Few have gone so far to prove their fealty to corporate welfare than Mr. Maggie Fox, aka Sen. Mark Udall.
Udall, the senior senator from Colorado, is delivering his 23rd speech Thursday on how very, very, very important it is to extend the life of a taxpayer subsidy for a failing industry that purports to produce electricity with the reliability of the Hoover Dam or a pile of coal outside Hayden Station near Craig.
Udall today is talking about the importance of the wind-production tax credit to the people of New Jersey.
No word on whether the Garden State is still living off the electricity delivered by Superstorm Sandy and its winds, to say nothing of all the juice stored in the waters that inundated the state.
What’s that you say? What electricity ginned up by Sandy?
Don’t ask silly questions. This isn’t about actual results. It’s about appearances and political payback. It is corporate welfare, after all.
The facts are straightforward enough. If wind could generate a constant, reliable, uninterrupted base supply of electricity, gales of private capital would be rumbling in, especially considering the costs: nothing for the fuel (wind) and minimal expense for the windmills and generators that would conduct electricity into the grid, which largely exists already.
Let’s be direct: If wind power were actually economic and demand truly great, we’d have wind farms atop Longs and Pikes peaks already, strategically placed to capture the most powerful bursts of natural energy. We don’t.
Cheap Seats abibes by a simple rule: We’ll believe there’s more to wind production tax credits when backers like Udall are willing to take their talk seriously and capture wind power in their favorite, pristine, locations.
Until they start acting as though things are serious, we’ll assume it’s all hot air. Hot air that can’t be harnessed.