Two New Green Deals Flushed Down the Toilet After Huge Taxpayer Losses

Please consider a couple of examples of government-sponsored green deal projects that blew sky high at taxpayer expense.

Windmill Fiasco

New Green Deal proponents, please make notes.

Falmouth spent $10 Million on Wind Turbines. Now it’s shut down for an amusing (to outsiders) reason.

Democrats are pushing a Green New Deal to end the use of fossil fuels and rely entirely on renewable energy. The Cape Cod town of Falmouth, Mass., offers a cold gust of reality on such ambitions with its experience on a $10 million wind-energy investment.

In 2009 and 2011, Falmouth broke ground on two wind turbines on 314 acres of city land next to the wastewater-treatment facility and dog pound. It paid for the first turbine with a $5 million, 20-year municipal bond, and it received $5 million in federal stimulus money to build the second. Falmouth planned to sell some of the energy it generated to the electrical grid of utility company Eversource, formerly known as NStar, so the city anticipated the turbines would generate $1 million to $2 million in annual profit.

Residents quickly grew disillusioned. The turbines rose nearly 400 feet, and light flickered eerily through the blades, which whirled in a circle big enough for a 747. Barry and Diane Funfar, who lived fewer than 1,700 feet away, began suffering from headaches.

Ms. Funfar struggled to sleep, and her husband’s heart started to pound. “The problems were unbelievable,” Ms. Funfar says. “Barry couldn’t live with them. He was bothered every minute [the turbines] were running. I was bothered, too.”

Shut Down as a Public Nuisance

Here's the incredible bottom line kicker to this story.

  • In 2015 the Massachusetts Appeals Court ordered Falmouth to turn off one of its turbines, ruling that it lacked proper permitting.
  • In 2017 Barnstable County Judge Cornelius Moriarty ordered both turbines shut down as a public nuisance.
  • It will cost between $1 million and $2 million to dismantle and remove them.
  • Since that violated the deal, the town of 32,000 is on the hook for another $5 million

Death of a California Dream

Next on the list, (AOC please take notes), Jerry Brown’s Bullet-Train Fiasco Shatters a California Dream.

A decade ago California voters approved a $10 billion bond measure to build a 520-mile high-speed train that would supposedly take riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two hours and 40 minutes.

The Obama Administration chipped in $3.5 billion on the condition the first 160-mile segment be built in the San Joaquin Valley district of Democratic Rep. Jim Costa, a longtime bullet-train supporter who provided a critical vote for ObamaCare.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown made the train his special legacy project, his contribution at taxpayer expense to the illusion of stopping climate change. His people sent letter after letter claiming that our editorials were mistaken.

Cost projections for the train have soared to around $80 billion amid litigation, engineering challenges and ordinary government morass. Private investors have run the other way. The state rail authority has spent more than $5 billion acquiring and destroying hundreds of properties but not yet laid tracks. Taxpayers have lost patience, and [Governor] Newsom stated the obvious on Tuesday that “there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to LA.”

Liberals envision that the bullet train will someday turn Fresno and Merced into Silicon Valley suburbs and ease the Bay Area’s housing shortage. But this too is a dream. As economic consultants William Grindley and Bill Warren document in a recent study, a worker who lives in Fresno would spend 10 hours and 20 minutes each day commuting to San Jose at a cost of $154 round trip—assuming no subsidies.

Two New Green Deals Flushed Down the Toilet

There you have it, two absurd "new green deals", before AOC even coined the term, both flushed down the toilet. This will be the norm.

Unfortunately, If you believe such failures will stop anybody, you are mistaken.

Expect this battle cry: If only we spent $100 trillion, these projects would have been successful.

Not Joking

I am not joking about $100 trillion.

AOC "New Green Deal" is Stunningly Absurd, Far More Ridiculous Than Expected.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (51)
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Irondoor
Irondoor

There are many wind turbines on farms in N Dakota where I hunt pheasant. They provide a very nice annuity for a farmer who has some higher ground that might not produce the equivalent in wheat. To the farmer, the pulsing cycle wave is the sound of money. And no city folks to bitch and complain to the county commisssion.

2banana
2banana
Updated on

Let's see.

$3.5 billion of Federal Funds to build something cause a president just wanted it...

To build something straight, long, continuous, going over private property...and barely even made the news.

Now, Governor Newson won't give the money back after canceling the project.

But a wall is racist and is a constitutional crisis. Maybe because it is not a bribe to get a critical vote?

++++

The Obama Administration chipped in $3.5 billion on the condition the first 160-mile segment be built in the San Joaquin Valley district of Democratic Rep. Jim Costa, a longtime bullet-train supporter who provided a critical vote for ObamaCare.

Dsgn
Dsgn

"Brown's Folly". Britain had a "Brown's Bottom", so why not?

Dsgn
Dsgn

Once upon a time ... when real men thought a railroad would turn big profits, they sold bonds and built it. (Pay no attention to the fact that the real profits were made by those who bought the line out of bankruptcy at 10cents on the dollar because the original speculators paid too much.)

If there was real money to be made running commuter trains to Silley Valley suburbs, there are plenty of Billionaire$ out there to invest. Unless their real intent is to just strip mine this place.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

I have friends who live in the Valley, very Republican friends. The central valley of California is one of the last reliable Republican areas in CA, but they have no money. Thus cities as far from LA as Bakersfield in the valley (and even beyond) had been speculating that the high speed train would make them commuter cities for LA (I believe there was also speculation in the north of the valley about SF commuting).

They are gutted at this decision because all their dreams of participating in the housing bubble in SF and LA has just blown up.

Most of the people I know in SF and LA couldn't care less - it isn't like they commute between the two cities on any regular basis - the driving force moving people between NY (finance) and DC (power) doesn't exist between SF and LA.

However the tax base is in the cities, so the liberal cities are thanking Newsom and the Republican valley is upset - he is playing to his base.

ksdude
ksdude

No worries, CA can finally get rid of the proposition that halted raising personal property real estate taxes and finish it. If the fed had unlimited digital zeros like AOC plans on having it wouldn't have been a problem. Is Obamaland in Chicago still going forward?

Hansa
Hansa

Oh hey, the exchange rate for old Marks to the dollar in June 1924 was set at 4.2 trillion to one. I predict a similar exchange rate for Federal Reserve Notes to the Neuvo-Dollar some time after the New Green Deal works its magic. So basically, AOC’s dream will end up costing $23.81, a small price to pay for our childrens’ future, I think you’ll agree.

Hansa
Hansa

A list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies at

  1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
  2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
  4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*
  5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)
  7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  10. Amonix ($5.9 million)
  11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
  12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*
  13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
  15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  16. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  17. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  18. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  19. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  20. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  21. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  22. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  23. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
  24. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  25. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
  26. GreenVolts ($500,000)
  27. Vestas ($50 million)
  28. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
  29. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  30. Navistar ($39 million)
  31. Satcon ($3 million)*
  32. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
  33. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million) *Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that all of these were SUPPOSED to fail. Everyone who started these companies knew they would. They got free grants and easy loans, took a fat salary, charged personal items to the company credit card, lived high and mighty at the best resort hotels, flew first class, leased Rolls-Royces as company cars – and then walked away from the burning mess to the comfort of their McMansions, all paid for by the all-caring U.S. Treasury Department.

Mike Deadmonton
Mike Deadmonton

People always find something to b*tch about. Try and open a new refinery or chemical plant any where near a populated area or water tributary. You can't build pipelines now without someone complaining. Our city inspectors worried about noise from solar panels - until someone pointed out the millions of photons screaming down on the panels didn't make much of a noise when they bounced.

Mike Deadmonton
Mike Deadmonton

Everyone laughed at solar and wind saying it would never be affordable. While some still think it isn't, new solar or wind in appropriate areas is cheaper than coal. Bullet type trains make sense if the population is large and the distances aren't to great.

Webej
Webej

The cost of wind energy keeps going down, exponentially. The same is true of solar. Many utilities are investing because it's cheaper in the long run. Wind and solar have no fuel costs, and incremental gains in technology, manufacturing, and scale will keep making them cheaper, while the costs of additional fossil fuel can only increase at the margin (we've gotten to the easiest reserves first). There's nothing wrong with the public sector giving a boost to bump up the acceptance curve. We wouldn't have had nuclear or telephone without a boost either. Not to mention that direct subsidies for fossil fuels top $500 billion globally, more than 4× as much as renewables. And according to the World Bank (all leftists, you think?) the total subsidy to the fossil fuel sector tops $5Tr if you include the health costs and environmental degradation, which are externalized on the public at large.

Blurtman
Blurtman

I don't think folks would been keen to have an oil refinery built in their neighborhood, either.

Arnstein
Arnstein

Bad news. The California high-speed corruption project is still alive.

The state has scaled back the project so that it will only connect Bakersfield and Merced. These two towns are fairly rural, and so is the entire area in between. I doubt that a rail link for Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles would have found a significant number of customers. Yet attractiveness of the link between Bakersfield and Merced is much, much lower. To the extent that anyone would want to take a trip from one to the other (unlikely), he would almost certainly prefer to hop in his pickup truck for that purpose.

California politics is strictly pay-to-play. I cannot understand why the voters continue to support this sort of nonsense.

frozeninthenorth
frozeninthenorth

I know that Judges in the US have strange ideas, but I just don't get the idea that a judge could: "Barnstable County Judge Cornelius Moriarty ordered both turbines shut down as a public nuisance". What would he do about high tension powerlines or a chemical plant? The issue here is NIMBY, and little else. Now one thing for sure is that when a local government "decides" to do something little of the normal zoning rules will stand in the way. However, for someone who is 1,700 feet from a turbine to get headache -- I guess from...the noise, the electrostatic build-up; 1,700 feet is not close (its not very far either). I suspect that the local government did something illegal and no wants to own up to it. I guess somebody will soon buy a slightly used windmill.