(Thomas Mitchell/4TH ST8)
in·vest·ment (in-vest-muhnt) noun: the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.
In announcing the president’s travels this week, the White House said:
“On Wednesday, the President will begin the tour in Boulder City, Nevada where he will visit the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic plant operating in the country with nearly one million solar panels powering 17,000 homes. In Boulder City, he will highlight his Administration’s focus on diversifying our energy portfolio, including expanding renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which thanks in part to investments made by this Administration is set to double in the President’s first term.”
The president’s definition of “investment” and that of everyone else in the world appear to differ somewhat. The only profit at Solar 1, built with $42 million in federal tax credits as well as about $15 million in financing and tax incentives from the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, is for the crony capitalists who own the plant, which sells power to NV Energy for inflated prices because the state government demands it.
While the newly operational gas-fired Harry Allen electricity plant in Apex generates a kilowatt-hour of power by using about 2 cents worth of natural gas, and the overall cost counting capital and labor is probably around 4 cents, the estimates for the cost of Solar 1 power per kwh ranges from a low of 9 cents to a high of 17 cents.
The president has called those reluctant to “invest” in his all-of-the-above scheme of solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc. flat earthers and basically Luddites.
The president said in Maryland:
“If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail — (laughter) — they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. (Laughter.) They would not have believed that the world was round. (Applause.) We’ve heard these folks in the past. They probably would have agreed with one of the pioneers of the radio who said, ‘Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.’ (Laughter.) One of Henry Ford’s advisors was quoted as saying, ‘The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad.’”
(Read Mark Steyn’s excellent take on this speech in which he quotes George and Ira Gershwin. “They all laughed at Christopher Columbus/When he said the world was round/They all laughed when Edison recorded sound/They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother/When they said that man could fly/They told Marconi wireless was a phony …” He concludes history will determine who is laughable.)
The president continued, “There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently.”
He is more than ready to invest our money in his schemes, which cannot now nor probably ever turn a profit.
If the president is so willing to invest, I’ve got a Da Vinci drawing for a helicopter, a 6-pack of New Coke, a box of 8-track tapes, a few Betamax videos, a Delorean and an Edisel and a Volt. Oh yeah, he’s already “investing” $7,500 of our money in each Volt and wants to raise the ante to $10,000 — and that’s over and above all the grants and tax breaks already poured down that hole. Chevy recently suspended manufacturing of the Volt due to a lack of sales.
There is a difference between investing money and taking it from one person and giving it to another just because you can, Mr. President.