Wind-Energy Sector Gets $176 Billion Worth of Crony Capitalism

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As I have to say every time we run these stories, we at Against Crony Capitalism are very much for alternative energies. But we are for them within the market. The sad truth is that many of the “alternative energy” efforts emanating from this White House have been very thinly veiled corporate crony capitalist gifts. And the money which hasn’t gone to connected corporations often has gone to connected individuals. In 2010-2011 it seemed like everyone with a Democratic Party stamp of approval and who was part of the “green club” got a piece of the taxpayer pie. I remember.

(From The National Review)

General Electric — the biggest wind-turbine maker in North America — has a seat on AWEA’s board. It has received $1.6 billion in local, state, and federal subsidies and $159 billion in federal loans and loan guarantees. (It’s worth noting that General Electric got into the wind business in 2002 after it bought Enron Wind, a company that helped pioneer the art of renewable-energy rent-seeking.)

NextEra Energy, the largest wind-energy producer in the U.S., has received about 50 grants and tax credits from local, state, and federal entities as well as federal loans and loan guarantees worth $5.5 billion. That’s more than what the veteran crony capitalist Elon Musk has garnered. Last year the Los Angeles Times’s Jerry Hirsch reported that Musk’s companies — Tesla Motors, Solar City, and Space Exploration Technologies — have collected subsidies worth $4.9 billion. NextEra’s haul is also more than what was collected by such energy giants as BP ($315 million) and Chevron ($2.2 billion).

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