We all know about Solyndra. We are learning about Fisker, the start-up electric car company, which received a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy. Touted by Vice President Biden as “a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs,” the cars are being manufactured in Finland. These are big stories being covered by the major media outlets. And these are only two such stories out there.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about two smaller stories from little states where shenanigans, at the least, and possible outright corruption, at the worst, were engaged in attempting to push through supposed green-energy projects. While researching those, another shady story surfaced: Rhode Island’s Block Island Wind Farm Project.
Back in 2004, in a different political and economic world, the RI General Assembly passed a Renewable Energy Standard that states: “fossil fuel prices are extremely variable and created economic hardships for employers and families, and increased use of renewable energy can both lower and stabilize energy cost.” The ratepayers of RI were sold a bill of goods that renewable energy can lower energy costs.
Republican Governor Donald Carcieri wanted to make RI the first state in the country with an offshore wind farm. In 2008, he pushed the Block Island Wind Farm project. It may give him a longed-for legacy—but it will not “lower energy costs.” The RI Public Utility Commission rejected the project as “commercially not reasonable.”
Undaunted, Carcieri and the General Assembly, in a late-night session, rushed to change the law, mandating that the PUC reconsider its rejection—a decision that would ultimately guarantee the project’s approval.
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