Let’s Be Happy North Dakota’s Wind Jobs Are Going To Brazil

wind-turbine-2

In what is no doubt a bid to evoke sympathy, and promote support for continuing subsidies for wind power, the Grand Forks-based manufacturer which produces blades for wind power turbines which recently announced that they were laying off 300 workers has now announced that they’ll be moving those jobs to Brazil.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) – A wind turbine blade manufacturer that said last week it is laying off 300 workers in Grand Forks has now announced it is creating 300 jobs at a new factory in Brazil.

LM Wind Power says the Brazil plant will deliver blades to wind farms throughout South America starting in about a year.

The Danish company tells the Grand Forks Herald that the moves are a response to strong growth in wind power development in South America and a weakening of the industry in the United States.

Weakening of the industry in the form of the wind power production tax credit coming to an end later this year. The article cites the wind energy as projecting a 70% decline in demand for wind power should the tax credit end.

Rather than mourning the loss of jobs in an industry that can only survive as long as the tax payers are subsidizing it, we should be happy the subsidies are ending. We shouldn’t want industry that exists to serve government demand. We should want industry that provides goods/services the public can actually use, which wind power is not.

The existence of an extremely expensive (even after subsidies) energy source that is so unreliable it must be backed up with more traditional forms of energy any way (coal/natural gas) is of no use to American taxpayers. In fact, it’s very detrimental to Americans, as the cost of integrating wind into our power grids to meet government demand created by subsidies/mandates is driving up the cost of energy. Put simply, wind energy is making the cost of living higher.

In a free market, industry profits by producing something other people want. With wind energy, it’s being produced to score subsidies from the government.

If the government of Brazil is foolish enough to make that deal with the wind industry let them. Let us say good riddance here in America.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Windy Winner

    As a lickspittle for the energy industry, as most Republicans are it is natural that Port would oppose wind power. The coal companies and the oil companies hate the idea of wind power. Wind power produces not pollution, and cuts out the need for constant wars in the middle east. Republicans love the military, and they love a good war, that is why becoming self sustaining is so repugnant to them. How can you sell bombs and ships if you don’t have an enemy. Republicans want to drum up some hate for Muslims and keep us involved in the middle east. Wind power undermines all that. Rob loves the idea that wind power is ineffective, but how is working in all those socialist countries like Denmark. Somehow socialist countries can make wind power, heath care, and peace work, but not the United States. Now we need some simple dinger to come on here and tell us the evils of socialism, where they take away your gun and you god just to give you a better life. You guys know the rant, can someone come on and call me a commie friend of the Marxist, socialist, Kenyan, Muslim president, you guys know the drill.

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      You could have shortened this up to “I don’t know squat about wind power.”

    • Gern Blanston

      Compelling. So why is Obama letting the subsidies end? I mean, based on your argument, he should be mentioning this at every speech “Tell the Republicans we need wind power subsidies!”

    • robert108

      You don’t have to oppose so-called “wind power”(Joe Biden comes to mind), remove the special privileges, and it falls of its own weight.

  • Bobby

    Curious about the wind farm up in pierce county. Do you know if it is still on line?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If we’re talking about the same wind farm, the turbines were stills pinning last time I drove by a few weeks ago.

      • Bobby

        Cool. glad to hear it. I hope they make money on the deal. I understand that tax point here isn’t so much about the distinction between credits and deductions (although, based on the finance wonks, deductions seem to draw more investment, at least for o&g investors), but about access to tax advantaged investment vehicles. I certainly am no finance guy, but I know a bit about REITS and MLPs. tax advantaged publicly traded companies. I understand that renewables can’t be operated as an mlp (distinction around depletion of assets), and the irs is not clear on reits. I guess the idea would be to mirror in renewables investment inducing tax advantage structures and deductions enjoyed by the oil and gas industry while removing the credit. I think ethanol mlps are allowed now, which would suggest pulling the credit. Anyway, that would put renewable and fossil on a level, if still tax favored, playing field. Very cool stuff, I googled renewable reit and mlp after reading a few things about the subject.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          We need to flatten our tax code. Same tax for call companies and industries. No special treatment.

          I’m for that.

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    And now, if someone could figure out a way to strap one of those turbines to each of those jobs, we could start getting rid of some of that UGLY.

    Alternatively, don’t just think of it as jobs going to Brazil, because if you haven’t noticed, we are becoming Brazil.

  • Harold

    Obama gave the Braziians billions to help them drill off of their coasts, but said no to any drilling here in america. Brazil first america and americans second, third, even fourth in importance in his view. So why not do the same with our wind farms?

  • Licus Spittle

    Rob cannot grasp the concept that when you use wind power you get to turn back the dial on the coal fired power plants. That means you burn less coal. Burning less coal means you get to breath cleaner air. Rob and the coal companies hate clean air. Each coal pulverizer at a major power plant burns 40 tons per hour. A big plant like the AVS plant Basin has uses 16 pulverizers. When you cut back or shut off a couple North American coal company suffers. Now we don’t want that to happen do we Rob? So North American gives Randy Christmann some money, along with some other Republican lickspittles and they oppose wind power. Pretty straight forward. You can make a living being a lickspittle for the Republicans. That is Rob’s goal. So Rob lies, and distorts all day. The clean air means nothing to him, but the idea of money sets his balls on fire. Rob and Randy are the problem with the country. These kind of people sell out to the highest bidder. They are like contract killers. They want the money and a little murder if you can get away with it is no big deal. So lets help Rob move up the Republican ladder of paid liars. Spin away.

  • Question Everything

    This article is riddled with garbage. The cost of doing business is cheaper in Brazil than in the US and this is just like all the other jobs that have been lost here. Rob forgot to mention all the subsidies backed by Congress for fossil fuels that they refuse to drop, http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/. Can oil survive without subsidies? Of course it can. Wind can too if wasn’t backed by greed fueled by the big oil business controlling the government. Read the facts about all our energy options and educate yourselves, sheeple.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Please don’t pretend like you don’t know the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit.

      The.fossil fuel industry is not paid to produce fossil fuels. The wind.industry is paid by the taxpayers to produce wind power.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Can oil survive without subsidies? Of course it can. Wind can too if wasn’t backed by greed fueled by the big oil business controlling the government.

      So what you’re saying is that wind power would be successful, if only fossil fuels weren’t cheaper and more reliable.

      Not exactly a compelling argument.

      • Question Everything

        No. Fossil fuels are cheaper and more reliable, yes, but they are more destructive period. The fossil fuel industry is big business that influences goverment, right? You are in denial if you think not. My point is that we are subsidizing $10 to $50 billion a year in fossil fuels and wind was a fraction of that. Let’s not forget the $120 billion a year in health care costs resulting from the production and use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are causing global destruction to our food supply. Do you think the clean up and repair needed for the damage already done is free? Do you think the problems already caused will go away tomorrow? At the rate we are going, we haven’t even seen the tip of ice berg (pun intended) of the damage caused by fossil fuels. What about the wars? Yeah, that’s worth the costs. It’s ignorance to think that not supporting renewable energy is a win for America. Wind technology (and other renewables) stand for improvements and this is why subsidies are so important. No one can own the wind or the sun so this makes it hard to justify renewable energy against oil.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          The fossil fuel industry is big business that influences goverment, right?

          And “green energy” isn’t big business? The wind energy is engaged in out-in-the-open crony capitalism, and you’re griping about “big business”?

          C’mon. Let’s get serious.

          You are in denial if you think not. My point is that we are subsidizing $10 to $50 billion a year in fossil fuels and wind was a fraction of that.

          That’s not even remotely accurate. Even if we count tax deductions as “subsidies” of the same order as tax credits, which are payments from the government, fossil fuels get a fraction of what so-called “renewables” get. Here’s a break down per kwh:

          http://environmentblog.ncpa.org/which-energy-source-receives-the-largest-subsidy/

          Energy Source Subsidy per kwh

          Coal$0.0006
          Natural Gas and Petroleum Liquids $0.0006
          Nuclear $0.0031
          Renewables $0.0154
          Biomass Power $0.0020
          Geothermal $0.0125
          Hydroelectric$0.0008
          Solar$0.9680
          Wind$0.0525

          As you can see, wind gets gets an 8650% larger “subsidy” than oil/natural gas. And, again, the “subsidy” oil and natural gas is a Schedule 990 tax deduction that every single manufacturer in the country (even Starbucks which “manufactures” cups of coffee) gets.

          You really need to learn more about this issue.

          • Question Everything

            [quote] “And “green energy” isn’t big business? The wind energy is engaged in out-in-the-open crony capitalism, and you’re griping about “big business”?
            C’mon. Let’s get serious.” [/quote]
            Oh, Rob. Now c’mon… who has more influence and deeper pockets, oil and gas or renewables? Sad point to pick on.
            Reading through your link and the report, the numbers you presented from your pal Todd Myers are 2010 alone when renewable subsidies were in full force. That had to tick off the BIG oil industry.
            [quote] “That’s not even remotely accurate.” [/quote]

            Wha’? Federal subsidies (that include tax breaks) historically have favored oil and gas. Take a look at the numbers, http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/energy-subsidy-showdown-fossil-fuels-nuclear-biofuels-vs-renewables/9113. Feel free to read some more, http://www.eli.org/Program_Areas/innovation_governance_energy.cfm. And for those that like pictures, take a look at subsidies from 2002 to 2008, http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1012/subsidize-this/flat.html.
            You haven’t even begun to defend the environmental and health impacts. Todd should factor that into his kwh break down.

          • jl

            End subsidies to both. Fossil fuels will survive, windmills and other ancient “green energy” will not.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Now c’mon… who has more influence and deeper pockets, oil and gas or renewables?

            Well, looking at things like Solyndra, i think it’s hard to underestimate the political clout of “big green.”

            Wha’? Federal subsidies (that include tax breaks) historically have favored oil and gas. Take a look at the numbers,

            Big Oil is subsidized, and you have the far-left environmental websites to prove it!

          • robert108

            There is no more egregious influence peddler in this country than the obama administration. He was able to paralyze our energy industry, doubling the price of gasoline, and taking trillions out of the pockets of Americans and giving it to terrorists to kill us all over the world.

          • Question Everything

            Paranoid much?

          • Frank

            You’re confusing paranoia with perception, not to mention the facts.

        • Gern Blanston

          Your whole argument is predicated on the notion that fossil fuels are harmful to the environment and our health.

          • Question Everything

            Notion? Fact.

        • jl

          “Fossil fuels are causing global destruction to our food supply.” Funny, that’s what ethanol is doing, the darling of liberals. Guess we missed your rant on that one.

          • Question Everything

            Are you trying to say that fossil fuels do not? I would love for you to elaborate on this topic.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Fossil fuels are not destroying our planet. They can, and are, used safely and responsibly.

          • Question Everything

            Well, now you just proved that you are living in a fairytale, Rob. Wake up, sheeple! I can’t wait to get me some of that eyeless shrimp from the Gulf covered in oil. Mmmm. nothing like mutated shrimp scampi marinated in petroleum! Heck, I should jsut move to PA where I can light my tap water on fire, right from the faucet. Makes for a great conversation piece! You just keep telling yourself it is safe… maybe someday it will come true.

        • robert108

          The truth is that without so-called “fossil fuels”(in reality petrofuels), we would not be able to purify sewage for big cities(which have a high concentration of liberals), and we would not be able to haul away our trash and garbage. Without oil and gas, we would be drowning in our own waste, with no clean water to drink. Mass water purification requires oil, coal and natural gas, as well as cheap and universally available electricity.
          The cost/benefit calculation is overwhelmingly in favor of petrofuels, and massively against the so-called “green energy” boondoggles.

    • robert108

      There are no oil subsidies; in fact, this govt is openly hostile to oil development, which is how they have doubled the price of gasoline. In typical greedy Democrat fashion, any profitable industry is beset with taxes, fees and obstructive regulations to punish its success.

  • Mike

    Plenty of jobs in ND – I can’t imagine they will have a hard time finding employment. They can always head out to the oil fields….

  • mikemc1970

    Now if we can get all the windmills and wind energy jobs from here, sent to Brazil.

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