Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What happens when government gets involved in energy production?

Consider this story from Canada, found in the National Post.

Excerpt:

A $200-million wind farm in northern New Brunswick is frozen solid, cutting off a potential supply of renewable energy for NB Power.

The 25-kilometre stretch of wind turbines, located 70 kilometres northwest of Bathurst, N.B. has been completely shutdown for several weeks due to heavy ice covering the blades.

[…]Wintery conditions also temporarily shutdown the site last winter, just months after its completion. Some or all of the turbines were offline for several days, with “particularly severe icing” blamed.

The accumulated ice alters the aerodynamics of the blades, rendering them ineffective as airfoils. The added weight further immobilizes the structures.

[…]Melissa Morton, a spokeswoman for the utility, says the contract isn’t based on power delivered during a specific period, but rather on an annual basis.

“Our hopes is that it will balance out over the 12-month period and, historically, that has been the case.”

Despite running into problems in consecutive winters, Ms. Morton says NB Power doesn’t have concerns about the reliability of the supply from the Caribou Mountain site.

This story has the word Wintery in it, and spelled correctly, too. That is a good thing. However, government-run utilities wasting taxpayer money on environmentalist nonsense is a bad thing. Maybe the taxpayer-funded wind farm is doing such a good job of stopping global warming that we are now seeing global cooling?

And remember that the Ontario government provides subsidies to private companies for inefficient solar power. More waste.

Now consider this post from Red State, found in Neil Simpson’s latest round-up.

Excerpt:

As taxpayer tragedies go, Broomfield, Colorado-based Range Fuels has all the plot elements—splashy headlines, subsidies and opportunistic venture capitalists. Range got its start in 2006 when George W. Bush used a State of the Union address to extol wood chips as a source for cellulosic ethanol that would break America’s “addiction to oil.” Mr. Bush pledged that with government funding cellulosic ethanol would be “practical and competitive within six years.”

Vinod Khosla stepped in with his hand out. The political venture capitalist founded Range Fuels and in March 2007 it received a $76 million grant from the Department of Energy—one of six cellulosic projects the Bush Administration selected for $385 million in grants. Range said it would build the nation’s first commercial cellulosic plant, near Soperton, Georgia, using wood chips to produce 20 million gallons a year in 2008, with a goal of 100 million gallons. Estimated cost: $150 million.

… the EPA said Range would finally produce some fuel in 2010—but only four million gallons, not 100 million, and of methanol, not cellulosic ethanol. So taxpayers have committed $162 million (along with at least that much in private financing) to produce four million gallons of a biofuel that others have been making in quantity for decades.

Yes, George W. Bush made some mistakes… but there is someone even worse.

From USA Today, we learn the consequences of Obama’s moratorium on oil drilling. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

Seahawk Drilling Inc. said it has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to sell its fleet of offshore drilling rigs to a competitor for $105 million.

Seahawk, which announced the deal with Hercules Offshore Inc. Friday, has been hurt by a slowdown in Gulf of Mexico drilling after the BP oil spill last April. The government halted drilling in deep waters and imposed tough new rules that have curtained all energy exploration in U.S. waters.

Bottom line – keep government out of the free market.

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