Last month, Oregon’s first commercial “wave energy” project near Reedsport was officially abandoned.

The lead developer, New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies, had been promoting a utility-scale power project featuring 100 buoys, each weighing 260 tons. That plan was downsized to 10 buoys―and then to none.

The company had previously received a subsidy of $430,000 in Oregon lottery funds, along with millions more from the federal government. Apparently, this wasn’t enough; the company announced plans to move its operations to Australia, where it has been promised $62 million in handouts by the government.

This is just the latest in a string of Oregon fiscal blunders. The state wasted more than $200 million on a non-functioning health insurance website. Another $180 million disappeared in planning studies for a bridge over the Columbia River than never got built. And Governor Kitzhaber hired an “education czar” who was compensated some $400,000 before taking off for New York after less than a year on the job.

Investors all over the world understand that Oregon is the place to come for easy money. The business plan is simple: Profits flow to private companies, while losses are bone by Oregon taxpayers.

A 19th-century circus impresario once remarked, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” He wasn’t talking about Oregon, but maybe this should be our new state slogan.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

5 thoughts on “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

  1. I was an energy consultant in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The arrogant and pie-in-the-sky idiot-savants didn’t ask my opinion.

    Windmill electricity is a much more widespread fiasco, dwarfed only by electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Idoocy…and easily proven as such.

    But there’s not a truly ‘critical thinker’ in 99% of the so-called leaders of this country, state, county…or cities.

    Do you want to know the rest of the energy story. Just ask me.

    1. I indeed would be interested to know what the rest of the energy story is. What exactly do they leave out such that they can support these less than wise projects? I would assume, for example, we could not find any cost/benefit analysis by these folks. What else are they missing?

  2. In the 80’s PGE et al, under government encouragement, tried some windmill experiments here in our Western States –at great costs to consumers. They were deemed unfeasible then for many of the same reasons they are still unfeasible today; they were all dismantled.
    –One of the most insidious things that came of of that experiment & information is that it was used as ammunition to ‘force’ the feds to grab our super-economical hydro capacity and mix it with all other expensive methods of generation. An action that continues to this day to raise our electric rates in keeping with the the high rates in the rest of the country. Your bills in the NW are probably at least 40% higher than they would be without this “rate smoothing”. I think Dems/Clinton did that. Vote for Hillary? I don’t think so.

    A recent article here asks: “Are You Being Scammed on Your Electric Bill?”

    Historically, if a government entity is involved, the answer is always a resounding “Yes!”.

    –QUESTION: I wonder. Would God help us turn our govts from their headlong errant efforts to destroy us if thousands/millions repented? I don’t know.

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