What do you do with someone who is obnoxious and rude, and a giant besides? You can’t duke it out with him . . .
More than just a clever ad for an electricity company, this piece really gets at the heart of the differences between the Republican view of the world, presented by the Romney campaign, and the Democratic view of the world, as exemplified by the Obama administration.
First, the obvious comparison: Romney promises to kill subsidies for wind power, doubling down on America’s dependence on fossil fuels, especially oil. To the GOP platform, wind is a rude giant, perhaps worthy of ignoring, but in not case worthy of giving a job to do. To the Obama administration, every watt of power generated by wind is a watt that doesn’t need to be generated by coal, oil or gas, freeing up those fuels for other work, and decreasing U.S. dependence on oil imported from Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Which treatment is more likely to increase the nation’s energy security and move the U.S. towards oil independence?
Second, the story carries metaphorical value, for the rest of the agendas of the two campaigns. Consider the Rude Giant as an out of work person, someone who is unemployed. The Romney campaign’s answer is that this fellow needs to become an entrepreneur, change his ways, change his behaviors, develop some other talents other than those God gave him, and maybe he’ll be successful; to encourage him to change himself, the Romney platform calls for pulling the rug out from under the poor guy so he’ll have to do something different or die. Democratic platform stands for retraining, great education in the first place, good benefits and a safety net that works — to get the former taxpayer back on his feet and, coincidentally, paying taxes again soon.
Guess which plan is cheaper to taxpayers, in operation?
What’s the reality: This past summer I drove through ten different states and the District of Columbia. Only in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. did I not see vast new “wind farms” of windmills, or pass on the road the massive truck trailers carrying parts for wind turbine installations. As it turns out, that was because I didn’t drive to the area of Maryland and Virginia with wind farms. Only D.C. lacks a windfarm, out of the states I visited (Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado were the others). Wind is big business and growing.
Why would any candidate try to choke off windpower growth, in tough economic times?
- Romney’s Folly: Ending Tax Breaks for Wind Power (treehugger.com)
- “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.” (sunsetdaily.wordpress.com)
- Mitt Romney confirms he would end US wind power subsidies (guardian.co.uk)
- Wind Power Tax Credit: White House Is Hopeful For Renewal In 2012 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Romney should revisit wind tax issue (thegazette.com)
- Report sees a wallop to wind power if tax credit ends (fuelfix.com)
- A New Wind Blowing: Obama’s Clean Energy Revolution (swampland.time.com)
Update on resources, September 13, 2012:
- Average US Wind Farm Creates 1079 Jobs, Report Finds – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Report: Iowa still second in wind energy production (thegazette.com)
- NJ Company Places $8.8 Million Bet on Fledgling Onshore Wind Market (njspotlight.com)
- California windfarm opens, but industry in peril without extension of incentives