December 12, 2005

 

“Wind Energy” Promoters in the US have NOT Resorted to the Chinese Tactic of Shooting Opponents

 

The news story (below) of Chinese riot police shooting “wind farm” opponents demonstrates that aggressive “wind farm” promoters, developers and owners in the US are more subtle and humane.

 

Nevertheless, the tactics listed below that are employed by the wind industry, by federal, state and local government officials, and by other “wind energy” advocates in the US -- relying heavily on false and misleading information -- may be equally effective; i.e.:

 

1.         Understating adverse environmental, ecological, scenic and property value impacts of “wind farms.”

 

2.         Understating the true economic costs of electricity from wind energy.

 

3.         Overstating the environmental benefits of wind energy.

 

4.         Overstating local economic benefits of “wind farms.”

 

5.         Ignoring the impact of the intermittent, highly volatile, largely unpredictable and unreliable electricity from wind turbines on electric systems and grids.

 

6.         Ignoring the fact that wind turbines cannot be counted on to produce electricity when electricity demand is high (i.e., little or no “capacity” value) with the result that reliable generating capacity must be provided whether or not “wind turbines” are built.

 

7.         Convincing government officials and regulators to shift millions in costs from “wind farm” owners and hide those costs in the tax bills and electric bills paid by ordinary taxpayers and electric customers.

 

8.         Securing all sorts of tax breaks to shift tax burden to ordinary taxpayers, including: federal and state accelerated depreciation deductions, production tax credits, and exemptions or reductions in sales and property taxes.

 

9.         Convincing governors, state legislators and regulators to enact or decree insidious “Renewable Portfolio Standards” and other voluntary or mandatory “green energy” programs which create artificial, high cost markets for electricity from “wind farms,” with much of the true costs hidden in monthly electric bills.

 

10.     Convincing Federal and state executives to issue “Executive Orders” mandating that federal and state agencies buy electricity generated from “renewable” energy at above market rates, with the extra costs hidden in agency budgets – diverting money from agencies’ (e.g., military services) primary missions to the coffers of “wind farm” owners.

 

11.     When invading yet unexploited areas, quietly entering into contracts with local government officials to lease land for wind turbines, thus producing influential voices to support granting of necessary permits.

 

12.     Employing aggressive negotiation techniques and aggressive contract and easement terms when securing rights from ordinary landowners to build wind turbines on private land (e.g., low rental payments; payments tied to turbine performance without assurance of maintaining performance, rigid control over land use, long options periods, minimal or no secure decommissioning funds, insisting on secrecy of contract terms).

 

13.     Extensive lobbying of politicians and their staffs, generous campaign contributions and, apparently, willingness to ghostwrite speeches and articles for use by politicians.

 

14.     Extensive lobbying of US Congress to provide tax dollars for the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE) which office distributes the tax dollars via contracts and grants to hundreds of organizations (profit, nonprofit, colleges and universities, state and local government agencies, industry lobbyists, DOE national “laboratories”), creating a veritable “army” of advocates to (a) prepare biased studies, reports, articles, speeches and letters to editors favorable to wind energy, and (b) lobby federal, state and local government executive, legislative and regulatory officials s to provide even more tax breaks and other subsidies and more tax dollars for DOE-EERE to dispense.

 

15.     Providing a lucrative national wind energy “feed trough” for lawyers, financiers and lobbyists who are able to use federal, state and local tax breaks and subsidies – at the expense of ordinary citizens, taxpayers and electric customers

 

16.     Providing a seemingly unlimited supply of false and misleading information to the public and to news media via press releases, speeches, free meals and trips for reporters to “wind energy” conferences and “wind farms.”

 

Glenn R. Schleede

18220 Turnberry Drive

Round Hill, VA 20141-2574

540-338-9958

 

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Chinese police shoot wind farm protestors
10/12/2005 - 08:48:59

Hundreds of riot police armed with guns and shields surrounded and sealed off a southern Chinese village where authorities shot dead as many as 20 demonstrators this week, villagers said.

Residents in Dongzhou, a village in Guangdong province, said thousands of people had gathered on Tuesday to protest what they said was inadequate compensation being offered for land to be used in the construction of a wind power plant.

Police fired into the crowd and killed a handful of people, mostly men, villagers reached by telephone said yesterday. Accounts of the death toll ranged from two and 10, with many missing.

State media have made no mention of the incident and both provincial and local governments have repeatedly refused to comment. This is typical in China, where the ruling Communist Party controls the media and lower-level authorities are leery of releasing information without permission from the central government.

All the villagers said they were nervous and scared and most did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. One man said the situation was still “tumultuous”.

A 14-year-old girl said a local official visited the village yesterday and called the shootings “a misunderstanding”.

“He said (he) hoped it wouldn’t become a big issue,” the girl said over the telephone. “This is not a misunderstanding. I am afraid. I haven’t been to school in days.”

She added, “Come save us.”

Another villager said there were at least 10 deaths.

“The riot police are gathered outside our village. We’ve been surrounded,” she said, sobbing. “Most of the police are armed. We dare not to go out of our home.”

“We are not allowed to buy food outside the village. They asked the nearby villagers not to sell us goods,” the woman said. “The government did not give us proper compensation for using our land to build the development zone and plants. Now they come and shoot us. I don’t know what to say.”

One woman said an additional 20 people were wounded.

“They gathered because their land was taken away and they were not given compensation,” she said. “The police thought they wanted to make trouble and started shooting.”

She said there were “several hundred” police with guns in the roads outside the village yesterday. “I'm afraid of dying. People have already died.”

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper today quoted villagers who said authorities were trying to conceal the deaths by offering families money to give up bodies of the dead.

“They offered us a sum but said we would have to give up the body,” an unidentified relative of one slain villager, 31-year-old Wei Jin, was quoted as saying. “We are not going to agree.”

Police were carrying photos of villagers and trying to find people linked to the protest, the newspaper said, citing villagers.

The number of protests in China’s vast, poverty-stricken countryside has risen in recent months as anger comes to a head over corruption, land seizures and a yawning wealth gap that experts say now threatens social stability. The government says about 70,000 such conflicts occurred last year, although many more are believed to go unreported.

Clashes have grown more violent, with injuries on both sides and damage done to property as protesters vent their frustration in face of indifferent or bullying authorities.

Like many cities in China, Shanwei, the city where Dongzhou is located, has cleared suburban land once used for farming to build industrial zones. State media say that the Shanwei Red Bay industrial zone is to have three electrical power plants – a coal-fired plant, a wave power plant and a wind farm.

Shanwei already has a large wind farm on an offshore island, with 25 turbines. Another 24 are set for construction.

Earlier reports said the building of the 743-million-dollar coal-fired power plant, a major government-invested project for the province, was also disrupted by a dispute over land compensation.

Authorities in Dongzhou were trying to find the leaders of Tuesday’s demonstration, a villager said.  The man said the bodies of some of the shooting victims ”are just lying there”.

“Why did they shoot our villagers?” he asked. “They are crazy!”
http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=165463808&p=y654645y4