(Thomas Mitchell) – The left never lets the facts get in the way of a good harangue or the profits of their cronies in the renewable energy business. The well-being of the citizens and communities be damned.
For example, in 2009, after a three-year battle with Sen. Harry Reid, NV Energy acquiesced to the senator’s pressure and canceled plans to build a $5 billion coal-fired power plant near Ely that would have created 1,600 jobs during construction and 200 permanent jobs upon completion.
Instead, the Ely area got a wind project whose German-made turbines promptly killed a few golden eagles as well as other birds and bats. The wind farm created about a dozen permanent jobs and sells power to NV Energy at about twice the price that the coal plant would have. That is, when it produces electricity.
The latest Energy Information Administration report said the plant produced power only 18.8 percent of the time.
Another company, with Reid’s blessing still plans to put up wind turbines in Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, now that Reid has moved to Henderson. The company recently got a two-year extension on its application.
The major rationale for the tax breaks and subsidies and cheap public land for wind and solar projects is that it will save the planet from global warming because carbon is a greenhouse gas — even though satellites have detected no global warming for more than two decades.
One Republican presidential candidate provided a refreshing alternative to the constant drumbeat by Reid and Obama about climate change.
In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo! News earlier this summer, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said,“So every one of the scientists that tell us climate change is real and being caused by manmade activity, also tell us that a single nation acting alone can make no difference at all. So when I see a state like California destroy lives and livelihoods with environmental regulation that will make no difference at all to climate change, when I see the Obama administration take that same regulation and apply it nationally, it will make no difference at all. And yet we are destroying people’s lives and livelihoods. I wonder why are we doing this? Why are we doing this when it won’t have any impact. So I think the answer to this problem is innovation not regulation.”
She could as easily have singled out Nevada, because the Silver State, like the Golden State, is awash in deals for solar and wind projects, including a renewable portfolio standard that requires a quarter of all power in the state to come from renewables by 2025.
Nevada opts for regulation, not innovation in clean-coal technology, despite the fact the U.S. has enough cheap coal to last 300 years.
“But I must say it angers me when liberals say I’m prepared for you to lose your job in the name of sending a signal, to whom?” Fiorina continued. “In fact China could care less. In fact, China is delighted that we are not spending any time or energy figuring out clean coal because they’re going to go do it.
“We have to focus on how to make coal cleaner. Look, coal provides half the energy in this nation still, not to mention around the world. So to say we’re going to basically outlaw coal, which is what this administration has done, is so self-defeating. It destroys jobs. It destroys communities. It’s not helping us and it’s not helping global warming.”
She went on to say there is no perfect solution, noting that turbines kill birds and solar plants require huge amounts of water.
“I think it is, frankly, ridiculous for the Obama administration to call ISIS a strategic distraction and then go to say that climate change is the single most pressing national security issue of our time. That’s hyperbole,” the candidate reasoned. “I think a far more serious issue right now is the fact that our government is a vast, bloated, unaccountable, corrupt bureaucracy.”
Nevada is an early caucus state and there are a lot of candidates in both parties to evaluate.
We recommend you keep an eye on Fiorina, who everyone said won the so-called Happy Hour debate, because her energy policy is the polar opposite of Reid’s, which makes it right for Nevada.
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog at www.4thst8.wordpress.com.
The column also appears on Mr. Mitchell’s blog.