I can't say this surprises me in the least. Here's the whole story in a nut:
"The government issued only a few dozen permits to develop wind and solar energy projects on public land last year compared with more than 1,300 oil and gas permits issued on federal land..."
“...'opponents can use regulatory stalling and delay tactics' to 'financially cripple' projects..."
"While federal incentives such as production tax credits and investment tax credits have helped the wind and solar industries, current credits are set to expire in a few years."
The article doesn't name the "opponents" of wind and solar, but it seems a pretty safe bet big oil has a hand in it. Whoever the opponents are, this is further evidence that the government is subservient to big business. Since big business is only responsible for shareholder profits and not the health of people, the planet, or future generations, this is a very dangerous predicament in which we find ourselves.
June 1, 2011, 5:03 p.m. EDT
Permits, uncertainty obstruct wind, solar energy
By Eric Skalac of Medill News Service
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The government issued only a few dozen permits to develop wind and solar energy projects on public land last year compared with more than 1,300 oil and gas permits issued on federal land, a shockingly low number that needs to be fixed fast, members of a House committee said Wednesday
The culprit, according to many of the wind and solar industry officials testifying at the Natural Resources Committee hearing, is a bureaucratic process that can be used by project opponents to stall plans until they become economically unfeasible.
“I’m shocked at the constant problem of permitting and uncertainty,” said Rep. Jeff Landry, Republican of Louisiana.
James Gordon, president of Cape Wind Associates, LLC, detailed the permitting process during his experience with what could become the nation’s first offshore wind generation project, which has been in development for the last 11 years.
With no legal requirement for the duration of a permit review period, “opponents can use regulatory stalling and delay tactics” to “financially cripple” projects that may meet the necessary standards, he said. “One small group can tie you up in knots for many years,” Gordon said, referring to a special interest group that he said “has sought to delay the [permit] review process at every turn.”
The Natural Resources Committee has been trying to identify roadblocks to wind and solar energy projects. At its first hearing on May 13, the committee asked the directors of the Bureau for Land Management and the Bureau for Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to explain the alleged permitting delays. The officials said they were working to eliminate redundant steps.
The wind energy industry alone employs about 75,000 people in the U.S., and the generating capacity has grown annually by 35% over the past five years, “second only to natural gas and more than nuclear and coal combined,” said American Wind Energy Association spokesman Roby Roberts in a prepared statement. But despite industry growth, the witnesses agreed that the major roadblocks of policy uncertainty and a lengthy permitting process remain.
While federal incentives such as production tax credits and investment tax credits have helped the wind and solar industries, current credits are set to expire in a few years.
In addition, a grant program in the 2009 stimulus law provided $7 billion to be awarded to 2,601 renewable energy projects so far, “leveraging approximately $22 billion in private sector investment,” according to Stanford University energy expert Dan Reicher. But if projects have not started construction by the end of this year, they will lose the money.
[READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE]
I am reminded of our own Declaration:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Something needs to change.