Monday, July 18, 2011

Koch Brothers and their attack on Wind Power

I hadn't really heard the names of the Koch Brothers until a year or two ago, after Obama got elected and certain segments of the population went bonkers and formed a hardline conservative faction now known at the TEA Party.

Now, though, it seems like they're catching the blame for everything from Wisconsin anti-union laws, the formation and mobilizing of the TEA Party, to the shenanigans of New Jersey Governor Christie and Michigan Governor Snyder, to a full on assault on offshore wind power...

...It's hard to know what to take seriously at this point. Maybe just some of it. Maybe all of it. They're definitely the villain du jour, though. And who can blame us liberals...the Koch Brothers are everything wrong with America. Here are some dudes, born into a massive fortune that their father got from US and Soviet government contracts. They've never had to claw and scrape their way to the top. They've just always been up there from birth rather than merit. And they seem to use their massive wealth to direct public policy in a direction that directly harms the social mobility of a segment of the population they themselves have never been a part of.

That's definitely the part that bothers me the most.

And now, oil heirs as they are, they're taking sharper aim at offshore wind. And though manufacturing, particularly in the Green sector, has been leading the way in America's otherwise anemic job growth, the Koch Brothers manage to claim that this type of technology does not create work for people....even as it happens all around us.

The war over America’s coastal-energy future has officially begun, and the result could determine whether we see wind turbines or catastrophic oil spills along our coastlines in coming years.

The opening salvo came in early July, when everyone’s favorite climate-hating, fossil-fuel-loving industrialist villains, the Koch brothers, released a so-called “cost-benefit analysis” of New Jersey offshore wind development plans through their front group Americans for Prosperity.

I'd heard some offhanded, seemingly perfunctory comments about how Michigan Representative Ray Franz's bill to ban offshore wind power was fueled by the Koch Brothers. That seemed a little far fetched at the time....would they really micromanage like that? It starts to feel less and less far fetched every day. There's definitely a financial advantage and incentive for them to fight offshore wind power at every turn.

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