Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Cape Wind, oil, gasoline and outrage"

The economics of electricity are complex, but two things about it are obvious yet unmentioned in Charles Kleekamp's flaccid commentary in today's Barnstable (Mass.) Register (he's vice president of Clean Power Now). First, if wind power is cheap to the grid (which it has to be, since it is so variable and intermittent that it is almost worthless), it is because we have already paid for two-thirds of it with our taxes (while the developer and his investors pocket all of the profits, particularly those not from energy but from renewable energy certificates). Second, when was the last time your electric rate went down -- it is an unlikely event.

The other thrust of Kleekamp's piece is explaining how wind power in New England will make us less dependent on foreign oil. But he notes that what is used to generate electricity is residual fuel oil, that is, the sludge left over from refining gasoline and diesel. Even if wind power could reduce the use of other sources (a debatable point), it would not reduce the demand for gasoline and diesel and therefore would not affect our use of foreign oil.

Kleekamp also mentions that fear helps drive up the price of oil. The instability and antagonism towards the U.S. in so many oil-rich countries (not to mention the continuing growth of domestic demand) are direct results of the policies (and outright invasions) promoted by the oilmen who run (or is that "ruin") our country. Armageddon is obviously very good for business. It gives knuckleheads like Kleekamp something to do, too.

wind power, wind energy, anarchism, anarchosyndicalism, ecoanarchism