Windmill farm.

Wind farm.

There’s plenty of wind energy in the Midwest, but to get it to the East where it could cheaply replace fossil fuel electricity would take some 20,000 miles of new transmission lines.

The Republican Supreme Court, however, has ruled that states, and not the federal government, control permission for building lines in their own territory.

What this basically means is that no such lines are ever going to be built. Which means that clean Midwestern wind electricity is not going to replace stinky East Coast coal-powered plants.



  1. Clayton says:

    Good point though I feel less skeptical. A +/- 800 Volt, 6 GW HVDC line moves about $10 million per day of electricity. It’s amazing how cooperative farmers get when they can get a piece of that action. Let’s say for the sake of discussion that the transmission line crossed 10000 properties. Then that would amount to $1000 of revenue crossing each property each day. If 1% goes to each property owner that is about $3500 per year. If each state took 1% that would end up at about $100,000 per DAY in tax revenue for them. Most of the properties crossed would be agricultural. These often will be at a distance from housing. DC power lines have narrower right of ways and they do mot hum. These things considered I think that deals will be made and we will see these things built.

    Also I would add that the 10,000 properties is probably a high number. So individual land owners would receive more than estimated here.

  2. georgmi says:

    Meanwhile, running more oil pipelines is clearly within the Federal purview. Got it.

  3. Eric H. says:

    How about “clean” wind energy on the East Coast. Oh wait, we can’t do THAT because rich people live within sight distance, or might take a vacation near those “farms”.

    Sorry the argument doesn’t hold weight.

    I do wonder if the SCOTUS would vote to allow the STATES to control the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.

  4. Desert Rat says:

    Which is a Good Thing for midwestern birds, as wind farms kill birds in incredibly large numbers.