Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Say It With Me, Democrats: Wind Farms Are a GOOD THING! Updated

Republicans and tea party members, aided by "liberal journalists" like Jake Wagman (who apparently go out of their way to pander to groups and politicians who want them put out of business after even the most idiotic attacks from the Right), are trying to make a big deal out of the fact that $107 million dollars of stimulus money went to a Missouri wind farm owned by Tom Carnahan, brother of Russ and Robin.

I don't see any reason for Democrats to beat around the bush on this issue: the fact is, the wind farm is doing exactly what the stimulus is supposed to do! The United States needs to wean itself of being dependent upon Middle East oil. The U.S. needs to start getting energy from somewhere that doesn't destroy our environment. We need to invest in a green economy so that we can compete with the rest of the world moving in that direction. There's no reason our country couldn't become the leader in a new green economy if we invested in green energy as much as we do in fossil fuels. And, in a time where thousands of Americans are out of work due to the Bush administration's disastrous handling of the economy, we need to fund shovel ready projects that provide people with jobs. The wind farm moves us forward on all of those issues.

Now, if there was some evidence that the money was being handled improperly, or spent on lavish trips or frivolous items, then yes I would have a big problem with it going to the brother of a U.S. Congressman. However, the reality is that this is exactly the kind of project the U.S. government needs to be investing in. In fact, the real problem today is that we didn't spend nearly enough on green energy. Don't tuck your tail between your legs and run every time Republicans scream "boo!" Stand up for the progressive vision for how to keep America on top: a shift towards the green economy of the future.

Update: Jake Wagman does a nice job writing about the Carnahans' responses. It'd be nice if they could speak approvingly about the use of wind energy as opposed to dirty coal and dirty oil, but I suppose anything along those lines would be interpreted as them claiming they were involved in the process, which they weren't. However, other Democrats should very publicly stick up for this project, since it is exactly what we need to move toward a progressive vision of the future.

Image credit: Ecofriend.


  1. While I will agree that with spending stimulus money on more eco-friendly projects, the question should be whether Tom Carnahan came by the grant award fairly. If there are specific accusations that it was unfair, then that should be investigated regardless of whether or not it is a "green" project.

    On a separate note, I don't think there is any reason to accuse Jake Wagman of pandering here. He wrote a piece noting the Republican attempt to make it a controversy. I think Jake Wagman could have done a better job in looking into whether there are any specific allegations and whether or not they can be substantiated in anyway. That is a failure to thoroughly cover the story however, not a pandering to right wing groups and politicians.

  2. mkimberlin,

    I agree with the spirit of your first point. That's what I was trying to get at in my last paragraph, though I did not specifically mention "fairness." In regards to fairness, I think the rest of my post was an attempt to show that the project was in line with what the stimulus money was intended to do. Whether or not it was better than all other potential uses of that money is hard to determine, but I agree that if there was some *specific* indication that the money was appropriated unfairly, then it should be investigated. However, just saying that Tom Carnahan is Russ and Robin's brother does not count as good evidence that the money was awarded unfairly.

    As for Wagman, I was not referring only to this post, but rather to a series of posts from him after he was ridiculously criticized by the tea party.

  3. You should have hard Ed Martin meltdown over this issue on Charlie Brenan this morning. The Audio will probably be posted here later today. Ed seems to forget his own problem like the Exxon stock that he and his wife owns. ("It isn't mine. It's my wifes! How dare you bring up my wife!") Reguardless of who owns it in this little shell game Martin is trying to pull, the fact that the Martins have stock in Exxon is more damning than the Carnahans' investment in renewable energy.