So-called green industry means paying folks NOT to produce

I trust by now you’re heard about the Chevy Volt, that Yugo of the 21st century, the flagship vehicle of the green nanny state, that utter failure. The electric fire hazard that took about $3 Billion in state and federal dollars in tax incentives to be produced (to the tune of about $250,000 per car) has now been put on hold.

Maybe you’ve heard about Abound Solar, funded by the Department of Energy to the tune of $400 million, that just laid off 280 employees. Or A123, which was given $279 million, laid off 125 workers and gave its executives golden parachutes. Or Ener1, bankrupt after being given $118 million in stimulus funds. Or Fisker, laying off 65 workers after getting $193 million of a $529 million DOE loan. Or Solyndra, of course: bankrupt after getting $535 million from the DOE.

The next green energy boondoggle to reap the whirlwind is wind power in the Pacific Northwest. Fox News explains (emphasis added):

Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest — built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced — are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region’s electricity grid says there’s an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.

The problem arose during the late spring and early summer last year. Rapid snow melt filled the Columbia River Basin. The water rushed through the 31 dams run by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency based in Portland, Ore., allowing for peak hydropower generation. At the very same time, the wind howled, leading to maximum wind power production.

Demand could not keep up with supply, so BPA shut down the wind farms for nearly 200 hours over 38 days. …

Now, Bonneville is offering to compensate wind companies for half their lost revenue. The bill could reach up to $50 million a year.

The extra payout means energy users will eventually have to pay more.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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