The Western Wind and Transmission Leadership Summit was held in Big Sky. Attendees at this three-day meeting included many state and federal government officials and the experimental wind energy companies who receive taxpayer money from them.
Topics included the expansion of experimental technologies like wind power, solutions to the technical and financial challenges associated with intermittent energy sources, federal laws and subsidies, government mandates to purchase experimental energy, and the expansion of government power to take land from private landowners.
I wanted to attend the Summit. Unfortunately, I found out that the registration fee was $595. Since the Montana Department of Commerce’s Energy Promotion Division was a major sponsor, and since the Montana Legislature funds that agency, I asked Sen. Art Wittich if he would attend and inform me and his constituents about the results of the meeting. He was told by the state sponsor he could not unless he paid the standard fee.
What are the meeting sponsors trying to hide? Why the secrecy? Was this a forum for backroom deal-making bankrolled by the taxpayer and utility rate payers? If the assumption is that people want more renewable energy, why prevent the public from unfiltered access to the state’s deal making with industry?
Most people and small businesses who create jobs need the lowest cost power available to be competitive. And they also do not want their property rights taken for the new socialized energy welfare scheme that is being advanced by a cabal of government agencies and subsidized wind companies. No wonder the summit organizers don’t want the public fully informed, or a spotlight shined upon their crony capitalism “club.” They just want your tax dollars, and your property, and they want you to keep quiet.