Opinion: Criticisms of wind power fueled by Koch brothers, oil industry


I read with interest the article by D. Dowd Muska regarding “big wind” in the June 7 edition of The Taos News.

I feel that when reading such an article, it is important to investigate both the information provided and the sources of that information. My brief queries into the sources of this article revealed:

1) The Rio Grande Foundation is a libertarian organization heavily funded by the Charles Koch Foundation and other right-wing organizations, such as the DonorsTrust.

2) The physicist quoted in the opinion piece, Howard C. Hayden, is a well-known climate science denier and has published numerous articles and two books, criticizing climate science as “alarmist.”

3) The Industrial Wind Action Group, quoted in the article, is an advocacy group dedicated to the opposition of wind energy, and

4) The Institute for Energy Research, also quoted in the article, is one of several “think tanks” supported by the Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil.

With this in mind, one must question the potential bias of the article’s writer. Perhaps it is true that wind energy has its flaws and is not fully ready for “prime time.” But Mr. Muska chooses to ignore one major fact: Wind energy is a renewable and sustainable energy source, versus our current “efficient and affordable electricity,” also subsidized by federal tax dollars, which pollutes and contributes to global warming.

If one denies the vast majority of climate science, then the criticisms of wind power are more compelling. However, if we are concerned about man’s influence on global warming, then we must pursue any and all sources of renewable, noncarbon-based energy, however flawed they may initially appear. The cost of our energy is important, but when the cost to society is factored in, a more thoughtful approach is required.

Peter Selzer lives in Ranchos de Taos, is a radiologist at Holy Cross Hospital and has a doctorate in physics.