by Michael Vickerman, Program and Policy Director 

At a rally in Cedar Rapids in June,
President Trump said:
 “I don’t want to
just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories … as the
birds fall to the ground.” Trump drew a lot of flak for that statement, which reflected
his personal belief that wind generation and high-end golf resorts can’t
co-exist in Scotland and other locations where the Trump Organization has a

Shortly after this presidential
put-down of wind power, the Heartland Institute, an industry-funded mercenary
outfit that promotes maximal use of fossil fuels, let loose with a predictably
canned harangue echoing and amplifying Trump’s complaint. Following a familiar
Heartland’s commentary, which was published in the Des
Moines Register
, traffics in hyperbole that is
utterly disconnected to the reality of wind power development experienced by
ordinary Iowans.

On that score, Jon Kallen, a former
employee at MidAmerican Energy and a self-described Republican, weighed in with
guest column documenting that reality and the many positive
impacts flowing from the Hawkeye State’s embrace of wind energy. Kallen’s
editorial does an outstanding job of cataloging how broadly distributed these
benefits are, and, in doing so, methodically exposing the dishonesty that lies
at the core of Heartland’s editorial.

In the final sentence of his editorial,
Jon Kallen wrote: “Maybe our neighbors to the east will catch up someday.” He
had Illinois in mind, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be applied to
Wisconsin as well.