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In Wyoming, cheap electricity is gone with the wind
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In Wyoming, cheap electricity is gone with the wind

Gov. Mark Gordon defends his “all of the above” green energy boondoggle as good policy. But ratepayers are learning the hard truth that wind power is neither cheap nor effective.

Once upon a time, the people of Wyoming enjoyed the lowest electricity rates in the nation, thanks to their supremacy in coal production. A state rich in God’s natural energy is now facing a 29% increase in electricity rates, thanks to Republican Governor Mark Gordon’s windmill grift. Who needs cheap natural fuel when you can have expensive and inefficient wind power?

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rocky Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility company, announced the nearly 30% hike in rates due to rising costs. Residents responded with outrage. They had thought, with good reason, that the state’s abundance of resources would shield them from the national trend. The state’s Public Service Commission is expected to vote on whether to sign off on the increase later this month.

Although the price of fuel has gone up everywhere, the culprit here is Gordon’s decision to hop on the green energy bandwagon and divert resources away from useful fuel, thereby making residents more reliant on expensive, inefficient wind power. He stubbornly vetoed a bill blocking eminent domain for the wind turbine colonization of Wyoming’s beautiful countryside.

It wasn’t always like this. Coal plants accounted for about 71% of the electricity produced in Wyoming in 2022, down from a peak of 97% in 2003 but still second-highest in the nation after West Virginia. What changed? Wind power now accounts for 22% of the share, more than doubling just in the past three years under Gordon.

Gordon claims to support coal. The trouble is that he’s shackled its use to “carbon capture,” an expensive and cumbersome process designed to sequester carbon dioxide, the “greenhouse gas” you and I exhale with every breath we take. As American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Benjamin Zycher explains, if somehow we succeeded in capturing 10% of greenhouse gases, it would cost about $265 billion per year. And that’s at the low end. It’s no wonder even the leftists in Norway have halted a carbon capture project due to its exorbitant cost.

But Gordon is a true believer. He spoke recently at Harvard, where he promoted wind and solar while touting a goal of “carbon negative” energy.

It's this very push to subsidize and mandate other expensive forms of energy that has caused coal to become less profitable and more expensive. Consider the fact that despite our growing country, we are expected to consume just 373 million tons of coal this year, down about two-thirds from what we consumed in 2007.

The cruel irony here is that inefficient wind farms aren’t just ugly. They require more electricity to power them. And where does that electricity come from? Fossil fuels.

Nevertheless, Gordon supports the electric car grift as head of the Western Governors Association with its “Electric Vehicle Roadmap Initiative,” which will further strain our electric grid and drive up prices even more. The “all of the above” approach propagated by establishment Republicans like Gordon is a sleight of hand for “transitioning” from real energy to fake energy.

Speaking at a Western Governors Association meeting earlier this week, Gordon defended his “decarbonization” stance. “It is about what we do about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and how we move forward in an aggressive fashion really to address that issue and understanding how all energy sources have a place,” he said.

But the only way to move forward “in an aggressive fashion” to address the bald-faced lie of carbon climate change is to continue the war on natural energy.

Gordon claims there is a place for all energy sources, but Big Wind has been given every political, legal, and cultural boost possible and has been an utter failure. A major Danish energy company recently scuttled two offshore wind projects in New Jersey and was willing to take a $5.6 billion loss rather than take on this long-term liability. This despite hundreds of billions in tax subsidies since 1992 and countless more direct subsidies under Joe Biden’s Green New Deal, passed into law last year.

Although offshore wind is particularly unfeasible, onshore wind requires the same level of subsidization and energy consumption — except it chews up much more land. Even the liberal Brookings Institution conceded, “Wind and solar generation require at least 10 times as much land per unit of power produced than coal or natural gas-fired power plants, including land disturbed to produce and transport the fossil fuels.”

Knowing that, where is the “place” for this green energy boondoggle? We’re out of money, and we can’t afford to abuse so much land for an ideological agenda.

Despite the subsidies and mandates, green energy projects now need bailouts because not only can’t they power and pay for our future, they can’t power and pay for themselves. At least not without the help of the very sources of energy their supporters seek to ban.

Just look at Siemens, Germany’s large wind producer. After blaming its billions in operating losses on a “substantial increase in failure rates of wind turbine components,” the company leaders claim the German government is prepared to offer a $16 billion bailout to the country’s wind energy industry. Don’t be surprised when U.S. taxpayers have to pay to keep an industry afloat that in itself is contributing to higher rates for consumers.

This is a particularly bitter pill for residents of Wyoming, who are proud of their natural resources that their governor views as a pollutant or “climate change” agent. Thanks to his Democrat-lite leadership, Wyoming’s freedom, prosperity, and natural resources are gone with the wind.

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Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz

Blaze Podcast Host

Daniel Horowitz is the host of “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” and a senior editor for Blaze News.
@RMConservative →