Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Salena Zito: South Dakota Rocked Again as Wind Turbine Plant Shuts its Doors

 John F. Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, said only months ago that those losing fossil fuel jobs in coal and hydraulic fracturing will find they have a better choice of jobs either in the solar industry or as wind turbine technicians.

    That was then. Now, a wind blade manufacturing plant located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, has announced it is shutting its doors permanently in less than two months.

    The disappearance of Molded Fiber Glass will displace over 300 workers and their families. It marks another major loss of energy jobs in the state following President Joe Biden's halting of the Keystone pipeline on the first day of his administration.

    MFG said in a news release that the closure will happen because of changing market conditions, foreign competition and proposed revisions to tax policies affecting the wind energy industry in the United States.

    Since 2007, the Aberdeen plant has been producing wind turbine blades. The plant will remain in operation for the next two months until it has fulfilled existing orders.

    A family member of one of the workers said they were informed of the closure about two weeks ago. Employees were completely taken off guard by the announcement. She was also perplexed by it. "They should be swimming in orders right now," she said.

    In 2017, MFG threatened to kill 400 jobs at the plant and shut down because of the "proposed revisions to tax policies." At that time, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., stopped the closure by pushing for revisions of the 2017 tax bill to be more favorable to the industry.

    Thune, in an emailed statement, said it is troubling that at a time when wind energy is seeing record investment, this growth is not translating to American jobs. It's especially hard for those working these good-paying jobs in Aberdeen to face uncertainty yet again. Thune criticized Biden's statement from his address to Congress: "There's no reason," the president said, "the blades for wind turbines can't be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing." But Beijing is getting all the business.

    Bloomberg New Energy Finance's recent ranking of global wind turbine manufacturers last year showed that seven of the top 10 wind turbine manufacturers are Chinese companies. General Electric, an American company, is first, but Goldwind of China is in second place. The study also found more than half of the world's newly installed wind power capacity was built in China in 2020.

    Last month, Thune proposed an amendment to the Democrats' expansive energy tax credit bill, requiring the administration to certify that U.S. manufacturers would not be undercut by foreign suppliers using low-cost labor and creating higher emissions. MFG, in closing its 14-year-old plant, cited precisely these two adverse factors as its reasons.

    One day after the announcement, TC Energy, the Canadian pipeline company that sought to build the Keystone XL pipeline, announced that it was terminating the project, a 1,700-mile pipeline intended to carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, passing through five states, including South Dakota.

    Although the wind and pipeline industries are different sides of the climate change coin, both were considered economic lifelines to small-town South Dakota. Both promised economic stability and a revenue stream that would keep many towns hopping until tourism hit its stride once again.

    "We are a smallish community of 28,000 people, so 300 jobs is a big deal," said the family member of a worker. "Granted, two facilities in town, 3M and Banner Engineering, have recently doubled capacity, so most of the hourly employees should be absorbed by that," she said. "However, some of these people have been with the company since 2008. How do you start over after 13 years?"

    It is a question that has been asked by many Americans in manufacturing jobs, who have had to compete with cheaper overseas products for generations. And it is a question many workers in the energy industry may be asking soon.

    Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.



Anonymous said...

Repubs screw with biz again. Can’t even save their own constituents.

What a bunch of loooozers!

My body my choice

Anonymous said...

I this as a problem for the Republican Governor, payback is hell when you play politics and you lose. Much the same will happen here in Mississippi with Tater, especially since he has found a calling on national news shows.

Anonymous said...

The green mirage.

Anonymous said...

How is this a republican issue? It’s a direct result of Biden’s tax policies.

He really shouldn't have said...

Watch it, boys and girls, we have a live one at 5:50. The medications probably haven't kicked in, yet. I really think it's time to talk of a national mental health program. There has been a great need for this type program for years. The science is settled, the consensus is in. People that believe "green energy" will charge the economy are certifiably nuts.

Anonymous said...

The Democrat promise that fossil fuel energy workers will be able to transition to “good paying clean energy” jobs is a myth and a scam. Equipment is made overseas (China), and the number of workers needed is considerably less. Exactly what will all those petroleum engine and geologists be doing, not the mention the oil field and refinery workers, truckers, etc.?

Al Fee said...

What's it all about....?

Anonymous said...

Wind is free. Windmill constuction is a one time windfall. ha. get it?

StarRider said...


WC Fields said...

Ah yes, old blood and guts, Kerry. A man devoted to my own religion. We are both devout cowards.

Anonymous said...

Real story- American manufacturers can’t compete with China. Unlike farmers, free handouts not available anymore.

PittPanther said...

Republican town, Republican state government, Republican senators. This is a republican wet dream, yet "the party of business" can't keep the business open?

Every business that fails in Jackson, you blame Lumumba, not Tate or the senators. Time to eat your own dog food. Can't blame this one on Biden.

Anonymous said...

8:12 is Putin’s love child. Attack Kerry personally to change the subject. Being free of oil reliance would hurt Russia and the Middle East where Russian influence grows .

Yeah , let’s let someone who likely never saw combat ( only 10% did in ‘Nam) get us arguing over if Kerry deserved his Silver Starv instead of whether going green would give us a long term advantage. You know… like it got our competitors who went robotic sooner.

8:12 misses the wagon… damn those cars!

Anonymous said...

Just, just settle down, darling. There's no need of getting yourself in an uproar. No one is attacking John. Nothing like that is taking place, not at all. Besides, ole John ain't going to get too close to the action to suffer an attack, you know what I'm saying. I'm not one to be judging, so I don't know if he should have been born with that silver spoon in his mouth or not. I will give ole Kerry this though, he does look a lot like Lurch from the Addams Family. Why, when he smiles, they could be twins. See, I just compared him to a movie star, see there.

Getting back to this other thingie, why Pootin ain't got nothing on the grifter-in-chief in the White House when it comes to crippling the country. It's skillet heads like Biden and you, I didn't want you to feel left out, that would have everyone driving electric cars. This past winter proved the weakness of the electric grid, even, now, in California they are trying to manage the charging time during the day. What would it be like if all our automobiles were electric? Uh, uh, think about that.

I'm sure you would consider yourself a progressive, actually regressive, but whatever. You have made a thinly veiled accusation of me being a Luddite, with the wagon dig, but if you were a real "progressive" you wouldn't be advocating for something as antiquated as electric power. No, no, you would be on the hydrogen bandwagon. This is a big, wide country, and automobiles give us the freedom to experience all this magnificent country has to offer. For the future generations to enjoy what we have, hydrogen is the answer.

Anonymous said...

@11:33a- You really don't get it, do you? The policies running these businesses off are not STATE or LOCAL policies. These industries are HEAVILY affected by FEDERAL tax and import policies. Read that last sentence again to let it sink all the way into your brain.

Businesses that fail and/or leave Jackson do so mainly because of LOCAL policies... or the lack there of. Please share with us any businesses that left the city limits of Jackson in the last two decades because of Republican policies on a state or federal level. We'll wait...

Oh, and we'll keep feeding our dog food to our dogs, because that's what SANE people do.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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