Tensions Where Green Jobs Meet Blue Collars (Real Clear Investigations)

The construction workers who traveled to central Kansas to erect a wind farm for utility giant American Electric Power thought it would be a good job. Then they fell victim to the troubling side of the renewable power industry.

The nomadic band of workers had come to the Flat Ridge III project from Texas, Michigan and other states to install 62 turbines with towers as tall as 300 feet using cranes and heavy machinery. But after a few months the project broke down. Subcontractor C2 Logistics Solutions stopped paying the crew, causing workers to protest and walk off the job. Some quit in disgust.

At least 60 employees and possibly dozens more are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages, overtime and travel expenses, according to workers and a lawsuit against the company. “We still haven’t been paid, from the supervisors on down to the hands,” says David Saucedo, the former C2 general foreman who say he’s owed about $10,000. “You have to understand, I went late on my rent and car payments because I didn’t get paid.”

Flat Ridge III is a cautionary tale as renewable power balloons into a big industry that may eventually employ a few million mostly blue-collar workers. The Biden administration stresses the good-paying jobs that await Americans in selling its plans for a fast expansion of clean power to curb climate change. Marketers burnish this upbeat image, with photos on company websites of men and women smiling under hardhats amid sunshine and blue skies.

But that’s not the on-the-ground reality in many states today. Sure, skilled workers who hook up with established wind and solar contractors can make a solid middle-class living, particularly in a handful of states with strong labor practices like California, Minnesota and New York. Elsewhere, the influx of smaller operators and a lack of labor standards are spurring complaints about wage theft, starting pay as low as $10 an hour, scant training and safety lapses causing injuries and death, according to interviews with workers, union organizers, developers and state regulators.

“Every little construction company wants to get into wind, but they don’t know what they are doing and sometimes they don’t have the money,” says Saucedo, who has built wind farms for big and small firms for eight years. “I hear lots of complaints about small companies that don't pay, or pay late, and treat workers like dogs.”

The full article continues here:


Trees store carbon, but a wind farm produces power. Which is greener?

"But rather than minimizing and mitigating in densely populated Northeast states, Mr. Cummins says we should build out wind capacity in Great Plains states while developing offshore wind farms, so as to avoid these trade-offs all together."

“Avoidance is the most cost-effective way for conservation,” he says.



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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 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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