An earlier post here reported on the chief utilities regulator for the state of Maine leaving to go work for a wind energy company subject to regulation by the state. Now the Martha's Vineyard Gazette reports on a somewhat similar situation in Rhode Island:
In September Deepwater Wind moved its headquarters to Providence, R.I. from New Jersey and named Jeffrey Grybowski its chief administrative officer. Mr. Grybowski was Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri's chief of staff from 2003 to 2007. In August the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission approved a controversial 20-year power purchase agreement between Deepwater and National Grid for an eight-turbine project off Block Island. The agreement had been rejected by the utilities commission eight months earlier because of its economic drawbacks but was eventually approved after pressure from the Rhode Island General Assembly and Governor Carcieri. Deepwater has stated an interest in developing a 100-turbine project in waters further offshore.
It's no wonder wind energy is so expensive; it's not the cost of erecting the windmills, it's the cost of hiring all the former government officials to get the windmills approved! The conclusion I reached about the Maine situation bears repeating in the Rhode Island case: If this were all being done by an oil company there'd probably be a much bigger uproar, but because it's wind, it has an image as "clean" energy.