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Windmills: is Chris Christie kidding?



Will the sequester make these a rarity? Not necessarily, says a smart executive.

Steve Lonegan’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) held a rally on the beach in Asbury Park, NJ today, to oppose “Global Wind Day.” The popular chant captured the mood: “Governor Christie, go fly a kite!” And for good reason. His harebrained windmills boondoggle will cost the taxpayers $100 million in subsidies, just to start this project. Then you will see your electric bills soar. Experts say the total cost to the taxpayers could reach $1.4 billion before it’s over.

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll presented many facts that would horrify citizens with any common sense. They show that this endeavor is ludicrous at least. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. New Jersey is lucky to have a common sense Assemblyman like Mr. Carroll. I guess he ticked off the establishment bosses. Sorry Michael, you’re not going to get an invitation to Chris Christie’s next cocktail party.

Windmills cost far more than they’re worth

As most New Jerseyans know, we already have the fourth highest electric rates in the nation. Does Governor Christie want to surpass the Democrats in raising the cost of living in New Jersey before he leaves office?

This next question should be on everyone lips. If building windmills will benefit the taxpayers and reduce electric rates, why not make it easy for private investors to build them? They could make a fortune without putting the cost on the taxpayer! But they wouldn’t touch this project with a ten-foot pole, unless the taxpayer foots the bill. So I ask: can you face “We the People” of New Jersey with a straight face and say this will benefit them?

Or after the people are stuck with another wasteful government project, will you tell us that you didn’t know that every country in Europe that built windmills had disastrous results and higher energy costs? When are you going to do your homework? Your staff should take a few moments, in between packing your bags for Washington, DC. Or you can stop campaigning for the other progressive Governor, Mitt “Flip-flop” Romney. You may be surprised to learn how badly you will hurt the taxpayers of New Jersey if you go on with this scheme. The Internet has all the facts on what happened in England and Germany, and how windmills almost bankrupted Spain.


With all the crony corporate lobbyists banging on your door, Governor, an untrusting person would wonder who will really benefit from this ludicrous plan. That you support it anyway, boggles my mind. Governor Christie, what are your true motives? Why would you put the taxpayers of New Jersey on the hook for untold millions of dollars in subsidies to build windmills, when other countries have tried that and failed miserably?

Obama sets the example

Windmills do not always pay off.

One of a string of windmills on the Golan Heights in Israel. Photo: CNAV.

So it dawned on me: where has such a boondoggle happened before? Well, who do you think came to mind? If you said Mr. Obama you said the magic word and you get the cigar. Mr. Obama used taxpayers’ monies to subsidize solar companies that contributed to his campaign. Oh by the way: 17 of those solar companies went belly-up at the cost of hundreds of billions to taxpayers. But at least the Democrats picked up millions in campaign donations.

Yeah sure, you’re not running for President. You said “It’s not my time.” Personally, I believe you. But I still ask: are you feathering your bed for future campaign donations? Companies like General Electric or Siemens AG are very generous to friends that help them in their business ventures. Especially when taxpayers fund their projects. (Siemens doesn’t even make the parts for windmills in this country because corporate taxes and union demands are too high). Did your campaign staff advise you to start banking for future campaign donations? Are we once again watching crony capitalism at the expenses of the public?

Even money says you leave New Jersey this fall, and Romney nominates you for Attorney General of the United States. Congratulations. I’m sure you will do a better job than Eric Holder, though that’s not saying much.

Little-known facts about windmills

Just some facts since I realize how busy you are. Do you know you need fossil fuels (natural gas) to run windmills? Did you also know you can’t store the energy that windmills gather? Do you know they must run constantly? To avoid blackouts, brownouts and/or grid destabilization, no one ever turns those turbines off. On the East coast they must run continually in the winter, so the blades will not “ice up.” Is that why no venture capitalist will invest their money in such a ridiculous (no win) project? Just asking.

I’m sure you know that New Jersey already suffers from one of the worst unemployment rates in the country (as Assemblymen Carroll reminded us).


Estimated higher rates associated with expensive wind energy will cost thousands of jobs, and as much as one third of a billion dollars out of states disposable income.

Forty percent of new jobs in New Jersey? Really?

This forces me to comment on your recent bravado concerning New Jersey creating forty percent of all the new jobs. That was duplicitous at best. Surely you understand that New Jersey historically employs thousands of part-time workers every summer. The beautiful Jersey Shore attracts people from all the surrounding states. That’s the very Shore that the environmental idiots were flying their kites on. I kept looking for Peter, Paul, and Mary to break out in a hippie song.

The answer, my friend,

Is blowin’ in the wind.

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Each summer sees a surge of part-time employment, to run concession stands and amusement parks and service our beaches. Please in the future let Obama fudge the numbers. Please don’t insult the intelligence of the people of New Jersey too feather your bed.

Now in all fairness with a Marxist Democrat legislature in charge, they will make it impossible. To your credit you refused to knuckle under pressure from the Marxists to tax millionaires, the true job creators. (I know congratulations from me is shocking. Get over it; I found it hard enough to say.)


Who benefits?

Well I was nice for one paragraph. That’s over. Remember my asking who would benefit from this ridiculous windmill plan? Well maybe someone should look into who owns stock in those companies I named. Do any of your relatives or friends have any interest in windmills? Or are you just winning friends and influencing people for the future?

Well Governor, I can only hope and pray that what Mr. Obama did to us nationally with solar energy, you will not do to us locally with windmills. Come on, Governor, give me something good to say about you. I voted for you. I never like to attack a man I believed in. So I’ll leave you with this quote by Amicus Solo:

When an honest man, honestly mistaken, comes face-to-face with undeniable and irrefutable truth, he is faced with one of two choices; he must either cease being mistaken or cease being honest.

So what will it be Governor?

The Eagle

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Yes, yes, I know – we’ve been given dominion over everything and it doesn’t matter if we make the planet uninhabitable, because the Rapture is coming any day now. Yup, any… day… now.

Now, here’s two easy questions for you:
1. Will wind ever run out?
2. Does wind pollute?

The answer to both of these is no. So why not use wind and actually stop ruining this planet? Yes, it might cost a bit more, but at least your grandchildren will have air to breathe in 100 years’ time.

Terry A. Hurlbut

You know perfectly well that wind cannot keep blowing twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. When smoke goes straight up, your wind turbine is worse than useless: it needs a natural-gas-based kicker to keep moving. Where, then, is your advantage?

The best place for a wind turbine is on a farm. (And I mean a real farm, the kind you grow crops on.) Use a Savonius rotor and back it up with a fuel cell.

But you’re talking about building a bunch of these turbines off-shore. They’re not very pleasant to look at; hence the mention of the tourist trade, much of which the Shore would lose. Those spinning blades have a nasty habit of luring birds to their deaths.

If wind turbine farms are such a good investment, why did the Kennedys fight so hard to make sure that they wouldn’t have to look at “those ugly windmills” from their secluded compound at Hyannis Port, MA?

T. Boone Pickens tried windmills in Texas. He failed. He learned his lesson.


It’s funny how they work fine everywhere else in the world. Especially the sane countries that don’t deny that oil and coal are limited, dirty resources.

Tell me, what should the US use for electricity when oil runs out? Nuclear power? Cool and will New Jersey be storing their own radioactive waste?

And tourism and birds? That’s your counter argument? I’m sure great belching smokestacks do wonders for the tourism business and wildlife.

Terry A. Hurlbut

First, you and your kind have been waiting for oil to run out for decades, and we’re still finding more, and more, and more.

Second, yes we should use nuclear power. We can build Pebble Bed Modular Reactors that use their fuel so well that you don’t even have to haul it away. After the forty-year life span of the reactor is out, just pour cement over it and bury everything on-side. The fuel will by then decay almost to background level.

Third: tourism and birds are two of the very arguments that the Kennedys used to stop the Nantucket wind farm. On the other hand, coal- and oil-fired power plants are already out of the way of the tourist traps.


Wind power is a single component of an overall energy strategy – even among the legacy-energy set, the strategy mixes oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear because of cost, availability, etc.

What happens when the wind stops is the same as what happens when the drilling, digging and refining of fossil fuels stop – there’s nothing powering the generator.

Wind is like solar or tidal sources – it provides power during windows where energy is available for conversion into electricity, and is not intended to be a 24×7 solution. I’ve seen some land-based windmills in the Northeast, and while they’re a visual distraction, aesthetically they’d be a lot more pleasant to look at than a coal or nuclear plant, and they don’t pollute while operating.

I’m not into major government subsidies for the power industry, but there are two points where your criticism smacks of hypocrisy, Terry:

– You may not like subsidies, but the U.S. nuclear domestic energy program is tied into government support on multiple levels, and I don’t see any outrage over that.

– I have to laugh at the double-standard of not wanting offshore windmills because of the visual impact, while cheering on the “drill baby, drill” crowd trying to get more oil platforms built close to shore, even in places dependent on those near-shore waters for tourism and food production. Santa Barbara, CA is a lovely city, until you look out to the Pacific and see the oil derricks.

Conservatives would agree that you don’t get something for nothing (TANSSAAFL), so if energy choices are all about tradeoffs, then wind needs to be judged against any of the other solutions on a balanced scorecard and a comprehensive strategy.

Terry A. Hurlbut

You admit that wind power cannot be a 24×7 proposition. All right then! What do you propose for a 24×7 solution? What do you think carries the load right now?

The coal and the oil are not likely to give out for decades to come (if we even have decades to wait, but that’s another issue). Reserves of “legacy fuels,” as you call them, are far more extensive than you admit here. They might be far more extensive than you know, but after all: it’s your job to know when you join a debate at which someone has proposed the utter, absolute, positive, and immediate abandonment of “legacy” sources.


As a non-engineer, my only clear suggestion for a 24×7 solution to power generation is twofold:

First, a suite of overlapping technologies used with a smart grid that moves power efficiently between points of generation and consumption.

Second, improved technology for energy storage and demand-based release. Our current technology produces power based on demand, but an ideal power “ecosystem” would generate the maximum amount of energy from each source when it is least expensive to do so, and store it for release when demand from the grid requires it.

Wind isn’t constant, but it’s not closely tied to daylight either. Geothermal, tidal and hydro power all have pros and cons, and yes, there’s even a case for limited use of pebble-bed technology when a balanced scorecard shows it.

Personally, I’m hoping that in the next 20-30 years we’ll see breakthroughs in fusion technology that will make this debate seem quaint. Until then, it’s in our interest to make the supplies of finite fossil fuels last longer, and eliminate the need to go to extreme ends to extract what’s left, by being open to alternative clean sources like wind where it makes sense.

Fergus Mason

I think you’re right about storage being the key. We have a lot of wind turbines here and they work fine, but the problem is that on the coldest days it tends to be very still. Any way to even out power generation with power use would make a huge difference.

Fergus Mason

“Siemens doesn’t even make the parts for windmills in this country because corporate taxes and union demands are too high”

The fact that they’re a German company may also have something to do with it.

[…] Chris also wants his windmills … link to… […]


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