Commissioner Laverty then asked if there wouldn't be some job-sharing with Rollins, Stetson I and Stetson II. Obviously very annoyed and frustrated, Kearns finally admitted there would be job-sharing and that a more accurate figure of jobs created by the Bull Hill project will be more like 2-1/2.

Kudos to Commissioner Laverty for not swallowing First Wind's BS.

Keep in mind this exchange was sworn testimony at a public hearing. Under the new system where DEP handles all wind permits, Commissioner Aho has pronounced that there will be no such public hearings... only "public meetings" during which no one is under oath and the public is prevented from asking questions directly to the developer. She is truly a wind developer's dream!

Aho must go!

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on August 10, 2012 at 9:05am

"Most of the larger SPEED projects are owned by the top 1% of households that work with lobbyists, politicians and financial advisers to obtain generous subsidies for their tax-sheltered LLC projects that produce expensive energy at high cost/kWh and avoid CO2 at high costs/lb of CO2; inefficient crony-capitalism under the guise of saving the world from global warming and climate change."

 

Regarding this top 1% of households - I have no doubt whatsoever that as always, it is that group of insiders, those in the know, who overstuff their pockets while everyone else suffers. What I often wonder about is whether part of the wind industry's strategy in an area is to approach the local media early in the game and interest their owners and/or management in getting involved financially, i.e., becoming part of this 1%.

An article about a truck accident which gets turned into a PR piece should be an arresting reality check for anyone with an inquisitive mind. And this sort of thing has been happening in Maine now for several years.

WHY?

Comment by Willem Post on August 10, 2012 at 8:45am

From

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/71771/energy-efficiency-...

Net Jobs From Renewables is a Hoax:

RE promoters and politicians often tout job creation by RE projects, but do not mention the jobs lost in others sectors of the economy. 

Economists have used standard input-output analysis programs for at least 40 years to the determine the plusses and minuses of various economic activities. Numerous studies, using such economic analysis programs, performed in Spain, Italy, Denmark, England, etc., show for every job created in the RE sector, about 2-5 times jobs are destroyed in the other sectors. 

For every 3 green jobs created in the private sector, 1 job is created in government, but, as a general rule, for every job created in government about 2 jobs are destroyed in the private sector, largely due to added economic inefficiencies; no one would claim government is more efficient than the private sector. 

The above in tabular format:

Job gain = Subsidized RE, 3 + Government, 1 = 4

Job loss = Private due to RE, 6-15 + Private due to government, 2 = 8 - 17

Net job loss due to subsidizing RE = 4 - 13 

Such job creation is unsustainable. Whether these government jobs are good or bad, needed or not needed, is irrelevant.

http://vtdigger.org/2012/03/27/digger-tidbits-vermont-ranks-no-1-in...

Note: This is not the case with increased energy efficiency subsidies. They create jobs in the EE sector, but also create a net increase of jobs in the other sectors, because the reduction of energy costs enables more spending on other goods and services. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input-output_model#cite_note-ref-0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input-output_model

http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2012-02-PP03-LearningFromOthersMista... 

http://conservativedailynews.com/2011/09/green-jobs-why-wont-obama-...

http://sistertoldjah.com/archives/2011/02/28/study-green-initiative...

http://greatlakeswindtruth.org/breaking-news/117-for-every-green-jo...

http://www.alabamapolicy.org/viewpoints/print.php?id_art=481

http://conservative-outlooks.com/2011/03/12/green-jobs-fruit-of-the...

http://budget.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=261226

http://www.aei.org/article/energy-and-the-environment/the-myth-of-g...

Example of Job Shifting due to Subsidies: Under the Vermont SPEED program it will take about $230 million of scarce funds to build 50 MW of expensive renewables that produce just a little of variable, intermittent and expensive power that will make Vermont less efficient at exactly the time it needs to become more efficient.  

The VT-DPS evaluated the program in 2009 and issued a white paper which stated about 35% of the $228.4 million would be supplied by Vermont sources, the rest, mostly equipment by non-Vermont sources, such as wind turbines from Denmark and Spain, PV panels from China, inverters from Germany.

There would be spike of job creation during the 1-3 year construction stage (good for vendors) which would flatten to a permanent net gain of 13 full-time jobs (jobs are lost in other sectors) during the operation and maintenance stage.

It gets worse. Under the SPEED program, these projects sell their energy to the grid at 3-5 times annual average grid prices for 20 years; the high-priced energy is “rolled” into a utilities energy mix, resulting in higher electric rates for households and businesses, higher prices of goods and services, fewer jobs, lower living standards.

Most of the larger SPEED projects are owned by the top 1% of households that work with lobbyists, politicians and financial advisers to obtain generous subsidies for their tax-sheltered LLC projects that produce expensive energy at high cost/kWh and avoid CO2 at high costs/lb of CO2; inefficient crony-capitalism under the guise of saving the world from global warming and climate change.  

http://publicservice.vermont.gov/planning/DPS%20White%20Paper%20Fee...

Comment by Rick Conrad on August 10, 2012 at 7:36am

  LTFR    Liquid Thorium Fluoride Reactor       The current nuclear industry in this country has a better safety record than either the solar or wind renewable energy industries.   People get injured and installing solar panels and wind turbines, go figure.   The nuclear industry gets a bad rap because of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste.   But there is a better nuclear option that does not produce weaponizeable byproducts or long term waste storage issues.   The LFTR  works and could provide energy cheaper than coal and power the entire world for at least the next thousand years.

 This where our country should be spending energy research dollars.   We pioneered the technology we should perfect it and secure its benefits for our future generations.   Or we will be buying thorium reactors,  Made in China.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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