What are we doing here?
Maybe it's just me, but seems like the last several years the media and Washington place a thrust on the importance of democracy and not individual freedom. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan all were promoted in one way or another as the virtues of democracy. All these have fallen short as democracy was promoted with our new “friends” over the freedoms of the individual. Even in the United States, Washington plays on the public's emotions about democracy and collective freedoms at the expenses of individual freedoms.
But wasn't the United States founded on the freedom of the individual with democracy as a mere byproduct?
The Declaration of Independence was based on individual freedoms versus the oppression by the King of England. The Declaration of Independence wasn't written as a statement of democracy and the rule of the majority versus the rule of a King. Perhaps it's more of a libertarian view, but what is society’s value of a democracy that fails to place the value of freedom for the individual as the primary objective?
“Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force to some men at the expense of others." -Ayn Rand
“By the same principle, the government may not give special leniency to the perpetrator of a crime on the grounds of the nature of his ideas” – Ayn Rand
When the federal government manipulates tax policy and subsidies to promote the wind industry over more economical energy forms, do consumer win? We are told the incentives for wind is for the best of the nation to foster a lesser reliance on foreign energy. After 25 or so years of the Production Tax Credit, wind corporations still claim the industry can’t make it on their own.
We were told wind energy faced barriers to the markets owned by traditional utility companies so PURPA was created by the Carter Administration to forcing wind energy access to transmission. We are told coal is bad, regardless of the economics least cost form of energy because there are so many intrinsically costs to energy created by coal. Renewable Portfolio Standards were created to promote wind energy specifically.
“Every coercive monopoly was created by government intervention into the economy: by special privileges, such as franchises or subsidies, which closed the entry of competitors into a given field, by legislative action.” –Ayn Rand
The notion that FERC commissioners feel it’s their job to play bureaucratic gods and create energy policy is just plain misguided. Sacrificing the individual freedoms of those PEOPLE in the Midwest for the creation of transmission to promote wind energy is not the purpose of FERC. Now we are told eminent domain (at the state level or a federal trump in Arkansas when the state denies eminent domain) is needed to create powerlines specifically for the wind industry. Really?
We have a functional grid. Do we, as a society, really need limited access long haul powerlines to promote wind? When reliability is the number one concern of grid operators, do we really need powerlines that will dump 3,500 megawatts of electricity (three times the size of the Hoover dam) into one point on the grid?
Is there a real need to compromise and sacrifice grid reliability for the sake of promoting wind energy with 3,500 megawatt High Voltage Direct Current powerlines?
Again, maybe it is more of a libertarian view, but if a speculation company wants to develop an infrastructure project that is not needed or does not benefit people affected, then the company should have to properly pay for the easement. Clean Line Energy Partners llc, quit hiding behind the argument that the project will provide construction jobs. If the project is a transfer of wealth from the farmer to the project developer, then pay what the easement is truly worth.
If profits will be made simply by selling a project that is “developed” to the point the easement is acquired, then the value and profit of the easement comes from the value of the land being obtained cheaply through the eminent domain process.
“Free competition enforced by law” is a grotesque contradiction in terms.” -Ayn Rand
“Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” –Ayn Rand
Competition is the effect of a marketplace where innovation is encouraged. Unfortunately, FERC commissioners believe it is their role to create competition in spite a lack of innovation. Guaranteed returns are often handed out not as a reward for innovation and utilization of existing transmission but as an “incentive” to promote competition and more transmission. Individual freedom of those who live and work in the path are sacrificed as FERC commissioners play gods and determine all proposed projects benefit the nation as competition will promote innovation.
We, as a society, do not NEED the Rock Island Clean Line, Grain Belt Express, or Plains & Eastern. The Department of Energy does not NEED to be used to obtain the Plains & Eastern Easement. The federal government should not be promoting crony capitalism by purchasing its energy from new wind energy farms. If wind energy is capable of competing in the marketplace, then let it compete without the assistance of the federal government.
The Mark Lawlor, Hans Detweiler, and Mario Hurtado’s of Clean Line contend their project will provide competition and lower market prices. “Competition” through incentives, mandates, Executive Order, or sweetheart Power Purchasing Agreements will not offer ratepayers lower prices. Government mandates and sweetheart deals are not attributes of an open competitive market.
The only possible way privately owned speculation projects like RICL, GBE, or Plains & Eastern “Clean” Line will have a customer is through government assistance that denies more economical and competitive forms of energy. Economically priced energy allows the Entire American economy to grow. Favoritism discourages innovation and reduces competition. Secretary Moniz, call off your dogs at the Department of Energy attempting to procure the easement for the Plains& Eastern Clean Line. Forcing wind energy on a society through eminent domain fosters resentment, bitterness, and a negative environment. We don’t want a Boston Tea Party revolt against government mandates.