You have to wonder if this report on the wind turbine industry has implications for Arkansas’s young industry. U.S. wind capacity is up strongly. But …

The bad news, if you were waiting for it, is that new installation of wind turbines in the first quarter of 2010 was a mere 539 megawatts, the lowest figure since 2007. The recession plays a role, but the industry also blames the failure to set a national requirement for renewable-energy generation, which it says is broadly popular. Which does rather illustrate the crux of the problem we’re having with climate-change legislation: politicians are afraid to touch either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, as they’re convinced the public is allergic to taxes. But they may be willing to tolerate direct regulatory restrictions on carbon generation, which the public seems to like. Either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade would have been more efficient, but with any luck, EPA action to regulate CO2 as a pollutant will provide the price signal wind generators need to resume expansion.

Here’s more from the wind turbine industry.