National Columnist George Will Unleashes Criticism of Wind

George Will has unleashed the following critique of wind in the 4/19/10 Newsweek. It's been on sale / in mailboxes for at least a week, so you may have seen it.


"Meanwhile, America, which pioneered nuclear power, is squandering money on wind power, which provides 1.3 percent of the nation's electricity: it is slurping up $30 billion of tax breaks and other subsidies amounting to $18.82 per megawatt-hour, 25 times as much per megawatt-hour as the combined subsidies for all other forms of electricity production.

Wind power involves gargantuan "energy sprawl." To produce 20 percent of America's power by wind, which the Obama administration dreamily proposes, would require 186,000 tall turbines—40 stories tall, their flashing lights can be seen for 20 miles—covering an area the size of West Virginia. The amount of electricity that would be produced by wind turbines extending the entire 2,178 miles of the Appalachian Trail can be produced by four reactors occupying four square miles of land. And birds beware: the American Bird Conservancy estimates that the existing 25,000 turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds a year. Imagine the toll that 186,000 turbines would take".


Contact Information: (Note that the Washington Post and Newsweek are both owned by the Washington Post Company)


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Comment by Andy Ford on April 19, 2010 at 4:27pm
This ad and many others are almost impossible to believe today, but they were effective many years ago. The one that I remember was a radio ad that claimed that more doctors recommended Camels than any other brand. All motorcycles made after 1982 must have an EPA noise certification label attached to the chassis and a matching label stamped into the muffler. It's illegal to replace the certified exhaust with one that isn't or to modify the legal muffler to make more noise. When you hear a loud motorcycle you're hearing a machine that's being operated illegally. Needless to say, there's very little enforcement of the laws that regulate motorcycles. In 2008, almost four out of 10 registered motorcycles weren't inspected and of course, didn't receive a sticker. Motorcycles that are equipped with open pipes (there's no muffler nor baffles) also have the air pollution equipment rendered inoperable which is a violation of federal law and a Class E crime in Maine. We have a lot of information on this at the Maine Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles website.
Comment by Long Islander on April 19, 2010 at 1:20pm
Two great analogies. I think it's great that people ride motorcycles, but each time a loud one goes by and almost gives me a heart attack, I cannot fathom why they aren't required to be quieter. Right now if second hand smoke were to blow one's way in a restaurant or an airplane, it would be an incredibly noticeable affront. Yet not that long ago it was the norm. The wind industry's denial of health concerns is actually quite reminiscient of big tobacco downplaying health concerns. When you're up against big money (which we as taxpayers give them), things take time. But one day turbine noise near homes will be regarded as inconceivable. Hopefully that is sooner than later.

Comment by Joanne Moore on April 19, 2010 at 1:13pm
First time I've ever agreed with George Will on anything.
Comment by Andy Ford on April 19, 2010 at 1:00pm
Thank you Long Islander for posting this excellent column. I have believed for many years that when the old Maine Yankee nuclear power plant was dismantled that a new one should have replaced it.
The fight against the destructive effects of wind turbines is just beginning, somewhat like the start of the fight against second-hand smoke, and the current fight to curtail loud motorcycles (

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."


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


(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 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?" 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.”

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