Lake Bluff, IL, resident rejects idea of an offshore wind farm from Evanston to Waukegan

February 11, 2012


Lake Forester readers would benefit from knowing what is being touted in a sister publication to the Pioneer Press, the Lake County News-Sun, as Waukegan is just up the road.

In an OUR VIEW commentary published in the News-Sun on Tuesday, January 31, Blowing in the wind, it was related how Mayor Robert Sabonjian “may be on to something when he speaks of the future and a wind farm off the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline.”

A little over two weeks ago, Mayor Sabonjian suggested that the project was a great use of the lake that is just sitting there now, that off-shore wind energy is absolutely doable, and that it makes economic sense in an article written by Dan Moran and published the weekend of January 14-15 in the News-Sun, Mayor: Offshore wind farm could have city benefits

100,000 windmills in IL, whether on land or off shore in Lake Michigan, would not save the need for a single fossil fuel or nuclear power plant — one of which is now being prematurely and unnecessarily decommissioned near by in Zion, along with its  2,100 MW’s of power — as wind must be backed up with rolling reserve for when the wind is not blowing.

The Lake County News-Sun, instead of opining over the benefits Waukegan would derive from a future off shore wind farm stretching north from Evanston to the Waukegan Harbor, which would only serve to carve out special tax cuts for Friends of Quinn, News-Sun editorials would better serve the pubic by advocating for the repeal of Governor Quinn’s 2011 income tax rate, the largest ever in the history of Illinois which did nothing to improve Illinois’s precarious fiscal position, or other hot button issues. 

Despite the additional $7 billion in revenue the 2011 tax rate increase generated — which seemingly disappeared down a rat hole — during year 2011 spending grew in Illinois, bills went unpaid, pension reform stalled, Illinois’s unemployment problem worsened, and the tax hike made Illinois less competitive and forced many businesses to leave Illinois.

How ironic it was that Governor Quinn aimed his State of the State address on Wednesday, February 1st, at spurring job growth, when the cause and effect of his policies during 2011 was to place more Illinoisans on the unemployment rolls than any other state in the nation!

And would the proposed future off-shore wind farm fantasy add to the possibility of more jobs locally in and around Lake Forest and Lake Bluff?

Reported in the News-Sun’s Blowing in the Wind article of January 31 was the following:  “Most of the gusty growth in Illinois has come largely because of the Obama administration’s stimulus package which has provided $2.3 billion in tax credits.” 

As such, wind energy developers in Illinois receive a tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour, which has boosted wind energy’s competitiveness in the marketplace. 

Research led me to this article in the Buffalo News, Wind gets knocked our of energy farm plan, in which the New York Power Authority decided that building a wind farm offshore in deep water off Lakes Erie and Ontario would be up to four times the cost of a similar wind project on land. 

Illinois’s proposed off-shore Lake Michigan wind farm project, not unlike the project abandoned by the New York Power Authority, would likewise have to eventually come face-to-face with the reality of the high costs of the subsidies needed to make an offshore wind farm feasible.

Good-by to Major Sabonjian’s claims that the Lake Michigan offshore wind project would foster major economic development and create hundreds of jobs in the local area.

A study commissioned by the University of Juan Carlos and the Juan de Mariana Institute in 2009 indicated that despite Spain committing approximately $37 dollars in U.S. dollars for solar and wind power projects, “for every green job that is attempted to be created, there is a 2.2 destruction of the resources that on average the private sector employs per worker.”

Are Lake Forester readers aware that Illinois’s Democrat General Assembly mandated that by 2025 18% of Illinois’s energy should come from wind and solar power by 2025.  Why?  Because legislators in a Democrat-controlled General assembly in Springfield have jumped head-long and feet-first into the unrealistic and unscientific Al gore premise that man-made Global Warming is real and that the culprit is CO2, which is not a pollutant and which plants need to survive. 

In light of Governor Quinn’s State of the State address which was heavy on job creation, it seems appropriate to request that the Pioneer Press/Lake Forester likewise publish Opinion pieces that zero in on crucial issues such as the Global Warming green jobs folly and how carrying over the failed income tax rate increases of 2011 into 2012 will only result in the same disastrous financial consequences for Illinois (and even more so) than were experienced in 2011.  

Other hot button issues could likewise be selected by Pioneer staff editors that directly affect the lives of all Illinoisans living in an already bankrupt and dysfunctional state.   I was pleased to see a published editorial in the Lake Forester that berated legislators for failing to deal with much needed pension reform.  Adressing legislators by name who are resisting reform to turn Illinois around would seem like a good ploy.

The overarching theme with the Governor’s speech, as reported by the Illinois Policy Institute, is that Illinois is moving forward and is “back on course.”  How does that square with the people of Illinois when 74% say the state is on the wrong track?

Howard Hayden, Prof. Emeritus of Physics at the University of Connecticut, an expert on wind, solar and nuclear power, shared that salient with me which says it all:

“We are not going to run this state or country on chicken manure, sunbeams and breezes.  It is an unconscionable waste of money to subsidize phony energy sources and to look for the Holy Climate Knob in the sky.”

In light of the terrible state of this nation and our state, the public must be remained again and again about the harsh truth of reality. News publications should inform, not sugar coat bad situations or spout the rhetoric of a partisan agenda as is so common now days.

One thing is certain, the status quo cannot be allowed to continue.  Only intelligent and informed voters can save both our nation and our state from the direction both are heading, over a cliff as failed, bankrupt entities.  

Hopefully there will be enough informed voters in the March Illinois Primary and November’s General Election to rescue both from their dismal destinies if their present directions are not reversed.




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