Ruled By The Dollar

It seems as if any attempt at honesty in the energy field is met with lots of dollars being donated to oppose it. We know that the Saudis have funded a large portion of the anti-fracking movement in America because they don’t want to lose their monopoly on oil. Well, that is not the only place money is fighting science.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about pushback from the wind industry’s lobbying arm.

The article reports:

Not long after Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a 60-day review of green energy policies’ impact on electric grid reliability, the wind industry’s lobbying arm devised a strategy to push back against the study, according to a leaked memo.

Perry’s April announcement worried the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and others that the requested study could be used to bash subsidies and policies that allowed wind energy production to rapidly grow in recent years.

AWEA laid out a plan to engage with federal lawmakers, regulators and the media to push back against a study they saw as “supporting baseload sources such as coal and nuclear,” according to a leaked memo obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

In March 2011 I posted an article about Spain’s attempt to convert to green energy. The attempt was a total failure–green energy is not reliable–the wind does not blow consistently 24/7 and the sun does not shine every day. The blades of windmills and the pressure around the blades kills birds, and the air above a solar farm can literally fry birds flying by. The attempt to convert to green energy caused energy prices to skyrocket and almost tanked the Spanish economy.

The green energy lobby is already taking aim at the review of green energy policies:

Green energy supporters and environmentalists interpreted the department’s study as a lifeline to coal and nuclear power plants, many of which have been slated for closure in the coming years. The Trump administration may be more focused on promoting coal and nuclear, green energy advocates fear.

AWEA quickly circulated a memo with other green advocates to push back against Perry’s study. The group planned a media and advocacy blitz in preparation for a study critical of wind power.

AWEA personnel would discuss the study with “contacts” at the Energy Department and present their own research to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the electric grid, according to the memo sent out by AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan on April 17.

Kiernan also wanted AWEA to “pursue late April meeting with Secretary Perry and wind CEOs” and to lock down a meeting with Perry in Dallas, Texas.

The memo mentions teaming up with the Solar Energy Industries of America and the pro-green energy Advanced Energy Economy to issue a “joint response” to the study. Kiernan also suggested working with allies in Congress and the media, including The New York Times.

It’s really about the money–not the environment–the green energy industry is worried about losing its government subsidies. My feeling on that is if you can’t make green energy economically feasible without government money, then it isn’t really economically feasible and you need to go back to the drawing board and invent something better!

It Sounds Good, But It Doesn’t Work

Spain went ‘green’ a few years ago. They began heavily subsidizing solar and wind energy projects in the early 2000’s. Last Thursday, the Daily Caller posted an article updating us on the results of this program.

The article reports:

“For years, President Obama has pointed to Europe’s energy policies as an example that the United States should follow,” said IER (Institute for Energy Research) in a statement on their new study. “However, those policies have been disastrous for countries like Spain, where electricity prices have skyrocketed, unemployment is over 25 percent, and youth unemployment is over 50 percent.”

This really does not sound like an example we want to follow.

Not only did Spain’s green energy program hurt the Spanish economy, it didn’t help with the carbon footprint.

The article reports:

The IER study also notes that Spain’s green agenda was not able to keep its carbon footprint from rising. Between 1994 and 2011, Spain’s carbon dioxide emissions grew 34.5 percent, despite the country’s green push which began in the 1990s.

“While the renewable policies themselves were likely not the cause of the emissions increase, the upward trend does prove that renewable energy policies were insufficient to reduce CO2 emissions over a roughly twenty-year period,” according to IER.

“is anything but the model for American energy policy,” reads the IER study. “The country’s expensive feed-in tariff system, subsidies, and renewable energy quotas have plunged a sizable portion of Spaniards into fuel poverty, raised electricity bills, all while having almost no meaningful impact on curtailing carbon dioxide emissions.”

Green energy may eventually provide better ways to fuel the world’s economy, but we are not there yet. We need to allow the free market to determine our steps forward. Government subsidies are obviously not the answer.

Haven’t These People Ever Heard Of Motel 6 ?

The Daily Caller reported today that Michelle Obama‘s trip to Spain in 2010 cost the American taxpayers an estimated $467,585. Let’s take a minute and talk about some of the places we could easily cut federal spending. I don’t begrudge the First Lady a vacation–she deserves time off. But it does seem a little insensitive that when many Americans are putting aside their vacation plans in a tight economy with rising gasoline costs, Michelle Obama is living like a queen.

The article reports:

The New York Times reported that those on the trip included the first lady, one of her daughters and “two friends and four of their daughters, as well as a couple of aides and a couple of advance staff members.”

Fitton’s group has previously disclosed the cost of sending the first family on overseas trips. Its analysis indicated that it cost $424,142 to fly the first family to South Africa and Botswana in 2011.

That’s nearly one millions dollars on trips in two years. It seems a little high. I would think that the First Family would be willing to set an example for the rest of the country in cutting back their spending.

In February 2010, as quoted in an article in The U. K. Telegraph, the President told Americans:

Speaking about the economy at an event in New Hampshire, Mr Obama told Americans: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts.

“You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritise. You make tough choices.”

The President should start listening to his own speeches.

 

 

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The Secret Service Were Not The Only People Caught With Their Pants Down In Columbia

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily reported on a major event at the Colombian summit that seems to have been overlooked in the reporting.

The article reports:

Never was a response to a global outrage more mealy-mouthed than the one from the U.S. after Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, standing under a portrait of Evita Peron, announced a brazen grab for YPF, the Argentine oil company that’s 57% owned by Spain’s Repsol.

Markets fell, world leaders denounced the violation of contracts and economically battered Spain rallied European Union support.

But the U.S.? “We are following developments on this issue. We are not currently aware of any WTO complaints related to this issue,” the State Department said.

The article points out that Argentina is in financial trouble because of overspending. If Argentina defaults or Spain defaults, the IMF will be called in to do a bailout. That will directly impact the pockets of American taxpayers.

The article reminds us:

Meanwhile, U.S. investors own about 5% of Repsol. Its takeover hurts U.S. investors and our tax base. This should concern the indebted U.S., which if it did what other countries do, would defend its investors.

The U.S. buys 29,000 barrels a day from Argentina, a third of its output, and will need to find a new supplier as that collapses. Worse still, Argentina will lose investment in its vast shale reserves, the world’s third-largest at 22%. As that goes, prices will rise.

Worst of all, the expropriated assets may now go to China, significantly raising its influence in the region.

It sounds as if our State Department was not paying attention to the events around them.

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Why We All Need To Pay Attention Before The Next Election

Yesterday Investors.com posted an article about a campaign ad the Obama campaign has created. The ad is total fiction, and the article explains why.

One of the claims in the ad is that the Obama Administration has decreased America’s dependence on foreign oil. The ad fails to mention that during a recession American oil consumption decreases and thus the amount of oil we import decreases. The article also fails to mention that gasoline consumption is down because the price of a gallon of gas has almost doubled under President Obama. The article includes a chart:

The article also deals with some of the other claims in the ad. President Obama claims that according to the Brookings Institution his administration has created 2.7 million clean energy jobs and is expanding rapidly. Again, that doesn’t line up with the facts. The article reports:

“Overall, today’s clean economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 %” — a half-million over eight years being a tiny gain. And that “this performance lagged the growth in the national economy, which grew by 4.2% annually over the period.”

We need to remember that Spain ended its government sponsored green energy program because for every job they created, two jobs were lost. We need to learn from the Spanish experience.

Overall the ad is a very nice-sounding group of lies. I am sure it is the first of many such ads. As voters, we need to learn to fact check all political ads from all candidates. Statistics can be twisted to say anything the person citing them wants them to say. Polls can be skewed according to who is polled. As voters, we really need to pay attention to what is said during the campaign and how much of what is said is actually true.

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The Problem With Green Energy

A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, England,...

Image via Wikipedia

Green energy is a great idea. Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the point where it makes economic sense. I suspect we will get there in the near future, but we are not there yet. When the United States or other governments try to force the issue, they run into problems. (See rightwinggranny.com from March 8, 2011, which explains what has happened with green energy in Spain). Now it’s the Netherlands’ turn.

On Wednesday, November 16, Reuters reported that the Dutch government is preparing to end its subsidies of offshore wind power. There are 36 turbines in the North Sea that produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year. Because of the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says it can no longer afford to subsidize the entire cost of offshore wind power (18 cents per kilowatt hour–4.5 billion euros last year).

The article reports:

The government now plans to transfer the financial burden to households and industrial consumers in order to secure the funds for wind power and try to attract private sector investment.

It will start billing consumers and companies in January 2013 and simultaneously launch a system under which investors will be able to apply to participate in renewable energy projects.

But the new billing system will reap only a third of what was previously available to the industry in subsidies — the government forecasts 1.5 billion euros every year — while the pricing scale of the investment plan makes it more likely that interested parties will choose less expensive technologies than wind.

The outlook for Dutch wind projects seems bleak.

There will come a day when green energy is practical. Today is not it. When the government interferes with the free market, bad things happen.

 

 

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