Wind Industry Spends $100,000 To Defeat Conservative State Senator in Kansas

E&E News reports that the wind industry is spending big bucks to unseat a conservative State Senator in Kansas.

In fact, the wind industry has spent more than $100,000 against Sen. Mike Thompson, a huge sum for a state legislative race, to defeat the former television meteorologist who is considered to be one of the most conservative members of the Kansas Senate.

The E&E article pulls back the curtain on the growing money and influence behind the wind and solar industries, who spend large sums to defeat legislators who question the merits of adding more unreliable sources of electricity to the grid.

It makes complete sense for these industries to do this, though. As American Experiment has stated many times, wind and solar are entirely dependent upon government for their existence. Wind and solar rely upon direct subsidies from federal taxpayers, and they also are built to pad the profits of government-approved monopolies who make a guaranteed profit when they build wind turbines and solar panels. With government being the primary reason these two energy sources exist, it is no surprise they would spend so many resources to cement their subsidies and preferential tax treatment.

According to E&E:

But the thousands of dollars the industry is spending on a single legislative race underscores the wind industry’s growing political power and the importance of Kansas to the sector’s growth.

Some barriers exist, however, if the industry is to satisfy a seemingly limitless appetite for energy from Kansas wind. Chief among them is a need for additional transmission to move power to other states as Kansas’ grid becomes more saturated. Another is pushback in some eastern Kansas counties against “industrial” wind.

Privately, however, some renewable energy advocates worry some more conservative legislators could try to push wind siting restrictions or a measure to strip wind farms of 10-year property tax exemptions.

The wind industry has a big problem, and it’s name is physics. Wind turbines are often built far away from where the electricity is needed, and as a result, expensive transmission lines are needed to deliver this power to customers. Transmission is very expensive to build, often more than $1 million per mile, so wind developers almost never want to pay for their own transmission. Instead, they seek to make ratepayers subsidize these costs through higher electric bills.

Wind is also built in Kansas because wind facilities have a 10-year property tax exemption. This means that they pay no property taxes for half of their useful lifetimes!

Kansas has seen its electricity prices increase 56.7 percent from 2007 to 2018, as the amount of wind turbines installed in Kansas increased nearly 15-fold, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. These costs will continue to increase if more industrial wind facilities and transmission lines are built.

Wind and solar have been propped up by government for their entire lives. What started as “seed money” to start a new industry (the “temporary” wind production tax credit was enacted in 1992) has turned into full-blown dependency.

Wind and solar companies like to portray themselves as wholesome, small-town sources of energy, but this isn’t true. Most of the companies building these installations are more than willing to spend enormous amounts of money influencing elections to get access to more of yours.