On Jan. 9, the Times Bulletin posted a “news” item about Susan Munroe and the Van Wert Chamber reaching around their own shoulder and patting themselves on the back for “helping the local economy” by testifying in support of tax and ratepayer subsidies and government guaranteed markets for wind energy designed to prop up Van Wert. They honor themselves for acting directly in opposition to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce which continues to advocate for a free market.

IRS records show the Iberdrola Blue Creek Wind energy project collected $183 million in Section 1603 federal grant money at time the project went on line. It is still collecting additional subsidies which, over time, will be worth close to another $100 million. In fact, more than half of the money flowing into Iberdrola’s already gold-lined pockets over the facility lifespan is not earned by selling electricity at market rates, but rather siphoned off from hard working American families’ and businesses’ income taxes and after tax income paid in electricity bills. The Van Wert Chamber celebrates Iberdrola’s payment of $2.7 million per year for 20 years which was made possible by the citizens trading almost $300 million to buy that payment. The other more than $200 million is gone forever to the Spanish project developer, Iberdrola, and the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer they purchased the machines from, Gamesa.

While the Ohio Chamber is against mandates and subsidies for expensive, intermittent-fueled electricity generation technologies, it appears the Van Wert Chamber along with a small contingency of other small-town chambers across America, are proud to support massive government forced wealth transfers from you and me - American tax and utility rate payers - to wealthy corporations, many of them like Iberdrola and Gammesa, foreign owned. When foreign companies pay you off in exchange for allowing them to pick your pocket and harm America, it’s definitely not something to be proud of.

Molly Buettner