Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wind Power

The attached article talks about how US wind power has fluctuated because it's dependent on federal tax subsidies and the Congress is such a hot mess right now that those subsidies come and go.

But what was really interesting was this map:

Texas is the big wind energy producer, which is mildly surprising.  Iowa makes sense, but the lack of wind in Montana is strange.  And then you have the Confederacy. While technically, Texas is part of the Confederacy, they are really just Texas, sui generis in so many ways.  And Texas does energy, so why not wind?

But we can see from the map how important state action is in producing wind energy.  And the South just isn't interested.

Some of this is simply Cleek's Law in action.  Since "liberals" like wind energy, we must be opposed.  Some of it is simply being so reflexively anti-government that they can't see the benefits of the government acting on this, despite the fact that the government does all SORTS of nice things for hydrocarbon industries.

Wind energy is somewhat expensive to start and then remarkably cheap to sustain.  After the turbines are up, there is no fuel beyond the weather.  It is a perfect example of long term thinking.  Build the turbines now and you reap the benefits later.

All of which leaves the environmental impact out of the equation.

And as we've seen, reducing the consumption of hydrocarbons - especially petroleum - is an excellent way to undermine authoritarian regimes without otherwise lifting a finger.

To me, the complete absence of wind power in the South is a perfect example of the blinkered, short-sighted political landscape of Red America.  It is not destiny - look at Texas, look at the Dakotas and Wyoming - and blue states, like my own Connecticut, sometimes lag behind (although I've seen some wind turbines in CT, so I don't know what gets you on that map).

But subsidizing wind power is such a no-brainer, it's tough to figure out what the hell people are thinking.

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