Both solar and wind are deadly to the environment. For environmental purposes, the Ivanpah land essentially becomes a five square mile parking lot. Focusing the sun’s rays on a single point as this facility does raises the temperature near the central tower as high as 1,000 degrees F, incinerating any birds that fly through. The Bundy Ranch showdown came about because multiple solar energy farms are planned for Clark County, Nevada; and land surrounding the ranch property is intended for “mitigation,” i.e. to replace habitat for the endangered desert tortoise destroyed by solar facilities.
Modern wind turbines slaughter more birds than Perdue. At California’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, one of the first major wind generation facilities constructed in the U.S., the Audubon Society estimates that 4,700 birds die annually, including 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels. According to Smithsonian.com, nationwide, wind turbines kill between 140,000 and 328,000 birds every year.
Solar and wind energy projects cannot survive on their own, requiring massive, unsustainable government subsidies to make them economically viable. Across the United States, 15,000 wind turbines already stand abandoned; and throughout Europe, wind and solar energy are being reconsidered as problems mount and governments abandon the subsidies. In Spain, one study found that renewable energy jobs cost about 571,000 Euros, or more than $776,000 each. At the same time, for each renewable energy job generated, the economy lost 2.2 jobs elsewhere. Wind generation has failed in Denmark, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and elsewhere. Stephan Kohler, Germany’s energy chief, says that conventional power plants will be necessary until at least 2050 and calls Germany’s Renewable Energy Act “pure insanity.”
Fleecing the Taxpayers
While Obama, the Democrats, and some Republicans have raised the specter of catastrophic global warming, the real “green” they seek is greenbacks. Even a cursory look into the backers of “green energy” projects reveals a who’s who of the Democratic Left. Everyone from Al Gore to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama and their many friends, associates, and supporters have all lined up to cash in on “green” energy. The idea is to use government subsidies to make the investments viable. As long as subsidies persist, the companies make money. But this can’t last forever. Government subsidies must eventually end, as they are doing now in Europe and already did at many locations in the U.S. But by the time this happens, investors have long since cashed out, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. The EPA rule, however, envisions an entirely new paradigm. Instead of subsidizing these green energy firms, the Obama administration intends to simply destroy the competition.
James Simpson is an economist, businessman and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at American Thinker, Accuracy in Media, Breitbart, PJ Media, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on Twitter & Facebook
This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.
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