Admittedly, I’m not very pro-green. But then, I don’t lie about what I am and what I think. I don’t like pollution. I do not litter. And I drive a gas guzzler. So does my wife, the biggest SUV I could put her into. Is there any “clean energy” I support? Maybe, how much does it cost? According to figures from the Energy Information Administration, oil and gas subsidies compute to about 25 cents per megawatt hour, while wind and solar is about $24.(1) You want me to drive an electric car? OK, I will consider it, after you build the power plants to charge 100 million other electric vehicles. Oh, and you have to do that without any subsidies (meaning taxes). So, what kind of power plants will you build? It seems to me, that every time they attempt to build a solar or wind farm, it’s the environmentalists that stop it.
Can environmentalism be bad for the environment?
In Massachusetts, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has led the fight against providing alternative energy with a wind farm off of Cape Cod. Greenpeace declares that “nuclear power is unsafe, uneconomical and unnecessary.” In Canada, the Sierra Club fights against the development of hydroelectric power, fearing “toxic mercury increases in fish.” In these cases, groups are putting local environmental concerns first and the planet second. Wind farms, nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams are ways of providing clean energy, which would reduce carbon emissions and the threat of global warming.(2)
Several solar thermal power plant projects to be constructed on public lands are on hold pending lawsuits by environmental groups, including Sierra Club, and Native American tribes. The Sierra Club petitioned the California Supreme Court to overturn the license for the Calico Solar Energy Project because it would harm desert tortoise and other wildlife. California Unions for Reliable Energy, a labor group, filed a similar petition. Calico is a 663.5 megawatt (MW) solar power project. Solar Millenium filed an application with the California Energy Commission to build a 250 MW solar trough plant on 3,920 acres of government-owned land in the desert, called the Ridgecrest Project.
Local officials had several complaints about the project, including the 815 million gallons of water a year the project would need to cool the power plant, so project organizers switched to a more efficient cooling technology. Local officials were also concerned the Mohave ground squirrel, a protected species, might be harmed. As a result, Solar Millennium canceled the project in January after 16 months after trying to get it approved. “A review of the record strongly suggests California agency’s staff is unlikely to be open to a recommendation of approval,” Josef Eichhammer, chief executive of Solar Millenium’s American subsidiary, wrote in a Jan. 21 letter to state officials. “In light of these circumstances, it would not be economically viable to continue to pursue either the study or the project.” “It’s green-on-green violence,” said Ted Sullivan, an analyst at Lux Research in New York. “Do you want reduced carbon emissions or do you want to save an endangered species?”(3)
A study was done on permit challenges to energy projects.
“We were starting to see more and more coal and gas, but we were also starting to see renewable projects too,” Kovacs said of projects caught up in red tape. “The fact that we ended up having more renewable projects than coal was probably the biggest surprise in the entire study.” One specific project Kovacs mentioned is Sunrise Power, a renewable power plant in California that waited on a permit from 1980 to February 2011. (4)
So you can’t build a solar farm in the desert. Could we build an ice cube factory in the arctic? No, don’t answer. I’m sure it would harm something. Instead, lets mandate choices like banning incandescent light bulbs and force us to switch to fluorescent. Never mind the mercury poisoning we risk if one breaks. At least they are all made in China, so our workers are not risked making them(helps them address their overpopulation), and we don’t need the power plants to supply all the machinery!
Remember the Stimulus? All those “shovel ready” jobs? A shovel is needed!
Green jobs company endorsed by Obama and Biden squandered $535 million in stimulus money
Solyndra was the first recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee under the stimulus in March 2009, which was intended to “finance construction of the first phase of the company’s new manufacturing facility” for photovoltaic solar panels. The Energy Department estimated in a March 20, 2009 press release that the loan guarantee would create 3,000 construction jobs and a further 1,000 jobs after the plant opened.“These jobs are the jobs that are going to define the 21st century that will allow America to compete and to lead like we did in the 20th century,” Biden said.According to Biden’s speech, the $535 million loan guarantee was a smaller part of the $30 billion of stimulus money the administration planned to spend as part of its Green Jobs Initiative. Instead, Solyndra announced on Nov. 3 it planned to postpone expanding the plant, which put the taxpayers on the hook to the tune of $390.5 million taxpayers**, or 73 percent of the total loan guarantee, according to the Wall Street Journal. It also announced that it no longer planned to hire the 1,000 workers that Obama and Biden had touted in their speeches and that it planned to close one of its older factories and planned to lay-off 135 temporary or contract workers and 40 full-time employees. A closer look at the company shows it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. A June 2010 Wall Street Journal report indicating that Solyndra’s majority owner, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, was a major fundraiser for the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign has stimulus opponents such as Citizens Against Government Waste crying foul.(5)
David Pimentel, Cornell University professor emeritus, states that corn requires 29% more energy than the fuel produces, switchgrass requires 45% more energy than the fuel produces, and wood biomass requires 57% more energy than the fuel produces. In other words, Professor Pimentel finds that the biofuel industry wastes more energy than it produces. A gallon of ethanol contains only 61% of the energy of a gallon of gasoline. No wonder it gets such poor mileage. (7)
Is there any “go green” project that’s worthwhile? I will admit, the Prius is a sweet ride! It will get you to 100+MPH with no problem, but that is not a pure electric that fits the greens dream. Obama wants to give people $7,50o tax credit for buying a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt. I think you would have to pay them something to drive a vehicle with a 100 mile range and eight hours charge time. Add to that, owners this winter found out cold weather cut their range/power roughly in half, not counting electric heater use!
But at least a “President” agrees with me, to bad it’s not a US president. Czech President Vaclav Klaus has warned that environmentalism and measures to curb climate change are a threat to human freedom. “This ideology,” Klaus said, “wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central, now global, planning of the whole world.” The Czech President is strongly opposed to environmentalism, which he calls a “religion based on political ambitions rather than science,” and accuses environmentalists of using “sophisticated methods of media manipulation” to spread “fear and panic”.(6)
According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time.(11)