Opinion

Kerry invokes Giffords to push windmill agenda

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Chris Horner
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      Chris Horner

      Christopher C. Horner serves as a Senior Fellow at CEI. As an attorney in Washington, DC Horner has represented CEI as well as scientists and Members of the U.S. House and Senate on matters of environmental policy in the federal courts including the Supreme Court. He has written on numerous topics in publications ranging from law reviews to legal and industrial trade journals to print and online opinion pages, and is the author of two best-selling books: Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed (Regnery, 2008) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism (Regnery, 2007), which spent half of 2007 on the New York Times bestseller list.

The original sin — the puffery of If you do X, Y could happen! — is what the wind and solar industries have survived upon for decades and decades. Even though Y — wind (let alone the hopeless solar) as a commercially viable energy source in the absence of taxpayer wealth transfers — continues to be just around the corner, as it will always be just a few decades around the corner, just as it has been for…are you ready for this?…more than a century.

That’s right. Wind power, we are told, still needs massive per-unit subsidies because it is “nascent.” Now, being nascent does not in fact mean that you need subsidies, so the implication is rather intellectually insulting. But they do have a point: wind-powered electricity was only first commercialized back in ’91. 1891! “Dinosaur” coal-fired electricity had a head start of a whole nine years.

Anyhow, the Pew projection upon which Sen. Kerry apparently relies, upon scrutiny, also makes clear there’s no $2 trillion renewable energy market now, as even another decade of the extant, breakneck pace of lavishing the stuff with mandates, preferences and taxpayer billions would just grow it to $1.7 trillion by 2020. So Sen. Kerry, Third Way and Pew have a lot to straighten out amongst themselves.

But look, we’re talking about windmills and solar panels, longstanding flops that are so hopeless that they are styled by the president as “new technology.” Chuckle. And when that’s the case, people know right off the bat you’re just saying stuff, anyway.

Chris Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.