Wind farms and Congress – polar opposites

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Wind turbines in the Papalote Creek Wind Farm near Taft, TX. Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.


By Duggan Flanakin

The latest poll shows that 78 percent of Americans disapprove of the performance of the U.S Congress, while just 18 percent approve. Yet in the latest poll that matters, Congressional incumbents had a 98 percent win rate. The reason most offered is that, while people despise Congress, they are quite fond of “their” Congress member.

Of course, in the entrenched Congress very few seats are even contestable, and party leaders support those whose votes can be counted on. The entire system is so corrupt that hardly anyone even knows what their representatives are voting on beyond the headlines.

By contrast, while public support for wind power is high (77 percent according to a 2021 poll), huge numbers of people oppose individual wind farms that impact their daily lives. Opposition to onshore and offshore wind spans the political spectrum to include environmentalists, chambers of commerce, fishermen, Native American tribes, ferry operators, airport commissions, business groups, municipalities, and homeowners.

The journalist Robert Bryce identified 31 big wind and 13 big solar projects that local residents across the U.S. vetoed in 2021, and over 320 wind projects that were rejected between 2015 and 2021. Today, the fight against big wind has shifted to offshore projects, with fisheries and wildlife conservationists leading the charge against powerful politicians and billionaires.

East coast fisheries have declared their industry will shut down because the offshore wind farms will disrupt their ability to fish profitably. Others complain more about diminished water quality, coastal erosion, and habitat degradation. Today, the complaints include damages to marine life.

Oregon fisheries deride the impact of wind turbines’ electromagnetic field cables on fish populations that threaten their livelihoods, and the Bureau of Ocean Management ignores their protests. In Hawaii opponents expressed concerns that the turbines would “obstruct Native Hawaiian ocean resources that include reef systems, fishing areas and cultural practices” if placed within 30 miles of the seashore.

While the few who stand to gain financially support wind turbines in “their backyards,” there are plenty of people who have no qualms about placing the noisy, fire-prone bird and bat killers in other people’s backyards. They won’t be affected! Fortunately, across much of America, local citizens retain the power to stop “progress.”

Three reasons for the zeal of the unaffected are the massive subsidies for wind power; the climate crisis campaign that has convinced millions that the planet will die from carbon dioxide poisoning; and a relentless media and “academic” campaign that finds climate change as the cause of every human and animal ill. The plethora of nonsensical diatribes is nauseating.

Investigative reporting in America today is suppressed or demonized in the rare cases in which it is even attempted. In its place we find conjured up stories that reflect a narrative that advances often hidden agendas – and the media, stuffed with “former” politicians and often interlinked with office holders, rubber stamps the agenda without even raising serious questions. Voters who despise Congress (according to the polls) feel powerless to fight the system.

That elites who created and subsidized the wind and solar and electric vehicle industries have the backing of a compliant media that promotes the agenda almost without question. Laws once used against industry and property owners – the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and others – are ignored and blatantly transgressed without the media raising a finger.

The big majorities in favor of wind power live in urban areas which will never see a wind turbine, just as their homes and neighborhoods are relatively unaffected by the hordes who destroy the property, threaten the lives, and disrupt the peace of border towns and ranches – or by the bodies piling up that burden public services.

The negative impacts of offshore wind that are causing the greatest uproar today are the destruction of fisheries and the killing of whales and environmental impact studies that would have sunk mining, farming, and other rural activities in the Heartland are either ignored or not even done for these gigantic intrusions into the near-shore oceans.

Even the courts have tacitly agreed in many cases to ignore the law of the land – because of the “climate crisis” – the same way that election laws were violated during the 2020 election cycle – because of the COVID crisis. Without a declaration of martial law there was no lawful justification for abusing the rule of law. Yet the media gleefully cheered on the violators.

Across the pond, the British government has been accused of allowing wind farm operators to sell electricity to the public at nearly twice the maximum amount specified in their contracts. This despite government claims that relying on wind would lower electric bills.

Even as the media almost daily report that wind energy is super cheap, there are other reports that big players in constructing wind turbines are facing massive losses and write-downs and canceling big offshore wind projects.

What do you do when your life’s work is being tossed into the trash by elected officials – and the bureaucrats they seem to serve? In the rare cases in which courts declare their policies and practices unconstitutional, there is increasing effort to pack the court or just to ignore decisions that do not rubber stamp their unlawful actions.

For decades American children were taught that killing off the passenger pigeon to extinction, the near-extinction of other wildlife and even tiny plants, and any human intrusion into wilderness areas were great sins that must never be repeated.

Yet today even Greenpeace, which built its reputation on ‘saving the whales,” dares not speak against the deaths of scores of endangered right whales, humpback whales, and dolphins that many believe are direct results of the sonar and tidal disruptions from wind turbine construction.

Three years ago the BBC reported that more than 350 scientists and conservationists from 40 countries had signed a letter calling for global action to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises from extinction. The letter singled out the right whale as in grave danger of extinction in the near future. There are only a few hundred right whales left, and several have washed up onshore in areas near wind turbine construction.

Yet CNN assures us that the wind turbines are not responsible – it is the whales’ fault for entering shipping lanes in search of menhaden. Whales only entered those waters recently (by CNN’s logic) when menhaden moved into them. The noise and dirt from turbine base drilling operations had no impact the ability of whales to hear oncoming ships and steer clear of them. Up is down.

Besides, Extinction Rebellion says, the loss of whale species is worth saving the planet from carbon dioxide.

Damn the torpedoes! Build wind turbines and solar arrays, destroy farmland used for livestock and crops, prevent Africans from using their abundant energy reserves to feed and house their increasing populations, and start eating crickets and worms. We don’t need no stinkin’ seafood!

Or – just maybe – we don’t need no stinkin’ bought-and-paid-for members of Congress who put their own profit ahead of the people they were elected to serve.


  • Duggan FlanakinDuggan Flanakin
  • Duggan Flanakin is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.
  • A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas.
  • A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, “Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout.”