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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Outstanding Comeback to Heartland Institute’s Anti-Wind Malarkey

by Michael Vickerman, Program and Policy Director 

At a rally in Cedar Rapids in June, President Trump said:  “I don’t want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories … as the birds fall to the ground.” Trump drew a lot of flak for that statement, which reflected his personal belief that wind generation and high-end golf resorts can’t co-exist in Scotland and other locations where the Trump Organization has a presence.

Shortly after this presidential put-down of wind power, the Heartland Institute, an industry-funded mercenary outfit that promotes maximal use of fossil fuels, let loose with a predictably canned harangue echoing and amplifying Trump’s complaint. Following a familiar pattern, Heartland’s commentary, which was published in the Des Moines Register, traffics in hyperbole that is utterly disconnected to the reality of wind power development experienced by ordinary Iowans. 

On that score, Jon Kallen, a former employee at MidAmerican Energy and a self-described Republican, weighed in with a guest column documenting that reality and the many positive impacts flowing from the Hawkeye State’s embrace of wind energy. Kallen’s editorial does an outstanding job of cataloging how broadly distributed these benefits are, and, in doing so, methodically exposing the dishonesty that lies at the core of Heartland’s editorial.

In the final sentence of his editorial, Jon Kallen wrote: “Maybe our neighbors to the east will catch up someday.” He had Illinois in mind, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be applied to Wisconsin as well.

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