Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Alternative Energy Sham!

You hear it all the time from Democrats, Progressives, and environmentalists --They want more (government and corporate) investment in renewable and alternative energy. And they are always lambasting energy companies, oil companies, and Republicans for not facilitating enough research and development to move our country forward regarding energy. We’ve been hearing it for years now. In yesterday’s WSJ editorial section (subscription may be required), it turns out that what these groups say they want and how it is to be achieved are at odds:

In this year's great energy debate, Democrats describe a future when the U.S. finally embraces the anything-but-carbon avant-garde. It turns out, however, that when wind and solar power do start to come on line, they face a familiar obstacle: environmentalists and many Democrats.

To wit, the greens are blocking the very transmission network needed for renewable electricity to move throughout the economy. The best sites for wind and solar energy happen to be in the sticks -- in the desert Southwest where sunlight is most intense for longest, or the plains where the wind blows most often. To exploit this energy, utilities need to build transmission lines to connect their electricity to the places where consumers actually live. In addition to other technical problems, the transmission gap is a big reason wind only provides two-thirds of 1% of electricity generated in the U.S., and solar one-tenth of 1%.

Only last week, Duke Energy and American Electric Power announced a $1 billion joint venture to build a mere 240 miles of transmission line in Indiana necessary to accommodate new wind farms. Yet the utilities don't expect to be able to complete the lines for six long years -- until 2014, at the earliest, because of the time necessary to obtain regulatory approval and rights-of-way, plus the obligatory lawsuits.

In California, hundreds turned out at the end of July to protest a connection between the solar and geothermal fields of the Imperial Valley to Los Angeles and Orange County. The environmental class is likewise lobbying state commissioners to kill a 150-mile link between San Diego and solar panels because it would entail a 20-mile jaunt through Anza-Borrego state park. "It's kind of schizophrenic behavior," Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. "They say that we want renewable energy, but we don't want you to put it anywhere."

California has a law mandating that utilities generate 20% of their electricity from "clean-tech" by 2010. Some 24 states have adopted a "renewable portfolio standard," while Barack Obama wants to impose a national renewable mandate. But the states, with the exception of Texas, didn't make transmission lines easier to build, though it won't prevent them from penalizing the power companies that fail to meet an impossible goal.

Now, does this all sound reasonable to you? These are the same people that do not want any domestic off-shore drilling or nuclear power plants. We will severely hamstring our economy and our well-being if we continue to let radicals dictate our national energy policy.

4 comments:

tashabud said...

Hi VH,
This is plain craziness! Are they stupid or what! First, they don't want off-shore drilling or new drillings, for that matter, because they want renewable energy. Yet, they're the very ones who are impeding the flow of these energy products to their intended destinations by not allowing the building of those delivery lines?They can't have it both ways. I don't know, VH. I think I'll let you and the others to figure it sll out for me.

Have a great week.

VH said...

Hey Tasha,
Average Americans like you and I are going to be negatively impacted by this eventually.

Thanks for the visit and comment as usual:)

The BoBo said...

Just wanted to let you know I stumbled it..and linked it back to my post as well! These people are nuts!

VH said...

Thanks Bobo! I think people really need to know about this.