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Letter: Distorted anti-wind power argument erodes confidence

Rob Port was living up to his "Say Anything" motto while presenting his distortions and demonstrably false statements on wind energy this past Sunday.

He should know that the main subsidy complained of is the production tax credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour, not the 23 cents claimed in his article. This is not a "typo" since he then explains that 23 cents is about double our average cost of electricity. A 10-fold error in the main premise of your argument shakes my confidence.

Mr. Port relies on Dr. Steven Hayward, currently teaching constitutional law at the Berkeley Law School. Dr. Hayward received a B.S. in business and a M.A. in government before being awarded his Ph.D. in "American Studies" at Claremont University. He is teaching law with John Yoo, the White House legal counsel who wrote the legal justification known as the "torture memos" for George W. Bush.

Dr. Hayward himself, has been criticized for joking about the use of "waterboarding" for his students. He is on the board of directors for the Institute for Energy Research, a nonprofit whose main contributor is Charles Koch and other friends of the earth. All this to wonder why we should listen to someone with so little training in physics, engineering or biology?

The title of the article claims wind energy subsidies are not cutting emissions; but it is a fact that a typical 1.5-megawatt turbine produces enough electricity during a 24-hour period (even counting the hours no wind blows) to displace the power from about 9.5 tons of lignite. Ton by ton, this coal contributes to the annual release (even with installed controls) of approximately 48 tons of mercury into the U.S. environment.

Measured levels of airborne mercury in the Dakotas are roughly 50 percent higher than in Minneapolis and three times higher than in Maine. Dr. Hayward and Mr. Port may be of the

opinion that mercury and other heavy metals are good for you, sort of like the benefits of "waterboarding", but I think not.

And yes, I am a physician, personally invested in wind energy.

Best lives in Watford City, N.D.