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Jim Gooch: Still Embarrassing Kentuckians

February 11th, 2009 · No Comments

First, read this op-ed in the Charleston Gazette about how terrible and evil wind energy is. It’s called, “Wind: The Next Subprime Swindle,” in case you were wondering about the slant.

With Congress back in session, the wind-power faithful are fully mobilized. Having gotten an extension of production tax credits tacked on as an amendment to a budget bill in October, attention is focused on passing national renewable energy standards. This will guarantee profits to investors in industrial wind, forcing power companies in every state to obtain and distribute set percentages of “green” energy from approved sources, primarily wind.

This might be justifiable if wind could deliver what its proponents promise. Wind energy is intermittent and variable. Its most appropriate use is for home-scaled, remote, off-grid locations, charging storage batteries that provide steady but limited power.

Steady, abundant power is what we have come to expect from on-grid energy suppliers. They provide it using large coal-fired, hydro or nuclear power plants. Peak demand is met by bringing gas-fired generators, with their quicker response time, online as needed. To further ensure stability, some quick-response generating capacity runs in spinning reserve, ready to be dispatched in an emergency. Wind turbines can’t do that – they are not dispatchable. To compensate for that obvious shortcoming, the wind lobby, years ago, got the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change its rules and allow intermittent generating facilities to inject their energy into the grid whenever it was available. That rule change has the potential to cause severe disruptions to the stability of the power grids.

It’s utter horseshit. We can’t find one credible, solitary wind advocate that’s called for gas/coal generators to pick up the slack. We’ve never, ever seen anybody advocate the idea of a “backup” power plant. Maybe it’s happened in a localized situation, but it’s just like any other power solution. When there’s an outage, power is pushed from other spots on the grid.

And if wind is 5% of the power grid (or even 50%), there’s no way it could be concentrated. The wind farms, even the giant ones planned for Texas and plains states, aren’t going to be located in a place where dead air can destroy the grid. In other words, to have enough wind farms to make up 5% of the grid, they’d have to be far enough apart to dismiss his concerns.

The best part is at the end of the piece:

Hooton, of Pendleton County, is a member of Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County, a citizens group opposed to industrial wind development in the surrounding Potomac Highlands.

This hilarious guy is advocating against free energy. Hahaha.

Okay. That’d be bad enough. But what makes it worse is that Kentucky’s favorite embarrassment, Jim Gooch, issued an urgent memo to his fellow legislators on Monday citing the above op-ed.

Remember him? He’s the guy who wanted to tax his critics. He’s the guy who embarrassed Kentucky by bringing in some nutbag global warming deniers to testify (here and here) before the state House. Then he got ripped apart on Good Morning America by claiming to be some fancy expert on global warming.

Anyway, here are some highlights from Gooch’s memo:

“Exposes some of the hype and shortfalls of wind energy”

“Wind is intermittent and variable– meaning that it doesn’t blow all the time. It makes little economic sense to build expensive base load generators, such as coal or nuclear, to sit idly by until the wind stops blowing.”

Thank goodness this coconut cake-loving embarrassment’s days are numbered in the legislature. Kentucky Democrats should be ashamed.

Tags: Embarrassing · Environment · Flashback · Humor · Hypocrisy · Mainstream Mistake · Spotted