A bold new report has been released showing how Maine can become energy independent – if, by “energy independent,” we mean heavily dependent on government subsidies.
Also, sort of chilly.
Under the proposal put forth by respected researchers at the Rodentia Institute, we should abandon our current efforts to build more wind farms, and instead underwrite an electrical generating mechanism that, unlike wind, is capable of supplying us with predictable quantities of clean power, while also filling vacant mills with an innovative new business and creating thousands of jobs, most of which will be permanent, and some of which will be well-paying and a few of which won’t involve having to do anything disgusting.
If this seems unbelievable, the institute assures us it is no more so than similar assertions made by the Maine wind industry, which – although it claims it has invested $1.28 billion in the state over the last dozen years – has already sucked up more than $2 billion in taxpayer and ratepayer funding in order to offer us intermittent spasms of electricity in quantities that have yet to prove sufficient to keep the state’s supply of marital aids fully charged.
There’s a good reason we’re irritable.
In the interest of accuracy (no, really), it should be noted that what little power the state’s wind farms do produce isn’t directed to Maine bedrooms. It all gets shipped to southern New England, which, not surprisingly, reports a higher level of sexual satisfaction.
Somehow, neither the power’s destination nor its ultimate use got mentioned in a report the wind industry released last month detailing all it had done for Maine, such as creating an average of more than 1,500 jobs a year. Of which, the report also doesn’t bother to note, less than 200 are permanent. And that figure includes the continued employment of people like me, who don’t do anything except complain about what a rip-off wind turbines are. If they stopped building those suckers, I’d have to earn my keep by finding something else to gripe about. Like, I dunno, politics.
Somehow, the wind industry’s propaganda further neglected to include state officials’ estimates of how much renewable energy costs us each year, which comes to approximately $60 million in extra charges on our power bills. If we could save that money by ending our dependence on wind turbines, we could use it to cover the cost of revenue sharing for cities and towns or to fire up wacky psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich’s old orgone box (it’s still in a museum in Rangeley) and give every adult in the state a couple of cosmic tingles.
Or we could go with that idea from Rodentia.
The institute, as its name indicates, studies rodents, of which Maine has an abundance, from mice in our closets, to rats in our basements, to squirrels in our attics, to politicians in our Legislature. If only we could find some way to turn these annoying creatures from pests into power producers.
Rodentia proposes to use a massive state and federal subsidy of, say, $60 million a year to rent all the state’s vacant mills and fill them with zillions of little exercise wheels hooked to generators that feed directly into the grid. Every unemployed person in Maine will be set to work capturing rodents to run on those wheels (no porcupines, beavers or bats, please), while thousands more will be hired to feed and clean those furry little power plants.
In no time, the state would have full employment and all the pricey alternative energy we could possibly want. Which admittedly won’t be much, what with rodent mortality, shutdowns due to PETA protests and competition from cheap overseas rodent mills that don’t have to abide by strict U.S. standards of animal welfare, and can employ non-union species, such as the South American capybara and the giant rat of Sumatra.
But, as the wind industry is fond of pointing out as it tramples through the Maine wilderness despoiling our pristine mountains and peaceful vistas, think of how green we’re being by not polluting the planet with foreign oil or, in this case, foreign rodent poop.
Speaking of poop, wind industrialists have promised to double their capacity in the state by 2018, so long as we keep providing them with huge subsidies. This will allow them to continue buying their turbine parts from overseas manufacturers. Not only can the exercise wheels for Rodentia’s plan be made right here in Maine, but rodent ranchers (and it won’t be long before we’ll have a need for such specialists) could triple the amount of farmland in the state, while more conventional agriculture will benefit from the increased demand for grain to feed the little beasties.
The rodent industry can’t promise you connubial bliss, anymore than the wind industry can. But your lovemaking may be enhanced by the knowledge that while you’re going at it, there’s a lot less chance a rat is crawling into the baby’s crib.
Or the Legislature.
If you think I’ve gone squirrelly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.