Much to the detriment of the state’s rate payers, Deepwater Wind began generating electricity on December 12. Less than three weeks later, one of its five turbines broke (oopsie). As though wind energy isn’t already expensive enough, now we have to add the cost of making repairs thirteen miles out on the ocean. (‘Cause the cost of water and seawater-related repairs is always very reasonable, right, boat owners …?)
It probably was not a coincidence that the company made this embarrassing admission on a day – the Friday before Christmas – sure to glean the absolute minimum amount of public attention.
On Monday, GoLocalProv named Deepwater Wind their Rhode Island Company of the Year, comparing them to
great revolutionary companies in Rhode Island history — companies like Slater Mill and Brown and Sharpe.
A quick skim of the history of these two successful Rhode Island companies fails to turn up references to any government mandates – including most importantly, an edict that the state’s population shall purchase their products no matter how expensive to produce – as a precursor to their founding. Without these, of course, Deepwater Wind would not exist to inflict on state rate payers the cost of its very expensive (and rising by 3.5% a year) electricity.
Of course, with such powerful government tailwinds, it becomes a lot easier for a company and a product to succeed. If Rhode Island’s leaders, for example, passed a law that a certain percentage of hats in the state shall be Cat in the Hat style and mandated that state residents shall both purchase and wear them, such a company would have the same “success” as is claimed by and for Deepwater Wind.
Then there’s the plain fact, which our elected officials are studiously trying to ignore, that by the EPA’s own standard, Rhode Island’s pursuit (via costly mandate on ratepayers) of renewable energy is simply not justified because the cost far exceeds the benefit of greenhouse gases abated, as the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity pointed out in an illuminating report last summer. In fact, the State of New York, not exactly a hotbed of rightwing activism or petro-influence, has figured this out and ratcheted back their renewable energy mandate for 2017 by 94%.
Bigger picture, heavy-handed government mandates, regulations and taxpayer funded corporate welfare are the antithesis of what is needed for true economic development and organic job growth in Rhode Island. Residents, families and businesses don’t need more but, rather, far fewer regulations – especially, of the sledgehammer-on-the-scale type that wrought Rhode Island’s Company of the Year.