Out in the Open: Koch Brothers Make it Official. We Hate Wind.

July 26, 2011

It’s official.  I’ve been waiting for the money guys behind the phony “grassroots” anti-wind “windbagger” movement to show themselves, and finally, they have. As Gomer Pyle said, “Serprize, serprize, serprize.”

NJ Spotlight:

A conservative group that spearheaded efforts to lobby the Christie administration to pull out of a regional initiative to curb greenhouse gas emissions is now trying to undercut New Jersey’s efforts to develop offshore wind farms.

Americans for Prosperity retained the Beacon Hill Institute to do a cost-benefit analysis of the state’s plans to develop up to 1,100 megawatts of wind capacity off the coast of southern New Jersey. The study concluded that “the rush to offshore wind power will produce net economic costs, raise electricity prices, and dampen economic activity.”

Sourcewatch:

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a group fronting special interests started by oil billionaire David Kochand Richard Fink (a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries).

Grist: 

Topping the report’s list of misrepresented facts are the jobs benefits. In fact, forget about misrepresentation; the report actually failed to represent those benefits altogether. Considering the impressive job-creation numbers cited in a range of other studies on offshore wind [PDF], it’s hard to imagine how any analysis that wasn’t commissioned as an intentional piece of fiction could have made such a glaring omission. Indeed, a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicates that the 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power New Jersey is planning to build could result in nearly 5,000 construction and maintenance jobs. Adding to the imbalance of the Kochs’ equations, their report completely discounts wind power’s benefit as a relief valve against foreign-oil dependence or New Jersey’s need to import electricity from other states.

Of course, this parade of misinformation should come as little surprise considering the track record of the key Koch crony in the Garden State: AFP New Jersey chapter director and Tea Party high priest Steve Lonegan. A longtime extreme-right gadfly of the New Jersey political scene, Lonegan earned his Koch-worthy credentials publishing false accusations about political opponents during his time as mayor of Bogota, N.J., and has been accused of violating state election laws and defrauding taxpayers in a 2008 run for governor. What’s more, as chronicled in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Lonegan was the local force behind the “dishonest scare-campaign” that led to Christie’s retreat from RGGI.

With Lonegan leading the offensive, it’s clear the Kochs are planning to make the fight over New Jersey’s coasts a particularly ugly and bruising one. The situation also bodes ominously for other states up and down the Mid-Atlantic Bight that are considering wind projects, from Connecticut to North Carolina.

Thankfully, for all the dollars and deceitfulness the Kochs have in their arsenal, their victory is far from assured. As their failed attempt to cut down California’s climate law in 2010 proved, the Kochs can be beaten by a well-organized, grassroots-powered opposition with truth on its side. And that’s exactly what they’re up against in New Jersey and up and down the Mid-Atlantic Bight, where a robust coalition involving everyone from Google to the United Steelworkers to the League of Women Voters is ready to stand up for wind and smack down any BS Lonegan and the Kochs serve up.

Make no mistake folks, this will be a fight, but it’s a fight we really want to have. In every poll, renewable energy finds overwhelming support across the country, across the political spectrum, across age groups.  We really want AFP and the Koch Brothers to come out in the open on this one, where they can be seen for what they are and who they serve.

I’ve been watching AFP for some time now.  If you’d like to see AFP president Tim Phillips make an ass of himself, check out  this video – you’ll see the quality of “information” that he likes to spread.

34 Responses to “Out in the Open: Koch Brothers Make it Official. We Hate Wind.”

  1. rpauli Says:

    perfect phrase “Dude, how stupid are you?”
    Thanks !

  2. rpauli Says:

    But now I have to ask “How stupid are we?” for listening to Koch and other PR hacks … painful to realize people are that low, that unethical.

  3. Eclipse Now Says:

    But wait a minute; what if that study is technically correct even if the motivation behind it is greed and Denialism?

    What if this analysis is correct? Remember Barry Brook, head of climate at Adelaide University, takes climate change VERY seriously.

    He sees the solution not in intermittent, unreliable, weak power from wind, but steady, reliable, gutsy gigawatts of power from nukes. How’s Denmark’s 20% wind doing reducing their reliance on coal? How does it compare to France?

    2 Countries started a 30 year effort to get off fossil fuels.

    France went nuclear, Denmark went renewable.

    Denmark remains at 650g Co2 / kwh while France is at 90g Co2 / kwh.

    It’s nuclear power or it’s climate change.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/24/np-or-cc/

    • BlueRock Says:

      Yet another example of why no one who is interested in accurate commentary on energy should trust Barry Brook (or those who gulp down his brand of Kool-Aid).

      > Denmark remains at 650g Co2 / kwh while France is at 90g Co2 / kwh.

      Completely wrong. Denmark is at 308 g CO2 / kWh, France at 85 (source IEA, 2010).

      And that is a highly misleading number that makes no account of how total energy is used and how much CO2 is produced per capita: 8 tons for Denmark and 6 for France – with Denmark on a steady declining trend as they continue to deploy renewables whereas France has been stagnant for about 20 years.

      > 2 Countries started a 30 year effort to get off fossil fuels.

      The narrative of that video is dumb bordering on dishonest, making it seem as though Denmark and France started at the same time (they did not) and that the ‘competition’ to decarbonise is now over. Neither country has finished. Duh.

      * Denmark could wean itself off its reliance on coal in favor of wind and other clean energies quicker than its planned 30-year strategy. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64P68I20100526

      Now France is making massive investments in renewables (incl. €10 billion offshore wind project) as the economic reality of new nuclear – and its inability to offer significant contribution to CO2 mitigation – becomes painfully clear to them.

      * Renewables 2011 Global Status Report. Renewable energy accounted for approximately half of the estimated 194 GW of new electric capacity added globally during 2010. Global investments in renewables up over 30% to a record $211 billion. http://www.ren21.net/REN21Activities/Publications/GlobalStatusReport/GSR2011/tabid/56142/Default.aspx

      Nukes = unmitigated global warming, 100,000+ years of highly toxic waste and the ever-present risk of catastrophic failure – arguably increased as global warming bites down ever harder.

      • Eclipse Now Says:

        ///Nukes = unmitigated global warming, 100,000+ years of highly toxic waste and the ever-present risk of catastrophic failure – arguably increased as global warming bites down ever harder.///
        Incorrect — remember, when GE release the S-PRISM the ‘waste’ will run the world for 500 years.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-PRISM

        The tiny amount of real waste left over burns itself back to safe levels within 300 years. As far as I am concerned, the over-built reactor basement is the safest place to store this, given reactors shouldn’t be built on fault lines or near Tsunami events.

        The ‘risk of catastrophic failure’ argument is really dishonest. Quick, let’s shut down aviation because of the Hindenberg. No, it’s more like “Let’s close all BRIDGES because a few poorly designed bridges have failed in the distant past”. Either read up on the new passive safety reactors or get out of the debate. Meltdown is practically impossible in these new reactors — the laws of physics say so. AND even if they did, how are they going to get through a modern containment dome? How many inches of steel did the 3 mile island incident melt through? Whisper it to us again?

        Lastly, you mention global warming events. Concrete bunker nuclear power plants will be the most reliable source of power in global warming events! How’s a wind farm going to go against a freak Katrina event? How’s a massive glass or plastic solar chimney collector going to cope with hail or twisters? Nukes are safe, are coming down in price, are reliable 24/7 power, can survive *anything* global warming will throw at them and are our best chance to survive both peak fossil fuels and global warming.

        • BlueRock Says:

          Wow. I’m used to the nuke cult being detached from reality, but that’s a *doozy* (Ned Ryerson voice)! 🙂 Be sure to let us know when your dreams materialise in the real world – until then we’ll need to go with technology that exists.

          Whether it’s jelly fish or droughts or heatwaves or floods or terrorist attacks in an increasingly volatile world, nukes will become increasingly vulnerable. Renewables are, in practice, not vulnerable to these things (not much tactical advantage from blowing up a few wind turbines). In fact, Japan’s coastline wind turbines even withstood the earthquake / tsunami that knocked out most of their nukes.

          Good luck separating your fantasies from reality – you might want to start with looking at the cost trend for new nukes… you got that completely wrong as well.

          • Eclipse Now Says:

            until then we’ll need to go with technology that exists.

            I could say the same thing about 100% wind & solar countries that don’t rely on a nuclear or coal-fired European grid. Got one of those handy to demonstrate and showcase?

            “Wow. I’m used to the renewables cult being detached from reality, but that’s a *doozy* (Ned Ryerson voice)”

            But here’s the thing, unlike you I actually appreciate both technologies. I like renewables. I’ve already said I wish we could see a 100% wind & solar thermal grid to know how much it would cost with backup. I’d LOVE to be proven wrong, and see some kid cook up the super-cheap solar paint that feeds into a miraculously powerful and incredibly cheap super-battery. So unlike you, I’m open to both technologies. You are not. You are a foaming at the mouth-ideologue, and I’m not learning a THING other than Denial from you.

            We have over 300 reactor years experience with breeder reactors that turn waste into fuel. The technology is viable and proven, they’re just commercialising it. Triumphal sarcasm in the face of facts just makes you look like a retard.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor

          • BlueRock Says:

            That does seem to be an affliction for the nuke cult: you think it’s just a matter of “liking” something to make it viable. Sorry, it don’t work that way.

            And I love the way you continually shift the goalposts, hoping to score. Nuh uh.

            * Despite the fact that fast breeder development began in 1944, now some 65 year later, of the 438 operational nuclear power reactors worldwide, only one of these, the BN-600 in Russia, is a commercial-size fast reactor and it hardly qualifies as a successful breeder. The Soviet Union/Russia never closed the fuel cycle and has yet to fuel BN-600 with plutonium. http://www.fissilematerials.org/blog/2010/02/history_and_status_of_fas.html

            It may never become apparent to you, but you have constructed your beliefs on fantasies and vapourware. You should toddle off to Barry’s BraveNewFantasy where you can get all excited with like-minded people. 😉

          • Eclipse Now Says:

            And the 300 reactor years that bred more fuel than it used just evaporated in your waffle above somewhere did it?

          • BlueRock Says:

            You’re making no sense. Again.

            Not only do you need to separate what you *want* to be true from what is, you need to grasp a concept known as ‘commercial viability’.

          • Eclipse Now Says:

            Talking about fantasies; James Hansen just stated the following.

            “But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
            http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/08/05/hansen-energy-kool-aid/

            With both Professor Brooks and Professor Hansen calling the renewables-only-philosophy a “Tooth Fairy” belief, I can only say “good luck with that pal”.

          • BlueRock Says:

            > Talking about fantasies; James Hansen just stated the following.

            Why do you think you’re citing climate scientists when the discussion is about energy production?

            Hansen is an outstanding climate scientist. That does not make him an infallible font of knowledge on all subjects under the sun.

            I’ll look forward to energy experts responding to Hansen’s opinion….

            Meanwhile, the year-on-year exponential growth of renewable energy continues while nukes are in decline.

        • Eclipse Now Says:

          “Commercial viability” is where the irony REALLY starts to bite your case. Show me the 100% wind and solar country again? Why isn’t there one already? All those government subsidies just can’t bring solar and wind up to baseload power after all.

          Whereas nukes ARE projected to come down exponentially in price due to NEVER before seen assembly line production in nuclear power construction. Oh dear.


  4. […] Koch Brothers, apparently movers-and-shakers in the conservative world, are making a concerted effort to stamp out a wind power generation project in New Jersey. And, of course, disguising it as a grassroots […]

  5. BlueRock Says:

    The Kochs are a wonderful proxy for determining what is right and good: whatever they are against is what right-minded people should be for.

    • Eclipse Now Says:

      Well there we can agree! 🙂

      • BlueRock Says:

        Also, whatever they are for is what right-minded people should be against.

        The Kochs support nukes.

        • Eclipse Now Says:

          Yep, well, for some reason we have a weird false dichotomy on that one. Climate activists *mostly* seem to love renewable energy exclusively and hate nuclear power, while right-wing science hating climate-Deniers seem to love nukes. Oh the irony if nukes really are the only way we’re going to close 334 gigawatts of coal-fired power in America!

          (I love renewables but I’m honestly convinced they’re not really going to solve this in time. Too expensive to solve intermittency).

          • BlueRock Says:

            Really? You don’t get it? This should be very simple for anyone – even you – to grasp: the Kochs support nukes because they offer no serious threat to their fossil fuel golden goose, whereas renewables do – which is why the Kochs attack renewables.

            The internet is littered with easily-found explanations why your belief about renewable “intermittency” is simplistic nonsense. Here’s one:

            * Why Wind Intermittency is NOT a Big Deal. “The anti-wind people are at it again, saturating the media with claims that wind energy is “worthless” because wind doesn’t blow all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth.” http://cleantechnica.com/2011/05/10/why-wind-intermittency-is-not-a-big-deal/

  6. Eclipse Now Says:

    For the most part, wind farm owners rely on getting paid for “energy-only.” There are occasions where wind energy warrants some degree of capacity payment or even ancillary services payments. But for the most part, the value of wind capacity is low, about 10 to 20% of nameplate capacity. So, a 100-MW wind farm is only worth as much as 15 MW of nuclear power from a capacity standpoint.

    But that is precisely the point. It gets paid for “energy-only” at an affordable price because it relies on the fossil fuels to run society the rest of the time. Even the article admits it.

    this can be “firmed” using energy trading desks or by using other assets in the operator’s fleet (e.g., wind farm owners may also own natural gas turbines that can deliver any shortfall in the forecast).

    It’s as Barry Brook says, renewables alone = no climate action. Renewables + nukes = shutting down coal and gas.

    The article quotes how wonderful it is that Denmark has 20% wind power when that is PRECISELY the example Barry Brook uses to condemn wind power. They’ve been building it out for decades and it is only 20% but they still rely on heaps of coal and are at 650g Co2 / kwh.

    France built out nukes for the same amount of time and are down to 90g.

    Are there rolling blackouts in Europe due to their reliance on wind energy? No, far from it. The reliability of European grids is far better than US grids. In fact, according to Jay Apt, Executive Director of the Electricity Industry Center at Carnegie Mellon: “The United States ranks toward the bottom among developed nations in terms of the reliability of its electricity service… The average U.S. customer loses power for 214 minutes per year. That compares to 70 in the UK, 53 in France, 29 in the Netherlands, 6 in Japan, and 2 minutes per year in Singapore.”

    Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/12ton)

    This is not the issue. The issue is that the backup is becoming increasingly hidden under trading desks that renewable advocates increasingly don’t want to talk about. Denmark is often forced to buy in electricity from, you guessed it, the European grid which is backed up by stacks of coal and France’s nukes.

    Have they built large numbers of natural gas peaker plants to “back up” wind? No, not at all. European power system experts tell me that they are not aware of even a single gas peaker plant added to balance wind energy — not even in Northern Germany or Denmark.
    Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/12ton)

    This is puerile. Show me a country in Europe that is 100% wind and solar. That’s the question! Every grid has multiple sources of power, even coal fired power stations need backup. But they run at 85 to 90% reliability, and a lot of the down time is planned. So while wind at 20% in Denmark may not have needed gas-backup so far precisely BECAUSE it is only at 20%, and existing coal-grid backup can do the job of covering both sudden coal power outages AND wind power outages, what happens as Europe moves to 100% renewables? Whimpy, unreliable little wind farms won’t be able to rely on their bigger brothers of the coal fired backup any longer. They’ll be alone in the playground, and exposed as the unreliable whimps they are. I wish it were otherwise, and long for the day energy storage technology drops exponentially to allow a 100% solar or wind grid, for example.

    • BlueRock Says:

      That comment has all the appearance of a mindless bot churning out nuke propaganda soundbites.

      > It’s as Barry Brook says…

      13 March: “[Fukushima] plant is safe now and will stay safe.”

      What Barry Brook says about energy should be of little interest to anyone minimally informed and concerned about facts and reality. The ‘Anthony Watts of energy’ is harsh but not far from the truth.

      > …renewables alone = no climate action.

      There’s a common theme that runs through your gibbering: it’s gibberish.

      * Renewable energy sources 2010. 120 million tons CO2 avoided from renewable energy in Germany in 2010. http://www.erneuerbare-energien.de/inhalt/47293/20026/

      > They’ve been building it out for decades…

      France started their nuke program in the 1950s. Denmark started their renewable program in the late 80s / early 90s. Do I need to do the maths for you?

      And did you miss or not understand the report already provided that states Denmark might beat its 30-year plan for 100% renewables? Try reading it – you’ll be amazed how information can alleviate ignorance.

      > …are at 650g Co2 / kwh.

      Are you not reading the corrections you’re given or not understanding them? They are at 308 g CO2 / kWh – and it’s a misleading number that ignores a huge range of factors. Look at per capita CO2.

      > …backup is becoming increasingly hidden under trading desks…

      Careful. You’re beginning to sound like a Teabagger.

      > Denmark is often forced to buy in electricity from, you guessed it, the European grid…

      Just like France is. And the UK. And Sweden. And Germany. And Italy. And Spain. Actually, all of Europe buys and sells to the grid. It’s almost as though it’s planned that way. Funny that.

      > Show me a country in Europe that is 100% wind and solar.

      You sound like a bumpkin sat on a horse in 1910 declaring that cars will never replace horses because they haven’t already.

      Nukes are declining globally, renewables are increasing exponentially while falling in cost. There is no private investment in nukes, renewables investment increased by 30% to $210 billion last year. Multiple countries have announced an end to nuclear in preference for renewables – even the French are discussing it. Nukes cannot be deployed quickly enough, safely enough or cheaply enough to mitigate global warming. Renewables can and – most importantly – already are beginning to do just that.

      I can only guess at the cognitive problems of someone who can’t work out the significance of all these facts….

  7. Eclipse Now Says:

    > Denmark is often forced to buy in electricity from, you guessed it, the European grid…

    Just like France is. And the UK. And Sweden. And Germany. And Italy. And Spain. Actually, all of Europe buys and sells to the grid. It’s almost as though it’s planned that way. Funny that.

    Mate, sheer sarcasm isn’t an actual argument. Wind can drop across very wide areas, and when Denmark borrows the coal-backup capacity of the wider European grid on such a regular basis, one has to wonder in what way renewables are baseload? I suggest you look at actual DATA and stop foaming at the mouth about these inconvenient facts.

    Nukes will fly off the assembly line FAR faster and with more baseload grunt than renewables. But nukes will provide the baseload backup that allow renewables to do their thing. They are not enemies. The AP1000 is one of the first of a new generation of modular nukes, and China’s just getting started.


  8. […] More evidence that climate deniers, Windbaggers, and Birthers are the same band of idiots. Donald Trump joins the Koch Brothers in fighting the future. […]


  9. […] you want to know why the Koch brothers and their proxies are running a hate campaign toward renewables thru the Foxis of Evil and other vectors, look no […]


  10. […] One more reason why climate deniers hate wind energy, and have mounted a well organized and well funded campaign to sabotage it. […]


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