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Overblown



Wind energy will not reduce dependence on oil

To the Editor, Syracuse Post-Standard:

Integrity of all government-regulated and supported programs is an absolute requirement in a democratic society. However, characterizing wind energy as a "vital industry" demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of wind energy's capabilities to contribute in a significant way to our energy needs.

If your editor had attempted to understand some simple technicalities of wind energy, via even a cursory glance at readily available resources, he/she would have learned the following:

1) Wind energy is produced intermittently, frequently at times when electricity demand is lowest and not at all when demand is highest (picture a sultry summer day with AC on high is there much air moving?).

2) Because of the unpredictability and intermittency of wind generators, the whole infrastructure of existing fossil and nuclear units must remain and grow with increasing demand, regardless of the number of wind generators. As evidenced by experience in other parts of the United States and the world with significant wind generating capability, the efficiency of the controllable fossil infrastructure is reduced, contributing more greenhouse gases to the environment.

3) The list of tax and other incentives from both the state and federal governments is astounding. Look at the reasons that the Spanish company, Iberdrola, is refusing to buy Energy East unless it can also own wind farms, contrary to the recommendation of the state oversight authority.

Iberdrola would pay greatly reduced or no taxes because of the generosity of the state and federal governments toward wind farms. Guess who will shoulder the burden of the lost revenue?

4) Contrary to the beliefs of many, wind energy will not reduce our dependence on oil, foreign or domestic. About 3 percent or less of electricity is produced nationally by burning oil, and most of that generation is from burning low-grade oil residues that are unsuitable for refining into other fuels. There are many other arguments as well that are unfavorable to wind energy.

The rage "du jour" is wind energy. Questioners of wind energy are excoriated, effectively eliminating sound decision-making. Why do you think that there are ethical problems in the state requiring investigation by the attorney general? Surely you don't believe that it's because all of these enthusiastic supporters of wind energy are fighting to save the world, do you?

Frank J. Congel

Three Mile Bay

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