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Enviro-nitwit alert: DNC funds broken turbine

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 28, 2008 11:18 AM

Well, this pretty much sums up the Democrat energy policy: Expensive and empty eco-gestures signifying nothing.

Via Face the State (hat tip – M.S.):

The eastern Colorado wind turbine tapped for the Democratic National Convention’s carbon-offset program has one problem: It doesn’t generate any electricity. Convention organizers are now being questioned for their eagerness to market those credits to delegates.

The DNC has contracted with Vermont-based NativeEnergy to offer delegates “Green challenge” carbon offsets to soften the environmental impact of convention travel. That money is then invested in carbon-free “green” energy sources around the country, including a wind turbine installed this year by the Wray School District RD-2. But a Face The State investigation reveals the district’s turbine has never produced marketable energy due to massive equipment malfunctions.

The school district held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the wind turbine February 15th. Officials soon discovered, however, that the turbine was incapable of producing its intended output. “We flipped it back off and on about 10 times since then,” said Superintendent Ron Howard. “It has run, it will run, but it won’t ramp itself up to full capacity.”

In the meantime, the project has been touted by Gov. Bill Ritter’s administration as an example of government innovation in clean energy, with district officials still attempting to reassure residents of the technology’s long-term potential. Area residents tell Face The State the blades do turn some days, even though the turbine is not producing electricity. The district Web site reads, “As you note the blades turning evenly in the wind…this ‘dream turned into reality’ is providing an environmentally safe source of power to our community.”

In a feature story in Saturday’s Rocky Mountain News, reporter Jerd Smith claimed that 20 percent of Wray’s power is generated by what it calls “a windmill that toils day and night producing clean electricity.” Smith’s report professed that the Wray project is “at the heart” of the DNC’s carbon-credit program.

The Rocky report also described the school wind turbine as “a project that generates thousands of dollars for the region’s cash-strapped schools,” but provided no financial data regarding any energy sales to date.

Howard says the turbine requires replacement equipment, which is scheduled to be installed this month. “It’s a new technology, so they don’t have the bugs out of it,” he said. “Since there’s so many people watching [the turbine], they might be better served to go to a more reliable model.”

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Categories: 2008 campaign, 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, John McCain