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As with Solyndra, taxpayers bear the risk, but the green energy companies reap the windfalls. NRG Energy CEO David W. Crane told Wall Street analysts, “I have never seen anything that I have had to do in my 20 years in the power industry that involved less risk than these projects.”

Risk-free for the companies, perhaps, but not for the taxpayers. Nor for the 40 million people flying through Ivanpah’s glare into and out of Las Vegas each year, hoping their pilots aren’t blinded by the light.

But the greater blindness afflicts those who still don’t see that the green energy industry is among America’s worst examples of rampant crony capitalism. Birds aren’t the only ones being zapped; taxpayers are, too.

Ernest Istook is a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma. Listen online to his daily talk-radio show at, noon to 3 p.m. ET. Get his free email newsletter by signing up at