"Cuisinarts of the Air"

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While Michigan struggles with electricity costs fifteen percent higher than those of neighboring states, interest groups propose to harness the wind to generate electricity because they believe it’s good for the environment. But wind power has its own environmental problems, and it would make the state’s electricity even more costly.

Using modern-day windmills to generate power is many environmentalists’ favorite source of alternative energy. But both the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society have criticized wind power’s impact on birds. A Sierra Club official called electricity-producing windmills "the Cuisinarts of the air" for their tendency to kill thousands of birds, including endangered species, annually.

Even if the bird mortality, noise, and aesthetic problems of wind power are ignored, there is the problem of cost. After decades of heavy subsidies, including $900 million from the Department of Energy, wind power is still uneconomical and uncompetitive with fossil-fuel energy.

Michigan workers and businesses already pay more for electricity than the national average. Any new mandates or tax dollars for wind power will hurt them even more, although perhaps not as much as the birds unlucky enough to encounter the windmills.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.