The St Louis Business Journal is reporting that Tom Carnahan's Wind Capital Group got a quarter of a billion in loan guarantees with the hope to qualify for $90 million in stimulus funds for the creation of a second wind farm, this time in DeKalb County.
The project is supposed to generate 2,500 jobs (most temporary), and generate power for 50,000 homes. Boy that sounds great, doesn't it?
So let me get this straight. The brother of a Congressman, son of an appointed Senator, and brother to a Senate wannabe, and son of a deceased governor managed to qualify for a big fat loan that is based on the government building new transmission lines out in Dekalb County? Funny how that works.
Here's what they don't tell you. Without the stimulus or other government funds building new power lines, this project is a dead end. Russ Carnahan voted for the stimulus.
To date it has been a success, but, for this state, all the potential sites with enough wind to be useful are up in the Rockport area. The company was able to tie into existing distribution lines to use the power it generated, but getting much power further into the state will require that new power lines be run, and there are a number of different forms of cost and delay in getting that accomplished. He did note the potential of the stimulus package to help.
Without a cap and trade bill, the power generated by the wind farm is more expensive than coal, and costs about the same as natural gas. With cap and trade, wind power suddenly looks real good, according to Tom Carnahan. Russ Carnahan voted for the cap and trade bill.
Even if wind is slightly higher in 2008 than its competitors, you look at the price over time. It's a flat price over 20 years, compared to a combined-cycle or a coal unit that's going to have increased costs. Even if you sprinkle in a carbon tax or cap-and-trade, it all of a sudden looks very, very good
The wind farms will be built with GE Turbines. General Electric has been outsourcing the component work to China for some time. No less an authority than Robert Reich points this out.
General Electric is producing wind turbine components in China. Earlier this month, Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar announced it will be moving its solar panel production to China.
The Wind Capital Group spokesman is Tony Wyche. Tony is married to Sara Howard, who is no Russ Carnahan's communications director for this election campaign. Tony was Robin Carnahan's spokesman for her Secretary of State reelection run, in addition to his duties for Tom.
Sometimes I wonder if there are only like five Democrats in Missouri, but they all belong to 30 coalitions and have 40 jobs apiece. The same names keep popping up - and they're always getting government money for something.
That's what is most offensive. The Carnahan's may not be shaking down investors in backrooms individually, but the policies they support are that mix of public/private investing that always seems to make the family of politicians rich.
All for your own good, of course.