Monday, December 01, 2003

A TCS article by Iain Murray includes this tidbit:
There are plenty of reasons people are proposing these new commercial ventures, however. One proposed wind farm in West Virginia, would cost $300,000,000 to build, but would recover those costs and then some through various tax shelters and subsidies equaling $325,434,600. In many cases, the profit from this government largesse exceeds the income generated from electricity sales. Wind farm owners enjoy windfall profits at taxpayer expense. Green is very attractive when there are greenbacks involved...
The article overall is whether wind farms are in fact an environmental win over gas consumption. It's a difficult issue, and often involves comparing apples to oranges (noise and bird death to chemical pollution, for example). But it certainly clouds the issues to have such large tax-payer-backed government subsidies. Just think how much that $325 million in subsidies could have done if it had gone directly to protecting wildlife or unspoiled areas.

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