(Thomas Mitchell/4TH ST8) Would someone please do a Leroy Jethro Gibbs-style slap to the back of Sen. Dean Heller’s head and alert him to the fact that the citizens of Nevada are not so gullible as to buy this whole green energy snake oil that Harry and Barry are selling?
On his website the junior senator proclaims: “In light of the fact that Nevada is nearly 85% federal land, Dean Heller has worked hard to facilitate access to appropriate federal lands for those interested in responsible development.”
He can’t see the forest for the trees. The problem is not that the federal government needs to “facilitate access.” The problem is that so much land in Nevada and other Western states is controlled in perpetuity by the multiple layers of federal bureaucracy.
Maybe — but not really very likely — a few of those wind and solar projects that require massive acreage might pencil out without massive subsidies if it did not take years of environmental drafts, assorted studies, wildlife inventories, aquifer surveys, public hearings that are futile gestures and campaign contributions all costing millions of dollars to win approval.
If the state and the counties controlled that land instead of distant and disinterested bureaucrats, decisions could be made in a more timely fashion and with a better voice for the residents who live near such projects who will have to live with them and look at them and pay the higher power bills so some do-gooder can pretend to save the planet.
Instead of Dean and Harry introducing federal legislation to provide royalties and lease income from solar and wind projects to home states and counties, let the home states and counties decide those things themselves through property taxes or sales taxes or whatever without going begging to D.C. for alms.
In 1996 the voters of Nevada amended the state Constitution to strike the Disclaimer Clause in the statehood ordinance. In that clause the residents of the territory of Nevada bound the future citizens of the state of Nevada to “forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.”
Since then Congress, so far as I can find, has done nothing to answer the demand for redress of grievance submitted by the voters of Nevada.
But no, Heller goes merrily along assuming that all that can be done is grease the wheels of the federal bureaucracy instead of derailing the whole damned gravy train.
The junior senator goes on to brag about all the renewable energy bills he has co-sponsored. Including this:
“Supported renewable energy production tax credits (PTC), which provides a tax credit for electricity produced from renewable energy facilities. Since its inception, the PTC has helped the United States create thousands of megawatts of new clean, renewable electricity, resulting in thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars’ worth of economic activity.”
Never mind that PTC is the only thing keeping many of these projects afloat or that the power produced by most of them costs four times as much as power from natural gas-fired turbines and will continue to do so for the entire life of the facilities — decades of guaranteed higher power bills. And the number of permanent jobs created are often only a dozen or so.
Of course, Heller’s senate opponent Shelley Berkley is championing the same nonsense. On her campaign site she blathers:
“Nevada’s vast wind, solar and geothermal potential has given Nevada the opportunity to lead the nation in clean energy jobs. It’s an important goal that will diversify our economy, create thousands of good paying jobs that can’t be shipped overseas …”
You can’t even flip a coin on the green energy issues in this race. It’s a two-headed coin.
At least Heller called out Berkley for wanting to jack up taxes on the oil industry while gasoline prices are rising.