Energy

Wind Companies Spending $375k On Ads In Kansas Before Election

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Wind industry lobbyists are buying $375,000 worth of advertising in Kansas right before the November election.

Television ads run by American Wind Action (AWA) in Kansas urged voters to “get behind public leaders who support wind energy in Kansas.” A radio ad tells voters that “It’s time we get behind the bipartisan leaders who support the expansion of wind energy.”

AWA can be a major political force capable of throwing large amounts of money to embattled candidates. The group put about $200,000 into ads in Iowa to support Republican Rep. David Young. Young is in a competitive race against Democrat Jim Mowrer.

These are huge numbers relatively, as the American Wind Energy Association only spent $220,754 directly in the current election  and the entire alternative energy industry has only put $1,100,000 into the election through Political Action Committees (PACs), according to Open Secrets.

AWA and other wind industry groups have poured big money into the coffers of both Republicans and Democrats, and receives a lot in subsidies and other financial benefits in return. Wind power gets 69 times more in subsidies than coal, oil and natural gas per amount of energy generated, according to 2013 Department of Energy data collected by Forbes. Green energy in the U.S. got $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources and $1.7 billion for nuclear energy, according to data from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Other, off-the-book, government regulations heavily favor the wind power industry over its conventional competitors. These regulations force utilities to purchase any wind or solar power available and offer direct financial benefits for doing so, despite major technical problems and the high costs associated with unreliable green energy.

Wind power produced 4.7 percent of all electricity used in America last year while solar produced 0.6 percent, according to the EIA. Meanwhile, coal power and natural gas both produced 33 percent, and nuclear power produced 20 percent of all U.S. electricity the same year

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