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Windfarms Becalmed


The Pickens Plan, to build huge taxpayer-subsidized wind farms in the name of oil independence, has collided with economic reality:

The economy has changed drastically since the tycoon last year called for the United States to cut back on its oil imports in the face of record-high prices and said he planned to invest $10 billion in wind power.

With credit costlier and harder to come by, and oil and natural gas prices down sharply over the past year, the nation's nascent wind industry may begin to focus on smaller projects that are closer to major population centers rather than massive developments like 81-year-old Pickens envisioned, industry officials said.

I called on Pickens to prove his vision with his own money before begging the taxpayer. He did. And he lost. It’s an example, too, of how the porkulous bill was not the infrastructure boost it was touted to be:

[Windfarm] construction has ground to a near halt as developers wait for the Obama administration -- which has said green jobs and alternative energy will be a key part of its $787 billion stimulus package -- to deliver on promises that include allowing companies who build wind farms to collect tax credits quickly, Bode said.

But there’s still Hope for Change:

The industry is also hoping for a national renewable energy standard and more focus on building transmission lines to connect the isolated Southwestern communities where many wind farms are being built to major population centers where power is needed.

Either by direct subsidy or legislative fiat, technocrats are set on proving markets wrong. They haven’t been able to beat our current partially-free system. Rather than concede that free people know better, they’re working toward more control.