This is one of the most important facts that we have to get across to the average consumer of electricity who has been conned into thinking that commercial wind turbines are reducing CO2 emissions.
Most of them have no idea how they are being ripped off to pay for it all.
Only those with enough money to own land suitable for wind turbines benefit from the payment they receive from the wind companies.
The unfortunate neighbours to the wind turbines just have watch the value of their houses decrease while their electricity bills go up.
Bill would cripple alternative energy efforts, critics sayBy Charles S. Johnson of The Standard State Bureau - 01/12/2005
HELENA — Montana's alternative energy efforts would be harmed by passage of a bill requiring renewable energy projects funded with universal service benefit money to be cost-effective, opponents said Wednesday.
But backers of House Bill 136, by Rep. Alan Olson, R-Roundup, said it would be better to use the money instead to help low-income and seniors struggling to pay their energy bills than financing solar and wind projects for middle- and upper-income Montanans.
The House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications Committee took no immediate vote on HB136 on Wednesday.
Universal service benefits money is a 2.4 percent charge on utility bills paid by many Montanans. The money goes for energy conservation, renewable energy projects, low-income bill assistance and weatherization.
In opposing the bill, Patrick Judge, lobbyist for Montana Environmental Information Center, said USB had funded 185 "grid-intertied'' projects in NorthWestern Energy's territory: 28 schools, 16 fire stations, 14 community and government buildings, 10 senior centers, seven low-income housing projects, 82 solar residential projects and 28 wind projects.
"The change would have a devastating impact on NorthWestern Energy's renewable energy programs by arbitrarily excluding the largest category of potential projects from assistance,'' Judge said. He said a coalition of low-income, senior and environmental groups agreed in last year they could and should obtain additional support for low-income Montanans without jeopardizing the current commitment to renewable energy.
Lobbyists for a number of environmental and renewable energy groups agreed with Judge.
"This, in our opinion, is the precise wrong direction to take,'' said Chuck Macgraw, representing the Renewable Northwest Project and Natural Resources Defense Fund.
Public Service Commissioner Tom Schneider, D-Helena, defended the existing program, saying: "This is the small, diversified approach in which everybody wins.'' But Olson summed up the opponents' testimony, saying: "Once again, the sky is falling.'' He said 25 of the 36 projects in 2003 were cost effective, leaving only 11 that wouldn't have received money if his bill were in effect then.
"We've got a lot of people that are less fortunate than us that can't afford their power bills,'' Olson said. "But we're putting millions of dollars into science projects.'' Agreeing was Public Service Commissioner Brad Molnar, R-Laurel. He asked if the state should take money from some of the poorest people in the nation, those with the lowest average incomes, "so people with upper income and middle income can have windmills.'' He said the USB charges artificially keep utility rates higher than they should be.
"Do we tell poor people to subsidize rich people to have nice toys?'' Molnar asked.