Governor Freudenthal Not Enthusiastic About Wind Energy Development

The efforts to find clean and renewable energy have led many to speculate that Wyoming has more than just fossil fuel energy resources. While we do have a climate that produces an abundance of wind, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal says it may not make economic sense at this time.

A recent symposium on wind energy development in Wyoming was so popular that attendance had to be limited due to space concerns.

If you’d like to hear Freudenthal’s complete interview, tune in to Public Pulse Wednesday morning just after 9 on News-Talk 930 KROE.

In other news from the Governor’s office, Freudenthal was disappointed by a Federal judge’s decision to put the Yellowstone grizzly bears under the protection of the Endangered Species Act again. Freudenthal and the State were concerned that Wyoming populations were getting too large. There is a similar case pending in an Idaho U.S. District Court, and Freudenthal expects the Fish and Wildlife Service to defend their 2007 decision delisting the grizzly bear.

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All of this talk about wind energy brings up problems. Look at all of the protests and lawsuits that have made the news regarding wind energy. You have people claiming loss of property value, ruining the landscape, wind farms are ugly, birds might hit the propellers, and this list goes on and on. Then you have the transmission system needed to get the power to the user; power lines are ugly, eminent domain, ruins the landscape, and this list goes on and on. A lot of these issues also pertain to nuclear energy. Everyone wants to jump on the 'clean energy bandwagon' as long as it is 'not in my backyard'. These same arguements also pertain to new coal fired power plants and new oil refineries. America has a huge source of possible energy sources but we can't access them because of the above issues. This leaves us right where we are, importing!


Energy, especially sustainable energy will be the defining issue of the this century. Coal will certainly have a place at the table, but the governor ignores wind at our peril. Once the coal is mined or regulated out Wyoming will be much better off with a sustainable energy infrastructure. It isn't a choice between wind or coal it should be both.

May be time for a new Governor

This is a bad position to take. Wyoming needs this type of development. As I drove throughout the country over the summer I was amazed at how many states had this program up and operational. I fully understand that Wyoming is big on coal, but the rest of the nation is already in the process of moving on.. So if we wait to develop it, years down the road we will be forced to buy our power from out of state. Yes we will still have coal but the cost of carbon credit to mine and use it will out way the cost of importing clean renewable energy. I would think a governor would have the foresight to see this. Wyoming needs to use its coal profit NOW to develop energy for the future while it still has a chance to...

It is time the con stopped, actually

Gov. Dave is one of the first elected officials to display anything resembling common sense on wind power in the US.

Here's the ugly little truth about "alternative" energy schemes: There are no alternative energy schemes other than geothermal power that can provide base load power without vastly overbuilding the resource or solving the attending energy storage issues. Example: For wind power, with a capacity factor of only .2 to .4, you'd need to at least triple the size of the wind farm(s) under consideration and then geographically disperse them in order to achieve anything remotely resembling a base load power source.

Even then, there will be weather patterns in which wind power turbines fail to deliver anywhere near enough power to satisfy offered loads. The ratepayers will then either be charged for the power companies running a base load plant at standby ratings, or we'll be charged higher rates yet for buying large blocks of power in the spot market.

One of the biggest problems in "alternative energy" is that many of the advocates of same are not engineers; most often, they're liberal arts dreamers. The US electrical grid wasn't built on dreams and nice intentions, and it won't run very well in the future based on such. Our Governor realizes this, and speaking as an engineer, I have to say he's one of the only politicians I've heard in the US who actually makes sense to engineers instead of touting the usual line of politically enchanted nonsense that sounds "nice" to idiots in the press.

If people want to be serious about replacing coal-fired power plants, keeping delivered power costs in a reasonable range and having power available 24x7, then we need to become serious about nuclear power again. I mean fully serious, with a plan for fuel reprocessing instead of burying fuel that could be reprocessed in a breeder reactor and recycled into new power plant fuel. Putting "high level waste" into Yucca Mountain makes about as much sense as throwing away food when you're hungry.

The Japanese do reprocessing, the French do reprocessing (the French obtain about 70% of their electrical power from nukes), and we could do it. The US had a breeder reactor project underway - but the last time environmentalists had the political bit in their teeth in 1992, they promptly canceled the project.

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