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1/22/2014
Cuomo's anti-Conservative rant inexcusable

Cuomo's anti-Conservative rant inexcusable
 
Three cheers for Assemblyman Steve Hawley (New York State's 139th District) for standing up and speaking out on behalf of all Conservative New York State citizens in the wake of Governor Cuomo's mind-blowing, anti-Conservative rant last week.  
 
In this increasingly 'go-along-to-get-along' world we live in, it's good to know that there are still a few elected officials who have the guts to speak out against tyrannical bullies like Cuomo (who apparently has forgotten what the Constitution is), instead of just cowering in silence for fear of retribution, as many do.
 
Reading the Governor's rant against Conservatives was bad enough, but when I actually heard the arrogance and condescending tone in the Governor’s voice as I listened to the interview, I was appalled.  Cuomo was very clear about the fact that pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Biblical marriage Conservatives “have no place in New York State.” 
 
Isn't it bad enough that New York State is hemorrhaging more people than any other state -- losing millions of dollars in taxable income every day as thousands of people flee the highest taxes in the nation?  (See: www.HowMoneyWalks.com)  So why would New York State's chief financial officer be resorting to using divisive rhetoric, specifically geared at driving more people out of the state?!?  It boggles the mind that any "public servant" - especially a Governor, could be so ignorant. 

Our forefathers fled to America to escape religious persecution.  Down through the generations, all of our families have spent their blood, sweat, and tears building this country into a place where we are supposed to be able to be FREE to practice our religion without the fear of mad, power-hungry government dictators imposing their "state" religion upon us.  Thus, Cuomo's intolerance is inexcusable, and in my opinion, renders him unfit to govern.

Sad as it is to say, I have come to a much clearer understanding - under Governor Cuomo's 'reign', as to why our Founding Fathers instituted the 2nd Amendment into our Constitution to protect us from a tyrannical government. 
 
Regardless of tyrannical rants like that just displayed by the Governor, we have no intention of abdicating our belief in God and Jesus Christ to fall in line with baby-killing beliefs that we find abhorrent.  Nor will we be giving up our guns, as we still believe in the 2nd Amendment.  Just how many more people the Governor's radical disdain and incompetency ends up driving out of the state, however, remains to be seen. 

THANK YOU once again, Assemblyman Hawley, for speaking truth to power on behalf of ALL freedom loving, Constitution-believing Americans across New York State!  May God bless you and keep you safe as you continue to battle for all of our rights!

Mary Kay Barton

For more on Governor Cuomo's attacks against Constitutional Private Property Rights in New York State, see:
New York State Wind Wars - Hiding the Facts:
http://www.masterresource.org/2013/09/new-york-wind-wars/
1/17/2014
New York State Wind Wars

New York State Wind Wars
 
Congress’s last minute extension of the PTC or Production Tax Credit (aka: “Pork To Cronies”) within the December 31, 2012 fiscal cliff deal was good news for Big Wind corporate welfare profiteers, like Michael Polsky’s Invenergy. It was very bad news for rural/residential towns that are being targeted by industrial wind developers here in New York State, and across the nation.
 
Even though the Wyoming County, NY Town of Orangeville’s conflicted Town Board approved Invenergy’sStony Creek” project in the Fall of 2012, Invenergy admitted it would not go ahead with the project unless the PTC was extended. This again highlights the fact that the only thing Invenergy is interested in “harvesting” via its ‘wind farms’ is taxpayers’ money.  Once Crony-Corruptocrats in DC extended the PTC in that midnight fiscal cliff deal, the once-beautiful rolling hills of the Town of Orangeville were doomed. 
 
While Michael Polsky enjoys his new mansion, many Orangeville residents are now helplessly looking on in disgust as Invenergy turns their town into a sprawling industrial wind factory – rendering their homes virtually worthless – thanks to the legalized thievery of their own tax dollars for The Wind Farm Scam.
 
As Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein candidly pointed out in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Wind power subsidies? No Thanks” and follow-up TV interview, Wind farms are increasingly being built in less-windy locations,” because the wind industry is focused on reaping the lucrative taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies, rather than providing efficient, affordable, reliable electricity. 
 
Nowhere is this proving to be more true than right here in New York State. Orangeville borders the Town of Attica here in the western part of the state. It’s a town that “First Wind LLC” pulled out of a number of years ago, after admitting that the Attica area “was not a good wind area.” It seems Jenevein knew exactly what he was talking about.
 
Economics 101
 
According to NYISO’s Goldbook, New York State’s installed wind factories averaged a pathetic 23.5% actual capacity factor in 2012. New York State wind factories are not generating enough electricity to even to pay for themselves over their short life spans.  It’s basic economics, but it’s being ignored by politicians.
 
Renowned energy analyst Glenn Schleede examined the data on New York State’s wind factories and found that one 450-MW combined cycle generating unit near New York City (where the power is actually needed) would provide more power than all of New York State’s wind farms combined, at one-fourth the capital costs – and would significantly reduce CO2 emissions, while creating far more jobs than all those wind farm – without the added costs and impacts of all the transmission lines to New York City.
 
It’s no wonder New York has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest electricity rates in the continental United States: 17.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – a whopping 53% above the national average!  New York residents using 6,500 kWh of electricity annually will pay about $400 more per year for their electricity than if the state’s electricity prices were at the national average.
 
Despite making absolutely no economic sense, and despite the utter civil discord embroiling Towns across New York State for more than a decade, New York State continues to aggressively pursue further industrial wind development – with no effort whatsoever to protect the health, well-being or pocketbooks of New York State citizens, especially those living next to or under the wind turbines.
 
Governor Cuomo and ‘Article X’
 
During his tenure as Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo did nothing to protect New York State citizens from the predatory practices and collusion evident among Big Wind developers. Once he became Governor of New York, Cuomo actively began aiding and abetting Big Wind’s efforts to trample rural communities’ Constitutional private property rights in his pursuit of all things “green” (aka: Agenda 21), by signing into law the new “Article X (10)” contained within his 2011 “Power NY Act.” 
 
Cuomo's new Article X put in place an ”Energy Siting Board” comprised of five Albany bureaucrats who now have the final say regarding the siting of “power-generating facilities” in NY – redefined to mean anything generating 25 MW or more.  Cuomo’s intention to clear the way for Big Wind developers could not have been any more obvious had he rolled out a red carpet.
 
Article X proceedings are already being pursued by British Petroleum (BP) in Cape Vincent, NY, and by Iberdrola in Clayton, NY. These foreign-owned corporations intend to turn our beautiful Thousands Islands, St. Lawrence Seaway area into sprawling industrial wind factories.  Devastating some of the most scenic, historic areas in the nation in pursuit of the “green” energy boondoggle of wind  should have all Americans incensed – especially since they are paying for it!
 
In Lichtfield, NY, another Big Wind LLC tried to override the town’s restrictive zoning laws, by using Cuomo’s “Article X,” so that they could install 490-foot-tall turbines.  Luckily for Litchfield residents, the FAA struck down Big Wind’s plans there.
 
Robert Bryce, Senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute, reported on the lawsuit going on in Herkimer County, NY due to the intolerable noise problems associated with industrial wind factories. His article title sums it up: “Backlash against Big Wind continues.” Other wind factories are in the works in New York, with unsuspecting towns yet to recognize the fate that awaits them.
 
Considering the growing list of problems associated with industrial wind factories in New York State (and worldwide), Governor Cuomo’s actions reflect criminal negligence by a duly-elected “public servant,” as he has not demanded health studies to safeguard those he was elected to serve and protect. 
 
 
Adding insult to injury, Ben Hoen and his pals at the NRLB just came out with yet another bogus “report,” claiming industrial wind factories do not hurt property values. They can't really be serious, can they?
 
Any realtor who is not in bed with the wind industry will tell you, location is the most important factor when considering a home’s worth and value. 
 
If you industrialize a neighborhood (and in the case of industrial wind energy, entire towns, and those neighboring them), you are going to devalue it.
 
Pretty much a no-brainer, right?  Not according to Hoen and his pals in the ideologically-driven media.
 
Media Controlling the Message
 
After nearly a decade of researching and writing about industrial wind power, I’ve lost count of how many times my comments responding to wind-promoting articles have been rejected, and how many news publications refuse to report all relevant information regarding industrial wind power. 
 
A number of local newspapers serving our area here in Western New York State – which has been targeted by industrial wind developers – have literally cut off all letters to the editor from local citizens regarding the industrial wind issue. These same newspapers continue to publish “Press Releases” and “project updates” on behalf of wind developers, and yet refuse to do any responsible, investigative journalism of their own on the efficacy, effects and economics of wind power.
 
If “news”papers wonder why their circulation continues to drop, as people choose to get honest news elsewhere, they need look no further than their own refusal to adhere to “The Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics,” which saysSupport the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”
 
If wind enthusiasts actually believe all they claim to about the supposed “wonders of wind,” then why do they need to control the message the way they do? The answer is evident.
 
Either they are so ideologically driven that facts are not “relevant” to them – or they are getting so rich via the wind scam that they must squelch factual information as much as possible, so that the “Emperor with No Clothes” doesn’t end up being exposed for what he is – a charlatan who is swindling taxpayers and ratepayers out of billions of dollars in the name of being “green.”
 
Mary Kay Barton
 
Read more about how “green” ideologues are controlling the message at: 
http://www.masterresource.org/2013/09/new-york-wind-wars/
Incipient Clean Energy Grid Problems

Incipient Clean Energy Grid Problems

Power for USA:  January 17, 2014

It will start with small annoyances, and progress to real shortages. Is that the future of clean energy on the grid? Or, is it very expensive electricity because of the investments needed to back-up clean energy? Or, both?

The PJM, responsible for the grid across the northern tier of states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania, asked consumers to turn down their thermostats during the recent cold snap to prevent the possibility of blackouts. Commercial and industrial customers were asked to switch to back-up generators and other sources for several hours.

PJM had threatened mandatory blackouts, according to news reports.

PJM also asked residents to avoid using appliances like stoves, dishwashers and washers and dryers during peak periods of demand.

While summer-time peaks are typically higher than the peak reached during the cold snap, one must wonder why there would be a problem during winter.

Actually, wind and solar generated electricity are problematic in both summer and winter. And now there is also a potential problem with natural gas power plants as the result of coal-fired power plants being closed.

This is a message that people must pay attention to, since wind and solar are unreliable.

Wind, for example can’t generate electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. This is what happened during the cold snap across the northern United States, stretching as far south as Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

It has also happened in the summer during heat waves. Heat waves are often accompanied by periods where the wind doesn’t blow.

As mentioned previously, wind is unreliable.

Here is how the New York Times reported the issue in 2011 during the heat wave when the grid was put in danger:

“Peak supply is also becoming a vexing problem because so much of the generating capacity added around the country lately is wind power, which is almost useless on the hot, still days when air-conditioning drives up demand.”

PV solar can’t generate electricity when it’s snowing, and the sun doesn’t shine. The more PV solar installations there are, the greater the possibility of grid failure.

Homeowners with PV solar installations create a double whammy when they must not only turn to the grid for electricity, but also can’t supply the grid with surplus electricity.

Adding wind and solar to the grid will require adding additional back-up power, in the form of gas turbines or coal-fired power plants.

This is the exact opposite of what environmental supporters of wind and solar claim.

It should be noted that natural gas power plants were also shut down during the cold snap because homeowners have priority when there are limited supplies of natural gas, in this instance due to inadequate natural gas pipeline capacity.

To some extent, the closing of coal-fired power plants is having a negative effect on grid reliability and the price of electricity.

There was very limited solar on the grid, so its impact was minimal, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that solar can’t be relied upon, especially as more solar capacity is installed.

Wind and solar are expensive and unreliable; raising the question of why so much taxpayer money is being spent to support wind and solar installations.

Why are we putting the grid at risk by requiring more wind and solar while also preventing the building of modern ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants?

The recent flirtation with blackouts is a yellow-flag, warning of possible danger, a cautionary indicator, with which we should all be concerned.

1/10/2014
Speaking Truth to Wind Power (Recent IER Panel on the Hill)

(Recent IER Panel on the Hill)
by Robert Bradley Jr.
January 7, 2014



“Here’s to a post-PTC world. One where, in Lisa Linowes words, ‘the industry shifts their business plans away from those based on tax avoidance to plans based on energy production’.”


Last month, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) held a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill to discuss the problems of wind power in light of the debate about whether to extend the long-standing (1992–) production tax credit (PTC). The event highlighted a new IER study calculating the “taker” and “payer” states from the PTC, Estimating the State-Level Impact of Federal Wind Energy.

I moderated the panel. Panelists included Travis Fisher (IER) and three leading grassroots activists: Lisa Linowes of New Hampshire, Tom Stacey from Ohio, and Kevon Martis of Michigan. Lisa, Tom, and Kevon are wind-power experts whose volunteer work is inspired by the economic waste and wholly unnecessary degradation of rural life.

I began by describing wind power as the perfect imperfect energy due to its economic and environmental drawbacks. Converting wind energy to electricity, indeed, has been a perennial folly since the 19th century for reasons explained in books of the day.

I identified industrial wind as a “crony industry,” given its tip-to-toe government dependence. Such is different from consumer-friendly industries that might be populated by some crony companies (firms desiring special government favor at the expense of competitors, ratepayers, or taxpayers).

Travis Fisher

Travis Fisher, coauthor of the new IER study, explained his methodology of comparing PTC tax receipts per state to tax payments from that state. The straightforward analysis found takers and payers in unusual places. Texas wind producers were the biggest takers, and California taxpayers the biggest payers, given where the wind turbines spin.

Fisher noted that the study is valuable because it actually puts a number on wind energy subsidy transfers between states and regions. Energy analysts have often discussed those transfers in general terms but never attempted to quantify them.

(Fisher elsewhere eviscerates the ‘job creation’ myth of windpower, invoking the classical economic wisdom of Frederick Bastiat in the 19th century and Henry Hazlitt in the mid-20th century.)

Lisa Linowes

Lisa Linowes, the founder and executive director of Industrial Wind Action Group, reviewed the economic distortions of volatile, and even negative, pricing from must-produce, must-take, wind-generated kilowatt-hours.

“The combination of the federal PTC and state RPS policies have shielded wind developers from the basic supply and demand forces present in a healthy competitive market,” she explained. “As a result, we are fast-tracking the construction of expensive renewable resources that are variable, operating largely off-peak, off-season and located long distances from where the energy is needed.”

Tom Stacy

Tom Stacy, Ohioan for Affordable Electricity, explained the characteristics of electricity (a unique product that must be consumed the instant it is generated, not stored). As such, wind power is a liability parading as an asset. Why? Because such electricity is not demand-responsive but a variable, unpredictable energy flow ill-timed to consumer needs (a fundamental characteristic of the perfect imperfect energy).

“The wind PTC is not a financial leg-up to an equivalent quality source to make it price competitive with conventional sources,” he explained. “The wind PTC rewards a misfit technology for its lack of control over its fuel source – a fuel that will continue to behave badly no matter how ‘price competitive’ our subsidies make it.”

Kevon Martis

Kevon Martis of the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition then rebutted the typical arguments for government sponsorship of wind energy. Wind power does not displace oil, nor is it cheaper. Wind’s alleged fuel diversification is diluted by its required co-pairing with fossil-fuel generation to overcome intermittency.

Wind energy—a niche, problematic fuel source—is also irrelevant to the global warming/CO2 emissions debate. Martis states: “It makes absolutely no sense to claim that we need an ‘all of the above’ energy policy to wean us from ‘climate damaging’ fossil fuel plants by subsidizing a source of energy that can only replace a small fraction of that fossil generation but at a snail’s pace and very high price.”

Conclusion

The unintended consequences and non-neutral effects of government intervention into energy markets were on full display during this policy luncheon at the Rayburn House Office Building last month.

Concentrated benefits to cronies and the political class; diffused costs to the rest of us…. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong type electricity ruining prices for right place-time-type generation …. The false arguments of climate-change benefits, diversification of risk, cheapness,  infant industry, and (net) job creation….

Friends and foes of Big Wind went away with a better understanding of a public policy whose time of shine on the taxpayer’s dime is in decline.

Here’s to a post-PTC world. One where, in Lisa Linowes words, “the industry shifts their business plans away from those based on tax avoidance to plans based on energy production.”

1/07/2014
Lessons from New York’s phony green bank
Lessons from New York’s phony green bank  

Credit:  By Phil Hall | Congress Blog | The Hill | January 06, 2014 | thehill.com ~~

On December 19, 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office quietly issued a press release announcing that $210 million in initial funding was being poured into something called the “New York Green Bank.” The governor’s spin doctors insisted that this endeavor was a “bold, new market oriented approach to accelerate clean energy deployment, create jobs, and help make our communities more resilient and sustainable.”

Uh huh. The only genuinely green element of this press release was its recycling of long-discredited arguments that a world full of solar panels and wind turbines would strengthen the economy and boost the environment.

Let’s start with the name. Although referred to as a bank, it is actually a government agency whose funds included $165 million redirected from other New York projects and $45 million thrown in from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Without the taxpayers’ money, this project would not exist.

The Green Bank, according to the governor’s press agents, will “partner with private sector institutions by providing financial products such as credit enhancement, loan loss reserves and loan bundling to support securitization and build secondary markets.” But isn’t that supposed to be the exclusive job of the private sector? Is there any reason why the nation’s leading banks – none of which are showing any losses – aren’t actively pursuing these strategies?

Well, there is an excellent reason why the private sector won’t touch this market with its own money: who would want to sink money into this? At the moment, the renewable industry is in limbo because the federal production tax credit program that keeps the U.S. renewable energy world afloat expired at the end of 2013. Without this federal life support, the companies creating so-called clean technologies are unable to sustain themselves, let alone also sustaining a healthier environment.

Furthermore, this market plays almost no significant influence on serving American power needs. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, solar energy is responsible for a ridiculously miniscule 0.11 percent of all national electrical power generation – and half of that tiny percentage is based in (where else?) California. Wind energy is somewhat more prevalent, generating 3.46 percent of the nation’s total power, but that comes at significant costs to electric customers (a fact that the folks in Maryland will live with if the proposed offshore wind farm serving their state ever gets built).

As for the green jobs being promised by Cuomo – whatever happened to those green jobs promised by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008? It is astonishing that this old lie is still being trotted out, when the past few years showed zero evidence that the renewable energy world can create lucrative employment opportunities.

The Cuomo press release also enjoyed a quote attributed to Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy & Finance for New York State, which represents a new low in double-talk. “The Green Bank is just one component of the State’s new chapter on energy policy that focuses on enabling self-sustaining private markets and reducing dependence on subsidies,” says Kauffman.

Really? So, let’s get this straight: a “bank” that is really a government agency is inventing “self-sustaining private markets” that no private institution would build and is “reducing dependence on subsidies” by spending $210 million in taxpayer money?

This effort is so patently phony that I wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Green Bank started soliciting bids on a certain bridge in Brooklyn.

Hall is a former senior editor at Solar Industry Magazine and the publisher/editor of Business-Superstar.com.
1/06/2014
The Cleantech Crash
The following is a script from "The Cleantech Crash" which aired on Jan. 5, 2014. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Shachar Bar-On, producer.


About a decade ago, the smart people who funded the Internet turned their attention to the energy sector, rallying tech engineers to invent ways to get us off fossil fuels, devise powerful solar panels, clean cars, and futuristic batteries. The idea got a catchy name: “Cleantech.” 

Silicon Valley got Washington excited about it. President Bush was an early supporter, but the federal purse strings truly loosened under President Obama.  Hoping to create innovation and jobs, he committed north of a $100 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks to Cleantech.  But instead of breakthroughs, the sector suffered a string of expensive tax-funded flops. Suddenly Cleantech was a dirty word.

Investor Vinod Khosla, known as the father of the Cleantech revolution, has poured over a billion dollars of his own money into some 50 energy startups. He took us to one in Columbus, Miss. KiOR is a biofuel company that’s replacing oil drilling with oil making.

Vinod Khosla: Nature takes a million years to produce our crude oil. KiOR can produce it in seconds.  

The company took over this old paper mill, where logs are picked up by a giant claw, dropped into a shredder and pulverized into woodchips. 

Read the entire interview
1/05/2014
Let the wind subsidy blow away
Let the wind subsidy blow away  
Credit:  Chicago Tribune | January 5, 2014 | www.chicagotribune.com ~~ 
 
In the early 1990s, with dreams of cheap and clean wind energy ascendant, Congress lavished a generous subsidy on power from the tall, twirling turbines. The wind industry responded, and since then has increased its installed generating capacity 30-fold.
 
For 20-plus years the subsidy has been intermittent, although not as unreliable as the winds that drive the turbines. The most recent authorization, a 2013 extension tucked into the federal budget deal that avoided the so-called fiscal cliff, expired Dec. 31. Applause, please, for our do-little Congress: What's known as the wind production tax credit has long outlived any public policy usefulness. Lawmakers now being urged by industry lobbyists to renew the subsidy retroactively instead should let it blow away.
 
We say this with no animus toward the bucolic concept of wind energy, whose clean-and-green image is to electrical generation what puppies and kittens are to the animal kingdom.  Our concern is the reality of subsidized wind energy at a time when natural gas is more plentiful, and cheaper, than Washington could envision in the 1990s. Today wind generation is a comparatively expensive proposition that, whenever its tax subsidy temporarily has vanished, has seen the new construction of wind farms all but vanish too.  These welfare payments to the industry have incentivized private investors to sink money into wind projects that, without the federal freebie, they're eager (and probably smart) to avoid.
Like its cousins, the ethanol and solar industries, the wind lobby basks in political correctness and political favoritism: Big Wind, too, has grown comfortable in its dependence on federal and state governments that decide which energy industries will be winners or losers - discrimination enforced by squeezing taxpayers or rigging regulations.

News about eagles killed by turbines is an issue separate from government coddling, but one now emerging as a public relations debacle. In late November, Duke Energy agreed to pay $1 million in fines in the first criminal case brought against a wind company over the killings of federally protected birds, 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds slain at two wind projects in Wyoming. Robert G. Dreher, an acting assistant U.S. attorney general, explained the violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: "In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths."
 
Duke said it is working with federal officials and field biologists to determine when it should shut down its turbines to limit bird deaths. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating similar cases elsewhere - and has referred seven of them to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution. 
 
Motor vehicle drivers, illegal hunters and deaths by poisoning kill more eagles than turbines do. But growing publicity about wind farms chewing up eagles undercuts the industry's promotion of itself as environmentally friendly. The National Audubon Society and other conservation groups are especially exercised about a new federal rule, announced in December, that lets wind farms obtain 30-year permits to lawfully kill bald and golden eagles. Many Americans who only have heard about neighbors of wind farms criticizing the turbines' thrumming noises will have a far easier time relating to criminal cases based on huge blades pulverizing wildlife.
 
All of which pins the Obama administration between its dueling political loyalists: environmentalists learning about the 30-year eagle kill permits, and fans of renewable energy sources that don't spew carbon dioxide.
 
Wind energy's peculiar problem is that, because wind blows erratically, companies that rely on it also need backup generating capacity - typically fossil-fueled - for days when customers want electricity but the air is still.
 
The obvious solution here is for Congress and the White House to stop manipulating the tax code as America's de facto energy policy: Thorough federal tax reform should sunset this arbitrary favoritism for wind energy and other politically favored industries.
 
Late in 2013, Big Wind fought fiercely to renew its expiring subsidy but failed. We hope that means many members of Congress see this as a mature industry that long ago outgrew its infancy and understand that the nation's new wealth of lower-cost natural gas has profoundly rewritten U.S. energy economics. 
 
The wind lobbyists will be back in 2014, pleading for more handouts from American taxpayers. Tell your members of Congress that a government $17 trillion in debt - and still borrowing heavily - can't afford to keep protecting this industry from cheaper competition.
 

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