When we talk about wind energy, what are we really talking about? Different people equate the topic with many different things. For some, the first thing that comes to mind is renewable energy and being more environmental. For others, it is a conversation about climate change. For still others, it brings to mind newer forms of technology and advanced energy alternatives.
Some see it as a political issue, pitting right versus left. Others see it as a moral issue, pitting right versus wrong. Some people are thrilled at the prospect of having it in their community, while others do not share in that excitement.
For the Christian Coalition of Indiana, it symbolizes the same things that are symbolized by solar, hydro, biomass, anaerobic digestion, and nuclear energy. Wind energy symbolizes an energy resource that is not manipulated by global conflicts and markets, thus making our country more energy independent, and secure.
We have never had to engage in a middle east conflict to protect our access to affordable wind. No troops have been deployed in relation to it. The price of wind energy has never increased because of refinery failure, shut down pipelines, or supply disruption due to war. Much like nuclear energy, renewable energy is a domestic source of energy that is locally created, locally priced, and entirely independent of the fluctuations of the global markets.
As our country continues its natural progression away from coal, and toward a more robust use of natural gas, we should not ignore the fact that we are also marching ever closer to having the ability to export our natural gas to other countries. A quick perusal of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions website will reveal that the January landed price of this natural gas is nearly four times higher in many other countries than it is here at home.
It doesn’t take an economist to realize that as our supplies become globalized, so will costs. While we may not increase four times, even a doubling of the cost here at home could lead to significantly higher energy costs Indiana homeowners.
Wind energy, or any form of renewable energy is not about going green, or fighting climate change, or even about your view out your back window. It is about securing a diverse portfolio that will provide more stability in an increasingly unstable energy marketplace. It is about having a mix of energy that does not require us to send our men and women, sons and daughter, or other loved ones into a dangerous part of the world to protect our access to it.
I understand that some people find turbines unsightly, and that is an opinion to which they have every right, but I guarantee you that the view of troops on the front lines in the middle east is a whole lot worse.
As Indiana looks at opportunities to play a bigger role in renewable energy generation, don’t let the conversation be driven by false fear, by divisive arguments, or by left versus right ideology. Let it be driven by facts, by energy independence for America, by greater national security, and by respect for one another in areas of disagreement. There are some who seek to profit by dividing communities by redirecting the conversation to topics that distract from the real reason we need a diverse energy portfolio, but don’t be fooled.
While these projects are good for land owners, and their personal property rights, good for communities, and their economic development and tax base, and good for the future of the state, they are even better for our country. They provide a much-needed hedge against the risk of future energy price spikes and give us greater independence from energy produced in countries who use our money to fund terror and attack our way of life. We may never agree on what wind energy represents, but we should be able to find agreement on the value that it brings to the community, to Indiana as a state, and to our great nation.
Keith den Hollander of the Christian Coalition can reached at
202-853-0707 or Keith@cc.org.