A New WPA With Wind in its Sails   1 comment

I followed a link provided by ThinkProgress and Markos Moulitsas this morning, and decided to put the post I’d been putting together on hold. Here’s the link from the original article: http://is.gd/pqc9xz

My suggestion for a federally subsidized nationwide construction program would include roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals, but would also feature new jobs creating sustainable energy solutions. Specifically, wind turbines.

It only makes sense.  Harnessing nature’s energy doesn’t stop with creating hydroelectric power — and we haven’t even begun to tap into tidal power — the volatility of the weather around the country can also be turned in our favor by providing cheap, limitless energy to millions of Americans.

The government already has programs like Wind Powering America — this needs to be expanded, and we need to put Americans to work building the machinery and the infrastructure. Do the letters WPA mean anything to anyone? It was FDR’s best idea, and it helped bring America out of the Great Depression.

A glance at some of the maps on the site will show where wind is the strongest and wind farms would be most lucrative:  http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/wind_maps.asp.

But when put side-by-side with the Anemometer Loan Program, administered by WAPA, the Western Power Administration Program, only five of the fifteen states with the highest sustained winds had an active program. There are ten states, just filled with unemployed Americans who would line the streets for the opportunity to get a job. Why is WAPA sitting on its ass?

How many jobs could be created if the Dept of Energy, who oversees all of the above agencies, would get anemometer loans going in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico?

I’m afraid we’re not going to get an answer from any government official on those questions — the issue will be skirted around, maybe never even brought up, and maybe never latched onto by the mainstream media, as much as I despise that term.

The more relevant question to the politicians who hold corporate millions and our futures in their hands, and the more likely to get answered would be: “How many electoral votes are up for grabs in those states?”

Because that’s what it all comes down to, every single time. Politics and politicians before people. The junior Hoffa may have had a point. I hope he doesn’t have to apologize for it.

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One response to “A New WPA With Wind in its Sails

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  1. While I agree that the government should be working on developing alternative energy resources such as wind, I can’t agree with arguments about it being a good investment or creating jobs. Wind energy is most definitely not cheap and limitless. The way I see it, if it were a good investment, then government shouldn’t need to make it. There are plenty of venture capitalists out there whose job is to invest in risky ideas like wind power. The government shouldn’t subsidize them.

    Secondly, the green jobs that I see being created are for highly skilled engineers who will be dealing with managing new power systems or designing protection technology. The manufacturing jobs that some politicians love to talk about will likely be in Asia or somewhere else, where it is not only cheaper but also possibly done by higher skilled workers. David Brooks wrote about this problem in the NYT this morning: “Where the Jobs Aren’t.”

    I too questioned wind energy on my blog, and whether proponents’ arguments about jobs and good investments do more harm than good to the clean energy movement. To me, they give conservative pundits a place to attack and pose as an argument against all alternative energy investment, when they’re really just debunking one reason while there are others that don’t reach the public.

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