Why Walker opposes wind energy: 2.5 million reasons, starting with 1 million from Koch Brothers | WisCommunity

Why Walker opposes wind energy: 2.5 million reasons, starting with 1 million from Koch Brothers

What does Scott Walker have against wind energy?

Here's what he said, in a fundraising (!) letter during his campaign, according to a from Bill Lueders on Wisconsin Watch:

Walker called wind power “an expensive, inefficient source of electricity and thus any further construction of wind turbines simply is not a policy goal or objective that should be pursued further.”

The result?

Renew Wisconsin, a nonprofit group that advocates for sustainable energy, estimates this has cost the state up to 1,000 jobs and at least $1.2 billion in new investment.

Coincidentally, the looked at the same question in its latest issue, asking, "Why Scott Walker killed wind energy jobs in Wisconsin," and offering some answers:

Walker ... received at least $1.5 million in campaign cash directly from interests opposed to wind energy and much more indirectly.

Records compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign show Walker received $750,833 in campaign contributions from the construction industry and $427,629 from Realtors through Oct. 18, 2010. Both industries oppose wind energy projects out of fear they'll harm the value of properties located nearby, in the same way that the presence of a nearby railroad track, highway or airport reduces property values.

The oil, coal and gas industries also contributed heavily to Walker - a total of $127,693, according to WDC. Those industries oppose wind energy for the obvious reason that it threatens to take away some of their market share.

Koch Industries, a fossil fuel company that's grown into one of the nation's largest private companies, is both one of Walker's leading financial backers and one of the world's leading opponents of green energy. The Industrial Wind Action Group, which hosts a website that disseminates negative and outright false information about wind energy, routinely quotes as "experts" affiliates of various front groups supported by Koch Industries, Charles Koch and the Koch family.

According to a press release for the documentary film "Greedy Lying Bastards," scheduled for release next year, Koch Industries and Exxon Oil have each spent nearly $25 million to undermine the science of global warming. Wind energy has been embraced by environmentalists as a way to slow down climate change.

According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings cited in a report that appeared in February in Mother Jones magazine, Walker's gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election - the campaign's second-highest contribution.

But the Kochs' influence in the campaign was far greater than that number suggests. Their PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent a remarkable $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker's 2010 opponent Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

So it's fair to say Walker's campaign profited to the tune of something like $2.5-million from people and groups that oppose wind energy, not because it's too expensive or inefficient, but because it might hurt their own businesses. That's a lot of douogh, even for Walker.

 

Any more questions?

Published

December 19, 2011 - 3:03pm

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