January 20, 2018
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Comments for: Reasonable return on renewable energy

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  • Anonymous

    Wind energy is an expensive, tax-subsidized boondoggle enjoyed by crony-fascism mixing government power with private interests.  Ranting at “the right wing” and “tax cuts” doesn’t change that.

  • Anonymous

    The ‘essence’ of fiscal conservatism towards business is letting businesses sink or swim on their own, not subsidies. Those which need subsidies are those which the business world has already deemed to be unprofitable for the foreseeable future. It is very possible that Maine needs a more forward-thinking business class than it has, but supplementing it with politicians ‘playing visionary’ is unlikely to produce much except a public with warm, wet backs and the impression it’s raining.

    • What in the world are you talking about!

      Oil is still has many forms of subsidies!

      Don’t you think it’s time to take OFF the training Wheels! 

      • Anonymous

        Not taxing it more than it already is in a drive for higher taxes is not a “subsidy”.  Every business has business deductions from gross income that is not taxed as the income it is not.  That is not the same as the subsidy of negative taxes in the form of credits simply for being in a politically favored business.  Taxes on oil are higher than oil companies’ net profits.

        • Exon paid Zero taxes last year! Look it up!

          • Anonymous

            Look it up and you can find anything you want supporting leftist myths, but it isn’t true.  Exxon-Mobile received a refund on its 2010 US Federal income taxes for an enormous overpayment in 2009.  It pays tens of billions in taxes world wide.  It did not pay “zero taxes” last year or any year.

      • Anonymous

         Keep in mind that conservatives aren’t Republicans, who are often all too willing to do a favor for their friends in business. If you can point out an actual subsidy to the oil business, I’m sure conservatives would decry it.

    • The TVA was controversial in its day due to government involvement!

      It turned out to be a great public investment!

      • Anonymous

         The TVA is a wholly government-owned corporation designed to provide the public with various services, not a subsidized, privately held, profit-making one.

        • Anonymous

          TVA used eminent domain to displace about 50,000 people and was intended to replace the possibility of private utilities in accordance with the surge in socialist and fascist ideology of the 1930s.  Of course it was “controversial”, and still should be for anyone paying attention to the history instead of uncritically accepting the “new normal”.

          • Anonymous

             True enough. My point was that it in no way set a precedent for subsidizing for-profit companies. Dlbrt would have been better off citing the Pacific Railway Acts, which did do so and did result in a useful expansion of transportation. But success in one case doesn’t mean success in another and the history of government subsidies to industry is, er, mixed. Especially recently.

          • Anonymous

             There have been improper subsidies to businesses, but allowing a railroad to establish ownership of previously unowned land along the right of way it developed wasn’t one of them.  Since that time progressives, beginning in the late 19 the century, reversed that policy on behalf of their statism, preventing almost all development and settlement of unowned land, as private property, in order to build an empire of permanently government-owned land through most of the west. There is no excuse for dismissing “controversial” government action imposing forced sacrifice for “the public good”, to be regarded as now vindicated, only because the victims are long forgotten and we are now supposed to accept collectivism and statism as normal.  They use the same bogus arguments in their campaign to destroy private property in Maine through their Federal park takeover agenda.

  • Anonymous

    For the amount of money we have wasted on wind energy we could have built hydro dams that would produce clean, reliable, cheap hydro power.  It would have been like giving every Maine household a tax free check for $30 a month.  Unfortunately those promoting the wind industry are either useful idiots or those who wish to depopulate the state.  Cheaper energy is the last thing either group is interested in.

    • Ten Four oldmainer!

      Hydro is emissions free ,steady and  reliable! 

  • Anonymous

    If Sinclair was an engineer, she would know better than to write such empty-headed nonsense. How unfortunate that UMO is producing Krugmanesque pratts who feel the need to opine before they’ve actually learned anything. Or accomplished anything. Or substantively contributed to the bureaucracy of the collective,

    • Anonymous

      Political majors don’t have to know anything.  Ranting against “the right” and fuming at support of “tax cuts”, echoing everything they hear around them, is deemed to be enough in the demands for more government social controls and manipulation of the economy.

  • yu tube

    Nothing stops any company from putting up as many wind turbines
    as they want.  Other than there is no
    profit in it.  If the people of Maine
    want to pay for the turbines that is their choice, no one is saying they can’t.  But other ratepayers/taxpayers are being
    asked to help foot the cost and that is where the controversy begins.

    • Well said. Like with anything in life you can have whatever YOU are willing to pay for. As soon as YOU want MY money to pay for it then we have problems.

  • Anonymous

    Braden, you’re entitled to an opinion but not to your own facts. It’s evident you do not understand how costly the PTC is, the tax policies governing oil/gas or the true cost of wind power nor do you appear to understand the electricity market in New England. Is this the best U of Maine offers? Activists without a clue?

    • Patten_Pete

      If one looks up his Facebook page, they will see he is with the grant seeking PTC subsidizing
      AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

  • Sewall House Yoga

    Wind energy is NOT a combatant against climate change and is NOT clean..please do yourself a favor and rent the movie WINDFALL..know something about what you are talking about before making assumptions you have been told by propagandists.

    and destroying the eco balance will not help the environmental issues either..WHY are we NOT thinking of the obvious already PROVEN (no – the studies by wind companies do not count) mal-effects of huge wind turbines worldwide? THESE ARE INDUSTRIAL MACHINES NOT WIND MILLS>

  • Patten_Pete

    SPEND YOUR OWN MONEY on this useless nonsense, not mine.

  • Anonymous

    —and we all know the value and capacity factor of economics majors These days as well, especially when doing a cost benefit analysis on this issue( which they  refuse  to  or do not know how to do).
    Capacity factor of on demand wind= zero!
    Economics major  opinion worth on this issue  = ZERO

    • Patten_Pete

      He’s an Economics major but his Facebook page puts him in Professor Unicorn’s  (Habib Dagher’s) 
      AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

      Why no disclosure?

  • Anonymous

    Dense energy sources are needed to power modernity.
    How does wind  meet the criteria every electrical generating source must meet Mr. Sinclair??
     Any electric utility must meet the following, well known in the industry to survive.
    Defying the laws of thermodynamics , along with the religious fervor of the climate computerized theories that defy reality do not cut it anymore
    Dense energy sources are needed to power modernity.
    How does wind meet the criteria every electrical generating source must meet?
     Any electric utility must meet the following, well known in the industry to survive.
    1.The source must provide large amounts of electrons (it must be dense)
    2.The power must be reliable and predictable.
    3.The electrons must be dispatchable (high or low amount must be generated on demand)
    4.It must serve one or more grid demand elements(base load, load following and peak load).
    5.The utilization of environment must be minimal and compactness is a must, or it is non-green and damaging the environment.
    6.It must be economical

    Mr Sinclair, address the above please.

    Dense sources of electron production support modernity.
    Sorry, the consumer can’t and won’t buy  the economics you present, because they know how to balance a check book!Do you?


  • Anonymous

    This is an example of what passes for a college education today.  Critical thinking?  Logical analysis of facts?  Economics?

  • Anonymous

    What might be of most concern is that a University of Maine professor still seems to believe that wind power development at some level is going to end Maine’s use of oil and be a major player in the climate change story.  He’s an economist – a numbers guy  – I’d like for him to show us THOSE numbers.  Can he?  Can anybody?  No one at the U of M seems willing to disclose those numbers.

    If offshore wind is a smart move, then let’s let the research take us there and tell us that.  The industry and its supporters want us to commit our future to them before we’ve even done the research or determined the true costs.Mr. Sinclair says that giving the wind industry continued taxpayer support (they’ve already had 20 years of the Production Tax Credit) should be a “no-brainer.”  I believe ethanol was supposed to be a no-brainer too.  Can you find anyone not in the ethanol industry who still thinks THAT was a good idea?  

  • Anonymous

    I’m heartened by sophomoric commentary–the writer is a sophomore; since it reveals that at least one U. Maine student is interested in more than investing in foreign athletes and national drinking contests.

    Facts elude him, as they do all sophomores whose knowledge base is as thin as first ice.

    Perhaps the most elusive fact is that Statoil is seeking either 29 cents/Kw or 32 cents/Kw from the PUC as the price of their off shore electricity. Put into context, Vermont has a long term contract with Hydro Quebec for 6 Cents/Kw for 20 years and Gov. LePage is negotiating with them for an even better deal!
    ….and we haven’t even factored in the cost of distribution, environmental and fishery impact of the restricted leasehold for a floating platform.

    Another fact he missed is the est. 25% higher cost of Operating and Maintaining(O&M) these floating platforms and the impact of all the boat traffic and onshore facilities. 

    Nor does he mention that this is ‘wind’ and the power fluctuates from nothing to ‘too much’; making it a headache for grid managers who must back-fill with conventional power supplies. The dirty secret about German off shore wind farms is that they have created a resurgence in coal fired generation plants; and in the U.S. a similar growth in gas fired plants. 

    He also forgot that Wind Turbines require electricity to operate, and that has to be purchased. Sounds Ironic, but wind farms have electric bills just like the rest of us. 

    Most sophmoric of all, are his ‘de minimis ‘ arguments of  ‘ it’s only a fraction of penny more…uh huh.  Perhaps he’s never heard of the ‘straw that broke the taxpayer’s back’, but then again the elite 1% never do. 

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