Electric Vehicle Subsidies and other Fantasies

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. Everyone will want one because they’re emission-free, ecologically responsible, and more affordable every year. That’s why GM, Volvo, and other manufacturers will soon be making only EVs.

Or so we’re told.

Some people have high disposable incomes and do most of their driving locally. For them buying an EV may be a viable choice.

Why do the rest of us need mandates and subsidies to “persuade” us to buy EVs, instead of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles? Who’s actually getting the subsidies – and who’s paying for them? What other costs and unintended consequences are hidden from view?

President Biden wants to require all new light/medium-duty vehicles sold by 2035 (or sooner) be EVs. Vice President Harris wants only ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) on America’s roads by 2045. Various states have already passed or are considering similar laws. Some would ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030.

A 2021 Tesla Model S Long-Range can go 412 miles on a multi-hour charge; its MSRP is $80,000. A Model 3 costs around $42,000; the Model Y all-wheel-drive $58,000. Similar sticker-shock prices apply to other EV makes and models, putting them out of reach for most families.  “Long-range” models achieve that status by loading them down with expensive, heavy batteries and long charging times.  Most electric vehicle ranges are far shorter.

To soften the blows to budgets and liberties, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to spend $454 billion to build 500,000 new EV charging stations, replace U.S. government vehicles with EVs, and finance “cash for clunkers” rebates to help at least some families navigate this transportation transformation.

Politicians are being pressured to retain the $7,500 per car federal tax credit (and hefty state tax rebates) now scheduled to lapse once a manufacturer’s cumulative vehicle sales since 2009 reach 200,000. EV drivers also want other incentives perpetuated: free charging stations, access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, and not having to pay gasoline taxes that finance the construction, maintenance, and repair of highways they drive on.

Not surprisingly, a 2015 study found the richest 20 percent of Americans received 90 percent of these generous EV subsidies. Lobbyists are clearly more valuable than engineers for EV manufacturers and drivers.

Under this Robin-Hood-in-reverse system, the subsidies are financed by taxpayers and generations of their descendants – including millions of working-class and minority families, most of which will never be able to afford an EV.

Any cash for clunkers program will exacerbate the problem. By enabling sufficiently wealthy families to trade fossil-fuel cars for EVs, it will result in millions of perfectly drivable cars and trucks that would have ended up in used car lots being crushed and melted instead.

The average cost of previously-owned ICE vehicles will increase by thousands of dollars, pricing even them out of reach for millions of lower-income families, which will be forced to buy pieces of junk or ride buses and subways jammed with people they hope won’t be carrying next-generation COVID.

The United States will begin to look like Cuba, which still boasts legions of classic 1960s and ‘70s cars that are lovingly cared for and kept on the road with engines, brakes, and other parts scavenged from wrecks and even Soviet cars. But once the states and feds ban gasoline sales, even that will end.

Perhaps even more ironic and perverse, the “zero-emissions vehicle” moniker refers only to emissions in the USA – and only if the electricity required to charge and operate ZEVs comes from non-fossil-fuel power plants. Texans now know how well wind turbines and solar panels work when “runaway global warming” turns to record cold and snow.

With many politicians and environmentalists equally repulsed by nuclear and hydroelectric power, having any electricity source could soon become a recurrent challenge.

Zero-emission fantasies also ignore the essential role of fossil fuels in manufacturing ZEVs. From mining and processing the myriad metals and minerals for battery modules, wiring, drive trains and bodies, to actually making the components and finished vehicles, every step requires oil, natural gas, or coal.

Not in California or America perhaps, but elsewhere on Planet Earth, most often with Chinese companies in leading roles.

From commonplace iron, copper, aluminum, and petroleum-based plastics – to exotics like lithium, cobalt, and multiple rare earth elements – these materials are dug up and turned into “virtuous” EVs, wind turbines, and solar panels with little or no attention to child labor, fair wages, workplace safety, air, and water pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, endangered species or mined land reclamation.

How long can we let our environment, working conditions, prosperity, and efficient travel needs take a back seat to EV mythology?

*****

This article first appeared on March 3, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Committee For A  Constructive Tomorrow. 

Reporting From Frigid Texas: Wind and Solar Power Fail When You Need Them the Most

Contrary to the claims of green energy profiteers and apologists in the mainstream media, wind and solar power, particularly their absence during a critical, surprising period of peak demand, were largely to blame for the widespread power outages in Texas during the polar freeze that hit the state last week.

Although the depth and length of time of the frigid temperatures for much of Texas were highly unusual, they were not unprecedented. Temperatures have remained below freezing across large parts of Texas for 100 hours consecutively or more at least three times since the 1890s, once even exceeding 200 hours of below-freezing temperatures. Snowfall and ice amounts have actually exceeded what Texas received in mid-February many times in the past. So, although this is hardly a yearly thing as it is across much of the northern tier of the United States, Texas’ electric grid should have been prepared for the rare but not unique polar freeze.

Politicians should never have dictated wind and solar power be incorporated in Texas’ or the nation’s electric power grid. As any engineer would have said openly before the politics of climate alarm and cancel culture raised their ugly heads, wind and solar power are particularly unsuited for a large power grid because they work only when the weather conditions are just right.

A large-scale power grid consists of two segments: baseload power and peaking power. Baseload power is the minimum amount of energy needed for the grid to function properly while delivering power on-demand to every user who needs it during a normal day. For the grid to function, it needs a fairly constant flow of power. Coal, nuclear, and to a lesser extent natural gas have satisfied Texas’ and the nation’s baseload demand for the past century because they operate full-time, with onsite backup (usually in the form of diesel boilers) to provide power during routine maintenance or breakdowns.

Peaking power is the additional power needed when the system is faced with unusual amounts of demand, usually in July and August in Texas and the rest of the South when air-conditioner use soars along with summer temperatures, and from December through February during the cold winters in northern states. Natural gas has commonly served to provide peaking power because natural gas plants can be built to scale, fuel can usually be delivered as needed, and facilities can be cycled on and off quickly as needed.

Neither wind nor solar can be relied on for either baseload or peaking power. Wind turbines generate power only when the wind blows between certain speeds, and the power they generate fluctuates constantly with wind gusts. Solar provides no power at night or when the cells are covered by snow, ice, or soot, and it provides reduced power on cloudy days and during storms. Except on completely cloudless days with clear skies, the power generated by solar panels fluctuates second-by-second with the passage of clouds.

Both solar and wind require backup power constantly, with fossil fuel power plants operating at inefficient, less-than-peak levels, to regulate the flow of fluctuating power delivered to the grid from turbines and solar panels when they are operating and to take up the slack during periods when either or both sources of weather-dependent power shut down. A power system that depends on the weather cooperating is a poor choice, yet it is the one dim-bulb politicians in multiple states, sadly including Texas, have made.

Over the past 15 years, wind, and more recently solar power, have grown to account for a greater portion of Texas’ electric power capacity. The two sources of power now account for more than 28 percent of the capacity of Texas’ electric power supply—even more than coal.

This increase was not driven by market demand but by politics. Legislators required a set minimum amount of power sold on the Texas power market to come from wind or solar power, regardless of the costs and the reliability and redundancy problems it introduced into the grid. On top of that, federal, state, and local subsidies encouraged wind and solar to grow beyond the minimum amount set by the state. School districts have gotten in on the boondoggle, issuing property tax abatements to build wind and rooftop solar so they could teach their students the virtues of going green, even as they cried poverty and continued to plead with Austin and local property tax auditors for ever-more money. As a result, Texas now produces more wind power than any other state, even climate-crazy California.

The subsidies, tax credits, and tax abatements allowed wind and solar generators to sell power into the Texas market at prices below what it costs them to produce and deliver the power to users. With taxpayers and ratepayers picking up more than 50 percent of the cost of producing and delivering renewable energy, on top of what they pay in their monthly bills, wind and solar producers often sell power into Texas’ market at a price most coal power plants and even some natural gas plants can’t match.

After Democrats and moderate Republicans in the legislature rejected a bill to make wind and solar companies pay to sustain at least a minimum of coal capacity to supplement, regulate, and provide a backstop against power losses from the intermittent, variable power the turbines and panels provide, utilities closed multiple coal-fueled power plants accounting for thousands of megawatts of electric power capacity. You can’t just flick a switch and turn on a coal plant once it has gone offline. Even if there is still a stockpile of coal sitting around to be fed into the boilers (there isn’t), it takes boilers time to heat up, and the machinery must be kept in good working order while mothballed (it hasn’t been because that costs money and no one is paying).

Which leads us to Texas’ power failure. Some reports have indicated wind and solar power can’t be blamed for the widespread power outages that occurred during the recent polar freeze. They point to the fact that on Sunday evening and early Monday morning when the power first began to fail, only a small percentage of wind and solar production went offline. That is true, but it is taken out of context.

Data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas show four days before the first snowflake fell, wind and solar were providing 58 percent of the electric power used in Texas. Fortuitously, the sun had been shining and the wind blowing. These conditions ended, and within a matter of hours, more than 13,000 megawatts of wind and solar power went offline. The wind died off and the turbines began to freeze, and winter storm clouds blocked the sun.

As always, natural gas, coal, and nuclear facilities ramped up production when wind and solar failed. Then the storm hit. Even as the wind picked up, ice had formed on the turbines, keeping them offline, and snow and ice coated solar panels, preventing them from generating power. More wind and solar failed, and the cold had a cascading effect on coal, natural gas, and nuclear. Some gas lines froze, other gas, due to contracts, was being shipped out of state, some equipment failed, and some powerlines snapped and transformers broke. More coal, natural gas, and nuclear failed during the storm than wind and solar, but only because wind and solar had failed even before the storm hit. What power remained during the crisis was delivered almost entirely by natural gas, coal, and nuclear. Wind and solar power remained almost wholly offline for the duration.

ccw-389-graph

The result: more than eight million Texans (including me), in more than four million homes, lost lights, power, and heat. Temperatures in my house fell into the 40s, and within the first night, I went through all the heating oil in the old-fashioned lamps I keep for outages caused by periodic tornados. For some (not me, fortunately), the problems were even worse. Water-treatment plants lost power, meaning thousands of people lost access to clean water even if their pipes did not freeze. Widespread “boil water” orders were issued, but of course, you can’t boil water during a power outage if your stove is electric.

To sum up, political interference in energy markets, driven by climate alarmism, resulted in a huge increase in volatile, intermittent wind and solar power being forced and incentivized into Texas’ power system, undermining the reliability of the state’s electric grid. When that went offline, even before cold temperatures reached their peak, gas, what little coal remains, and nuclear, which faced their own problems, couldn’t cover renewable power’s ongoing shortfall throughout the entire period of extreme winter weather. Had winter demand not peaked, most people would have remained blissfully unaware of the limited power wind and solar are often able to provide to Texas homes and businesses, but weather, like wind and solar power, is fickle. Because of that, no large-scale power system should ever rely on wind and solar power for a substantial part of its electric power supply. As Texas showed this past week, and California demonstrates every summer, to do so is to court catastrophic, potentially deadly, failure.

Imagine how much worse Texas’ situation would have been if everyone relied on electric vehicles and the state prevented people from hooking natural gas up to their homes for cooking, heating, and water heating—policies climate activists commonly advocate. Mandating more reliance on electric power for transportation and basic necessities, as some localities, states, and the federal government is doing or considering doing, even as they further increase the amounts of unreliable wind and solar power on the grid, is a guaranteed recipe for large-scale power disasters to become common.

*****

This article first appeared on February 25, 2021 and is reproduced with permission granted by the Heartland Institute.

Recent Energy and Environmental News

Welcome to the latest issue of our Energy & Environmental Newsletter.

(For all 2020 Newsletters, go here. For all 2021 Newsletters, go here.)

(FYI, here is the list of our popular 2020 Election-Related Reports. Please periodically check that page, as more are in the works.)

COVID-19: Therapy

Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19 when used early: analysis of 44 studies

HCQ is effective for COVID-19 when used early: meta analysis of 215 studies

COVID-19: Vaccines

Should COVID-19 Vaccination Be Mandatory?

Federal Law Prohibits COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Injuries Reported to CDC After COVID Vaccines Climbs by 4,000± in 1 Week

Experimental Gene Therapy Should Not Be Called A Vaccine

Catholic bishops caution that J&J COVID vaccine is morally wrong

Study: Why current COVID-19 vaccines not be used for mass vaccination

COVID-19: Models & Data

Study: Projected Deaths of Despair from COVID-19

Report: The progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in Sweden

COVID-19: Misc

The Danger of the Administrative State

Investigation Links Fauci to Experiments That May Have Led to Pandemic

For Much Public Spending: Everything’s Coming Up COVID

Science, Politics, and COVID: Will Truth Prevail?

“Second Nuremberg tribunal” to try global lockdown promoters for crimes?

Greed Energy Economics

The Myths of Green Energy

Green Jobs Are A Myth: A Myth Intended to Distract Attention

Those millions of new ‘green’ jobs are going to China and India

Electric Vehicle Fantasies

Germany Considers Electricity Rationing to Stabilize its Shaky Green Grid

China Turns the Screws on Unreliables

Wind Energy

The Energy Solution For Texas — And America

NY Great Lakes Wind Feasibility Study (Where is the Sensibility study?)

Why objections to an 800 ft turbine in your back yard are gone with the wind

Indiana wind bill opposed as detrimental to home rule

Is It Time to Put Wind Energy on Ice?

Study shows icing can cost wind turbines up to 80% of power production

NY Senator: Failed Turbines Reason For More Time On Wind Power

Study: Offshore Turbines can effect local currents, etc.

Solar Energy

Minnesota state agencies reveal a statewide blueprint to address PFAS

Study: How many solar panels in Spain…

Solar developers feel the financial pressure from rising insurance costs

1,700-acre Virginia project considered again by local planners this week

Renewable Energy Health and Ecosystem Consequences

400 Cows Succumb to Low-Frequency Wind Turbine Noise & Vibration

The color of this green technology is blood red

EU court’s bird protection ruling deals blow to German wind power plans

Nuclear Energy

Video: Shoreham & Indian Point Closures: The Biggest Crime in NY History

Archive: The Nuclear Option

Fossil Fuel Energy

A Pecksniffian Party of Phony Pontificating Plunderers

Study: China’s New Coal Power Plants More Than 3x Rest of World’s

China’s coal surge as new coal power plants go online

Global LNG demand expected to almost double by 2040

Cuomo Revelations Mean It Is Time to Re-Examine NY Fracking Ban

The Left declares war on natural gas

Fossil Fuel Fears Blind Those Seeking Green Energy Nirvana to Reality

Misc Energy

Study: Ignoring Energy Transition Realities

Video: Billionaire John Catsimatidis rips Biden energy, economic plan

National Academies offers stark grid warnings

Critique of the Nomination of Rep. Haaland to Be Secretary of Interior

Exelon to split in two, expects losses from Texas freeze

Biden Encourages Supply Chain Dependencies From Foreign Sources

Biden’s DoE Blocked Texas From Increasing Power Ahead of Killer Storm

Environmental Justice? No, NY Pollution Justice Act is Just Peak Stupidity!

Mining rare-earths: Greenland finds green power can be a curse

Manmade Global Warming: Some Deceptions

The Extinction Clock

The farcical climate ‘fact-checkers’ who don’t check facts

Why Global Warming is a Total Farce

NOAA’s Climate Disaster Claims are a Sham

Contrary to Biden’s Executive Orders, There Is No Climate Crisis

Why ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ Is Most Useless Number You’ve Never Heard Of

Manmade Global Warming: Misc.

NYISO Report: Energy Sources Needed to Address Climate Change

Report: When Giants Arise: the Real World of GHG Emissions and Growth

World ignores climate concerns as CO2 emissions come roaring back

New data reveals British sea level records stretching back 200 years

The Rational Climate e-Book (free)

US Elections:

37 Things to Know About H.R. 1, ‘For the People Act’

Dems’ priorities – here’s how free speech, fair elections and more at risk

Debunking the Latest Democrat-Media Claims About the Election

Critique of the MITRE Election Report

Election Integrity: A Compendium of Quality 2020 Election-Related Reports

Evidence seems to indicate ‘algorithm manipulation’ in the 2020 election

US Elections, Supreme Court:

Supreme Court declines to hear lawsuit on PA ignoring election deadline

Supreme Court Denial of Election Cases Invites ‘Erosion of Voter Confidence’

“Baffling” SCOTUS Decision Slammed by Justice Thomas

Supreme Court voting rights case could change rules across the country

US Elections, State Issues:

Judge Rules Maricopa County Must Turn Over 2.1 Million Ballots to Senate

Georgia House Passes Omnibus Election Reform Bill

Four Arrested in Texas on 150 Counts of Voter Fraud

Judge Orders Local Election Do-Over Due to Massive Fraud

Judge re-instates Antrim County Case

US Politics and Socialism

Carlson Video: Mainstream media disinformation

World’s Deadliest Virus isn’t COVID-19, it’s Communism

The Communist Takeover of the United States?

Archive: On Destroying America

What Have We Done?

Short video: What Is Identity Socialism?

Other US Politics and Related

Biden Speaks in Houston, Which Should Make You Question Everything

How Informed are Americans about Race and Policing?

My story of working with Governor Cuomo

Congress Should Rein in the USDA Slush Fund

When the Left Attacked DC

Biden Consequences: Gender Athletics and the Left!

Equality Act 2020 Will Devastate Women and their Competitive Sports

Religion Related

The Communist’s Catechism

Twitter Censors Pro-Life Irish Catholic Bishop’s Post

Pope’s Council on Capitalism Should Instead Address Corrupt Governments

Pope Francis: Another ‘great flood’ possible due to global warming

What happened to boundaries?

Education Related

Academic Freedom Is Withering

COVID-19 Campus Changes: Testing and Sequestering Students

Don’t Scoff at the Push to Cancel Dr. Seuss

Our Public Schools: Worse Than You Can Imagine

Science and Misc Matters

Science In Crisis

Optimism is a Performance-Enhancing Drug

The rich vs the very, very rich: the Wentworth golf club rebellion

‘It Really Is A Gag Order’: California May Limit Nondisclosure Agreements

Note 1: It’s recommended to read the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen…  Common fonts, etc. have been used to minimize display issues.

Note 2: To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles, we’ve put together detailed archives — where you can search by year, or over the ten+ years of the Newsletter. For a detailed background about the Newsletter, please read this.

Note 3: See this extensive list of reasonable books on climate change that complements the Newsletter. As a parallel effort, there is also a list of some good books related to industrial wind energy. Both topics are also extensively covered on our WiseEnergy.org website.

Note 4: If you’d like to join the 10,000+ worldwide readers and get your own free copy of this periodic Newsletter, simply send John an email saying that.

Note 5: John is not an attorney or a physician, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or the WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal or medical advice. His recommendation has always been: consult a competent, licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues, and consult a competent physician regarding medical issues.

Copyright © 2021; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org)

Electric Vehicle Fantasies

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. Everyone will want one because they’re emission-free, ecologically responsible, and more affordable every year. That’s why GM, Volvo, and other manufacturers will soon be making only EVs.

Or so we’re told.

Some people have high disposable incomes and do most of their driving locally.  For them buying an EV may be a viable choice.

Why do the rest of us need mandates and subsidies to “persuade” us to buy EVs, instead of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles? Who’s actually getting the subsidies – and who’s paying for them? What other costs and unintended consequences are hidden from view?

President Biden wants to require all new light/medium-duty vehicles sold by 2035 (or sooner) be EVs. Vice President Harris wants only ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) on America’s roads by 2045. Various states have already passed or are considering similar laws. Some would ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030.

A 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range can go 412 miles on a multi-hour charge; its MSRP is $80,000. A Model 3 costs around $42,000; the Model Y all-wheel-drive $58,000. Similar sticker-shock prices apply to other EV makes and models, putting them out of reach for most families.  “Long range” models achieve that status by loading them down with expensive, heavy batteries and long charging times.  Most electric vehicle ranges are far shorter.

To soften the blows to budgets and liberties, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to spend $454 billion to build 500,000 new EV charging stations, replace U.S. government vehicles with EVs, and finance “cash for clunkers” rebates to help at least some families navigate this transportation transformation.

Politicians are being pressured to retain the $7,500 per car federal tax credit (and hefty state tax rebates) now scheduled to lapse once a manufacturer’s cumulative vehicle sales since 2009 reach 200,000. EV drivers also want other incentives perpetuated: free charging stations, access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, and not having to pay gasoline taxes that finance the construction, maintenance, and repair of highways they drive on.

Not surprisingly, a 2015 study found the richest 20 percent of Americans received 90 percent of these generous EV subsidies. Lobbyists are clearly more valuable than engineers for EV manufacturers and drivers.

Under this Robin-Hood-in-reverse system, the subsidies are financed by taxpayers and generations of their descendants – including millions of working-class and minority families, most of which will never be able to afford an EV.

Any cash for clunkers program will exacerbate the problem. By enabling sufficiently wealthy families to trade fossil-fuel cars for EVs, it will result in millions of perfectly drivable cars and trucks that would have ended up in used car lots being crushed and melted instead.

The average cost of previously-owned ICE vehicles will increase by thousands of dollars, pricing even them out of reach for millions of lower-income families, which will be forced to buy pieces of junk or ride buses and subways jammed with people they hope won’t be carrying next-generation COVID.

The United States will begin to look like Cuba, which still boasts legions of classic 1960s and ‘70s cars that are lovingly cared for and kept on the road with engines, brakes, and other parts scavenged from wrecks and even Soviet cars. But once the states and feds ban gasoline sales, even that will end.

Perhaps even more ironic and perverse, the “zero-emissions vehicle” moniker refers only to emissions in the USA – and only if the electricity required to charge and operate ZEVs comes from non-fossil-fuel power plants. Texans now know how well wind turbines and solar panels work when “runaway global warming” turns to record cold and snow.

With many politicians and environmentalists equally repulsed by nuclear and hydroelectric power, having any electricity source could soon become a recurrent challenge.

Zero-emission fantasies also ignore the essential role of fossil fuels in manufacturing ZEVs. From mining and processing the myriad metals and minerals for battery modules, wiring, drive trains and bodies, to actually making the components and finished vehicles, every step requires oil, natural gas, or coal.

Not in California or America perhaps, but elsewhere on Planet Earth, most often with Chinese companies in leading roles.

From commonplace iron, copper, aluminum, and petroleum-based plastics – to exotics like lithium, cobalt, and multiple rare earth elements – these materials are dug up and turned into “virtuous” EVs, wind turbines, and solar panels with little or no attention to child labor, fair wages, workplace safety, air, and water pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, endangered species or mined land reclamation.

How long can we let our environment, working conditions, prosperity and efficient travel needs take a back seat to EV mythology?

©Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). All rights reserved.

National Climate Emergency Act: America Declares War on Itself

Democrats have introduced a bill intended to give President Joseph Biden sweeping powers to halt global warming, using wartime measures to declare war on nature itself.

The National Climate Emergency Act (NCEA) (H.R. 794), introduced on February 5 by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) with support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), exhumes a 1976 law—the National Emergencies Act—to declare global warming a national security threat. Under the National Emergencies Act, the president has access to 136 statutory powers granting him enormous ability to respond to an emergency. Previous presidents have used it to respond to the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the COVID-19 outbreak, and proliferation of biological and chemical weapons.

Congressional approval is needed to unlock the most stringent of those powers, which is where the NCEA comes in. Unlike its predecessor (H. Con. Res. 52) from the previous Congress, the NCEA would mandate a presidential declaration of a state of emergency under the 1976 act. Its predecessor merely demanded “a national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization of the resources and labor of the United States” to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of the climate emergency” without invoking the 1976 National Emergencies Act.

Devils in the Details

According to the early text of the bill (archived here), its provisions include:

  • Investing in “large scale mitigation and resiliency projects”;
  • Upgrading “public infrastructure to expand access to clean and affordable energy, transportation, high-speed broadband, and water”;
  • Modernizing and retrofitting “millions of homes, schools, offices, and industrial buildings to cut pollution and costs”;
  • Investing in “public health, in preparation for and in response to increasingly extreme climatic events”;
  • “Develop[ing] and transform[ing] the industrial base of the United States” by “expanding manufacturing of clean technologies, reducing industrial pollution, and prioritizing clean, domestic manufacturing” along with establishing “new employment programs” necessary to complete this transformation”;
  • Funding “a racially and socially just transition to a clean energy economy by ensuring that at least 40 percent of investments flow to historically disadvantaged communities”;
  • Ensuring “small business support, especially for women and minority-owned businesses”;
  • “Avoid[ing] solutions” that “increase inequality” or “decrease union density or membership”;
  • Creating jobs that “protect the rights of workers to organize” in labor unions”;
  • Prioritizing “local and equitable” hiring of “communities of color and indigenous communities,” women, veterans, “LGBTQIA+ individuals,” “disabled and chronically ill individuals,” “formerly incarcerated individuals,” and “otherwise marginalized communities”;
  • “Combating “environmental injustice” by “ensuring that affected communities have equitable access to public health resources that have been systemically denied to communities of color and Indigenous communities”; and
  • “Investing in public-sector institutions inspired by “New Deal-era institutions” in order to address “historic inequities” as well as “strategically and coherently mobilize and channel investments at the scale and pace required by the national emergency.”

“Environmental Justice”

This isn’t a roadmap to a stable climate; it’s the road to serfdom, spelled out in detail. Like the Green New Deal, the NCEA is more about transforming the American economy—hence the language about union membership, inequities, and historic disadvantages—and less about the climate.

Bundled together, this is called “environmental justice,” and it’s the epitome of decades of activism and theory-crafting on the Left. Environmental justice is a product of “intersectionality,” the dominant ideology driving today’s left-wing progressives. It envisions a field of competing categories like race, gender (not sex), and class against a Marxist backdrop in which all history is a set of power struggles between oppressor and oppressed. By applying it it to environmentalism, which in past decades was more interested in population sizes than class struggle, leftists have discovered a perfect storm of crisis, government power, and sweeping rhetoric to totally transform the United States from top to bottom.

Democratic Party Extremism

Today that ideology dominates the Democratic Party. Biden, never a radical on the environment, even titled his 2020 presidential campaign’s “green” issues section “The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.” His platform revolved around a Green New Deal, a “100% clean energy economy” by 2050, and prosecuting “fossil fuel companies and other polluters who put profit over people.”

Contrast that with Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign platform, entitled the “New Energy for America Plan,” which focused on a cap-and-trade program (which failed to pass the Democratic-controlled House in 2010), electric vehicles, eliminating oil imports from Venezuela and the Middle East, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and even prioritizing the construction of the Alaska natural gas pipeline (really).

How much has changed in just 13 years. Obama’s plan was the most extreme yet proposed by a serious presidential candidate in 2008, but if he ran on it today the Left would condemn him as a reactionary.

Much Ado About Nothing

Moreover, sweeping government powers are totally unnecessary to stave off an apocalypse induced by global carbon dioxide emissions–if you’re inclined to believe one is coming. The Paris Climate Agreement, the last major international climate change agreement, was effectively symbolic according to the United Nations, hardly a bastion of climate skepticism.

The UN’s 2020 Emissions Gap report shows that the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell rapidly over the past few years due to the country’s widespread adoption of natural gas—a product of the fracking boom—and, to a lesser extent, wind and solar sources. That’s without the much-vaunted Paris treaty, which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from in 2017, only to have President Biden rejoin on his first day in office. The U.S. is expected to reach 2020 emissions reductions targets drafted in the 2010 Cancun Agreements, unlike “green” Canada to the north.

In 2018, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. among the countries with the cleanest air in the world—cleaner than Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Japan, and Germany (the “green man of Europe”).

Remaking the Country

Even the New York Times, usually rabid for aggressive climate policies, recently admitted that emissions cuts are pointless: “But even if every country does meet its targets, it will not be enough, not by a long shot.”

The Times’s solution is a lurch even further to the left and into fantasy. Massive government spending would invest “in millions of emissions-free vehicles, in hundreds of thousands of new charging stations to service those vehicles,” an electric grid powered by renewables (an utter impossibility sure to lead to Cairo-like brownouts), and the weatherization of “millions and millions” homes.

In other words, the Times wants the Green New Deal, which promised socialism in “green” packaging. As Green New Del architect Saikat Chakrabarti told the Washington Post in 2019, “Do you guys think of it [the Green New Deal] as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Environmental justice is just a new name for a radical ideology Americans that have fought for over a century and defeated in the Cold War. Slapping “justice” on the name doesn’t make it fair or equitable. But it does give the Left an unlimited mandate to totally remake the United States in its own image. The looming climate “emergency” merely gives leftists the urgency they require to bypass the democratic public policy process to achieve that mandate.

No wonder that left-wing groups have been chomping at the bit for President Biden to declare a climate emergency. In 2019, the New Yorker argued for such a declaration. An entire advocacy group, Climate Mobilization, exists to urge Democrats to enact one, demanding that “anti-racist and anti-oppressive struggle must be at the heart of the climate movement.” The Center for Biological Diversity endorsed the NCEA, calling it “a years-long campaign by nearly 750 climate and environmental justice groups urging the president to declare a climate emergency and fully use the emergency powers that Congress allows in the face of a crisis.”

In January, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on national television:

I think it might be a good idea for President Biden to declare a climate emergency. Then he can do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that wouldn’t have to go through, that he could do without legislation.

*****

This article first appeared on March 2, 2021 and is reproduced with permission by the Capital Research Center.

RENEWABLES: Learning the Wrong Lesson in Texas?

As we all know, terrible ice storms recently in the Lone Star state froze many of their wind turbines and froze some of the gas pipelines, knocking out electricity for millions at a critical time. Some people even froze to death.

This was a tragedy, but despite the utter failure of “green” energy sources during the crisis, some on the left tried to use it to blame the climate alarmism skeptics for the debacle.

For example, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) said that the tragedy occurred because Texas had not signed on to the Green New Deal. Chuck Schumer, majority leader of the U.S. Senate, gloated that this deadly energy crisis happened to Texans because they “ignored climate change…now Texas is paying the price….Hope they learned a lesson.”

But, of course, Schumer’s lesson would be the wrong lesson. The point to be learned from Texas is that you can’t count on renewables alone. It would seem that the only thing you can predict about the weather is that it’s unpredictable. So backup plans are in order, as is infrastructure upkeep.

I reached out to Dr. Cal Beisner, the director and spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, for a comment on the recent Texas tragedy.

Beisner told me, “Those who blame the Texas power grid’s failures entirely on overreliance on wind and those who blame it entirely on rejecting claims of dangerous manmade global warming are both wrong. Climate-change alarmists everywhere call for more extensive use of wind power; Texas has nearly three times as much wind energy installed as the second-highest state in the Union (Iowa) and four times as much as California, which climate activists celebrate as a leader.” And in the freezing cold, the wind turbines failed.

He continued, “Critics of wind power are right to point to wind’s failure during the cold snap, as both lack of wind and freezing of turbines blades dropped wind’s contribution by over 90% February 8–16. But other sources struggled, too. Natural gas pipelines and separators froze, cutting delivery to generating plants as well as home heating systems.” Because of the unusual cold, the delivery of more reliable sources of energy, such as natural gas, also failed.

Beisner concludes, “Perhaps the key culprit is Texas’s regulation of the power industry that prevents it from generating enough profit to pay for constant upgrades and protections against severe cold—a problem that would exist regardless of the mix of power sources.”

When big government punishes reliable forms of energy—gas and oil—and rewards green energy—which can and often fails to deliver the goods in times of crisis—then we can expect more such crises.

Geologist and author Greg Wrightstone is a critic of the theory of catastrophic manmade climate change. Wrightstone said on my radio show, the “renewables” (i.e., wind and solar) should be called the “unreliables.” By relying on them, Texas gambled and lost.

Robert Hefner of Hefner.Energy wrote an op-ed on the recent tragedy:

“The first point we need to understand is that all forms of energy failed in Texas…from wind to nuclear.” But he adds that the failure rate of wind-generated energy was 93%, while the failure rate of natural gas during this exceptionally cold snap was 36%.

Some are blaming natural gas for failing during this crisis. Not so, says Hefner, noting that in reality natural gas “saved thousands of lives” during the tragedy. This is not something we’d expect to hear Senator Schumer or AOC admit.

Hefner adds that the big problem is that they did not invest in infrastructure upkeep—because there was no financial incentive to do so. All the while, all the incentives went into “the renewables,” i.e., wind, solar, and the like.

He concludes: “Can you expect your car to work during the harshest of conditions after neglecting it for over a decade? Texans are lucky that while ERCOT [Electricity Reliability Council of Texas] failed, the natural gas flowing to families huddled around their fireplaces did not.”

The founders of America did not have a lot to say about the environment per se. After all, they founded our nation before the Industrial Revolution.

But George Washington noted in his famous letter to the 13 governors, “The Circular to the States,” June 8, 1783, that Providence (God) has given us this continent with “all the various Soils and Climates of the World and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life.” Alas, later generations would see the despoiling of the beautiful environment and nature that Providence (God) has given us through air and water pollution.

But fighting air and water pollution is one thing—a fight in which America thankfully has made tremendous strides. But fighting the weather itself in the name of environmentalism is another.

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

Those millions of new ‘green’ jobs are going to China and India

When U.S. “Special Envoy” for Climate John Kerry recently urged workers upset by the Biden administration’s decision to scuttle the Keystone XL pipeline to “learn to make solar panels”, he was oblivious to the fact that China and India dominate the solar panel manufacturing market.

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Recovery Plan is to build a modern, resilient climate infrastructure that will create millions of good-paying union jobs, but Biden, like Kerry, may not be aware of America being unable to financially compete with the world’s solar panel manufacturing markets without huge government subsidies.

China and India not only control the supply chain of materials for solar panels, wind turbines, and EV batteries, but also have the least stringent environmental controls for the mining of the renewable materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, copper, and many others, and minimal labor laws for their low-cost labor supply.

To meet their growing manufacturing sectors, China and India are deadly serious about their economic development, which means there is no place at all for electricity that cannot be delivered in volume, on-demand, 24×365, whatever the weather. Hence, China has built more coal-fired power capacity in the last decade than any other country on earth as there appears to be no end in sight for China’s mammoth coal-fired power rush.

Work outsourced to foreign countries also results in a higher carbon footprint over and above doing that work in a more environmentally stringently controlled location like America.

Kerry has learned very little from the first two countries to go Green – Germany, and Australia. Neither countries’ manufacturing sector can compete with China and India. With the Biden administration seeking an increase to the minimum wage to $15 an hour, America is surely not going to be competitive with China or India to manufacture solar panels in America.

Unless wages and conditions deteriorate significantly in advanced countries, the subsidized induced demand may go up for renewables in America, but those millions of new ‘green’ jobs for Americans is not going to happen as Kerry hopes. Those manufacturing jobs will go to China and India, and Americans will get the crumbs to just install those foreign-made products, and then look for work at other locations.

Death and taxes are certainties, but the relationship between government subsidies to wind and solar and ‘green’ jobs becomes obvious, as soon as those subsidies get slashed.

As experienced in Germany, Australia, and Denmark, wind and solar investments disappear just as soon as the government subsidies are cut. The European collapse in wind turbine manufacturers and solar panels was sudden and staggering, but not surprising. The ‘green’ economy in those countries turned gangrenous:

Wind and solar jobs are government subsidy-funded intermittent work to produce intermittent electricity. As we have learned from the intermittent electricity shortcomings Nor’easters are disastrous to a Green America.

Intermittent electricity from wind and solar is fundamentally less jobs-intensive than supplying energy from traditional power sources. For continuous, uninterruptible, and reliable electricity it takes hundreds, sometimes thousands, of skilled workers to operate coal, gas, and nuclear plants that provide. By contrast, solar panels and wind turbines are largely set-and-forget once they are up and running.

The stimulus package is a great temporary band-aid fix for businesses and employment during these pandemic times, but economies cannot survive with continuous government funds. Constant taxpayer subsidies in perpetuity that are supporting the intermittent electricity generation from wind and solar renewables are not producing meaningful employment; it is welfare by another name.

With the recent rollbacks or elimination of government subsidies in Germany, Australia, and Denmark in mind, it would take a brave soul or a person oblivious to facts, to tout a ‘green’ jobs bonanza in America for subsidized, intermittent, and wholly unreliable electricity from wind turbines and solar panels that have become a proven social and economic disaster in other countries.

*****

This article first appeared on February 24, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from CFact.

Corporate Leaders Cozy up to Costly Biden Climate Agenda

In simpler times, environmentalists and Big Business were on opposite poles. While Greens blamed capitalism for destroying the planet, industry leaders credited the free market system with providing jobs and prosperity. It seems those days are gone.

Shortly after President Biden was elected, more than 150 world leaders signed an open letter to Biden, pledging their support to his administration’s goals to combat climate change. Included among them were Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, and Ford Motor’s Bill Ford.

“While the climate crisis presents incredible challenges, it is also the greatest economic opportunity for innovation, job creation, new businesses, and investment in our communities,” the letter states. “We will work alongside you to realize this ambitious pursuit.”

These industry leaders were not alone in their support of the new administration’s efforts to slay the purported global warming beast.

“We believe there is much common ground on which all sides of this discussion could come together to address climate change with policies that are practical, flexible, predictable, and durable,” reads a new statement on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s website.

General Motors probably went the furthest when it said it intends to end the sale of all gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars and light sports utility vehicles by 2035. Chief Executive Mary Barra beamed, “We hope to set an example of responsible leadership in a world that is faced with climate change.”

While to some it might seem like wonderful news that Big Business and Big Green have finally become “BFFs,” there are reasons to be concerned. Neither has fundamentally changed its character. They have just found ways to work together to accomplish what each of them wants: pushing an extreme agenda while earning profits.

Prominent in Biden’s $1.7 trillion “Climate Action Plan” are numerous tax credits, subsidies, and other profitable goodies that would make any corporate CEO blush.

His executive order, for instance, that mandates the federal government convert its entire fleet of 645,000 vehicles to “clean and zero-emission” vehicles is good news for certain auto manufacturers struggling to peddle them to an unwilling public. This is likely why GM decided to go “carbon neutral” within 24 hours of Biden’s announcement.

Upgrading 4 million buildings, weatherizing 2 million homes, and spurring “the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units,” also contained in Biden’s plan, will mean a lot of money to those well-connected businesses that can grab on to the federal dollars flowing to these projects.

And, of course, there will also be plenty of money doled out to other companies pushing politically correct renewable energies such as solar and wind, those making biofuels, and those involved in the construction of public mass transit.

Ironically, the losers in this newfound relationship are consumers and the environment.

As seen in Europe, where many of Biden’s programs draw their inspiration, energy prices have skyrocketed. Countries such as Germany and Denmark, according to the Institute for Energy Research, now pay over three times more for electricity than the United States, on average. Ditto for European Union gasoline prices, which can be as high as $5 to $6 a gallon.

Even worse, if man-made climate change is your big concern, despite enduring these massive expenses, the U.S. is still on par with (and actually outpaces) its European counterparts in lowering its greenhouse gases. According to the International Energy Agency, “the USA had the most significant CO2 reduction in the world on a country basis” in 2019 (the last year with complete data). By achieving this, which it did via fracking and natural gas, the U.S. avoided massive price hikes and protests such as the yellow jackets in France.

In short, the Biden “Climate Action Plan” appears to be growing in popularity in a number of corporate boardrooms. That’s a shame. Perhaps it’s time for shareholders, ratepayers, and consumers to weigh in and let them know any merger with Big Green interests is likely a bad long-term decision.

*****

This article first appeared on February 23, 2021 and is reproduced with permission by CFact.

Texas Energy Commissioner: Grid Spending Placed Green Politics Over Reliability

An Emergency Order from the Biden administration’s Department of Energy shows Texas energy grid operator ERCOT was instructed to stay within green energy standards by purchasing energy from outside the state at a higher cost, throttling power output throughout the state ahead of a catastrophic polar vortex.

Climate crap kills.

As a social principle . . . It ‘condemns cities, culture, industry, technology, the intellect, and advocates men’s return to “nature,” to the state of grunting subanimals digging the soil with their bare hands.’ (Ayn Rand).

“The dinosaur and its fellow-creatures vanished from this earth long before there were any industrialists or any men . . . . But this did not end life on earth. Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand still and does not maintain the kind of “equilibrium” that guarantees the survival of any particular species—least of all the survival of her greatest and most fragile product: man.”

Texas energy commissioner says grid spending placed green politics over reliability

By Commissioner Wayne Christian, Railroad Commission of Texas on 2/19/2021

World Oil

Everything is so politicized these days that it is tough to decipher facts from opinions about what happened this week with the winter storm.

It’s easy to blame ERCOT — and yes, their actions led to the blackouts in part — but the full story is much more complex. One night of bad decisions would not have had such devastating consequences had it not been for decades of poor policy decisions prioritizing unreliable renewable energy sources at the expense of reliable electricity — something Texans now know is essential to our everyday lives.

I have seen a lot of media reports claiming the issue was a decrease in power generated from natural gas, but when you look at the numbers that is just not true.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the hourly average of net power generation from gas went from 17,602 mw before the storm (2/1-2/12) to 33,310 during the storm (2/12-2/17), meaning generation from natural gas basically doubled as demand increased. (1)

Many are blaming fossil fuels because “wind power was expected to make up only a fraction of what the state had planned for during the winter.”(2) This is the problem. Investments in infrastructure are paid for by electricity customers and taxpayers, and our state spent more than $7 billion to build out the CREZ Transmission Lines for wind and solar generation.

This means resources that could have otherwise been spent making our grid more resilient to weather — or adding reliable generation from natural gas, nuclear, or clean coal to keep up with increasing demand for electricity — were instead spent on building out transmission lines for intermittent forms of energy that were “never expected” to perform during times like these.

The issue isn’t the existence of renewable energy, but that it has displaced reliable generation that makes up our “base load,” not through natural market forces but through massive subsidies and punitive regulatory policies from progressives in Washington, D.C. In 2009, “coal-fired plants generated nearly 37 percent of the state’s electricity while wind provided about 6 percent. Since then, three Texas coal-fired plants have closed… In the same period, our energy consumption rose by 20 percent.”(3)

Everyone loves to tout the phrase “all the above” — until it includes energy sources perceived as “dirty,” like coal, or “scary,” like nuclear. However, these energy sources are both extraordinarily safe and dependable in adverse weather conditions like Texas is facing now because one of their key features is on-site storage. If the “all the above” wind and solar advocates are serious about anything more than receiving subsidies, why are they opposed to nuclear, which can produce massive amounts of energy with a ZERO carbon footprint?

There is no single reason we are in the mess we are in now; it is a multifaceted perfect storm. However, every time the government picks winners and losers in business and innovation, it is the average citizens that lose. This week was a wakeup call that there is more to energy policy than the politics of climate change.

1) https://mcusercontent.com/ec5dd75d998816c4f8464c9a5/files/8f37e5af-7b57-45ad-9dbb-4c7f7d0eb850/EIA_Data.xlsx
2) https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16/texas-wind-turbines-frozen/
3) https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2020/august/ercot.php

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Biblical Conditions of Pima County Roads

According to the Bible, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.  Likewise, homeowners on a suburban street in Pima County, in metro Tucson, have been wandering in the desert for 40 years why their street hasn’t been repaved.

To the last point, below is a complaint sent by an unidentified citizen to Pima County, via the website, SeeClickFix.com.

Our road has not been repaved or repaired in over 40 years

Stonehouse Place (south of Ocotillo) has been bypassed for repaving in favor of repaving the north portion of Stonehouse Place that had already been repaired once and has now been repaved. Residents of over 40 years have said that outside of a minimal amount of now failing patches, our road has never seen any repairs. I am requesting that you review and approve our portion of Stonehouse for repaving.

Can it be true that the road has been neglected for 40 years?  Absolutely.

My wife and I walk 150 miles of county roads and neighborhood streets a month, just as we used to walk large swaths of the center city of Tucson before moving to the county.  The horrible conditions of roads and neighborhood streets match what the frustrated citizen described above.  However, they don’t match the information on the Pima County website.

The county understates on the website the severity of road conditions.  Likewise, its new ten-year plan and cost estimate for rectifying the conditions and making up for decades of deferred maintenance is poppycock.

Even roads that were repaved several years ago are deteriorating so rapidly that the county will be far from catching up in ten years and might be further behind by then.  A staggering number of miles of roadways are at the extreme level of what’s known in the pavement business as alligatoring, spalling, flushing, and raveling.

For many of the deteriorated roads, it’s way too late for patching, crack sealing, seal coating, and even milling and repaving.  They will have to be rebuilt from the ground up.

It’s hard to believe, but scores of neighborhood streets are in worse shape than arterial and connector roads.  At least the county screws rich and poor neighborhoods alike.  Streets in neighborhoods of million-dollar homes are just as bad as streets where the poor live.

Busy Kolb Rd. north of Sunrise is an example of the consequences of deferred maintenance.  Cracks three inches wide and hundreds of feet long have opened up in the center of the northbound and southbound lanes.  Chunks of asphalt are kicked up by cars into the bike lane, where they remain a hazard for months, because street sweeping is infrequent, unlike the twice-a-month sweeping performed by well-run cities for similarly busy roads.

Near where Kolb becomes Craycroft, gullies have formed at the edge of the pavement due to poor maintenance and poor design.  The county’s solution?  Throw rocks the size of basketballs into the gullies.  Imagine straying off the pavement and hitting those.

Although this road is designated a scenic county road, the county does not pick up the considerable volume of litter and trash discarded along it.  Nor do property owners whose property fronts the road.  They leave it to my wife and me and to a gentleman in his eighties to do so every day along a three-mile stretch.

Israelites put blood on their doors so that they would be passed over by the plague.  The county has let roads deteriorate so that the metropolis would be passed over by high-paying companies looking for a place to locate their headquarters and major operations.

Climate Hypocrites Hall of Shame – No. 1 Bill Gates

In addition to multiple other opulent estates he owns, billionaire climate preacher Bill Gates lives in a 66,000 sq. ft. mega-mansion in Seattle, flies the world at will in a gas-guzzling $70-million Bombardier BD-700 Global Express private jet that burns 486 gallons of fossil fuel per hour, and owns more carbon-emitting farmland—242,000 acres—than any other private citizen in the U.S.

An outspoken champion of renewable energy, the mega-CO2-emitter who became the world’s wealthiest man courtesy of his country’s free enterprise capitalist system has traitorously turned on that system, and is now pushing socialism-cum-communism as the only way to “save the planet.”

A voracious consumer of planet-destroying cheeseburgers—see photo above—this disgusting paragon of environmental hypocrisy advocates federal mandates that would force ordinary Americans to switch 100% from natural meat to synthetic meat. As reported by MIT’s Technology Review, the cheeseburger glutton said this about fake meat: “You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is that the taste will get better over time … eventually you can sort of change the behavior of people, or use regulation to totally shift the demand.” Translation: If Gates has his way, he will be able to stuff his face with cheeseburgers for the rest of his self-indulgent life, while preventing ordinary Americans from ever again being allowed to savor the taste of real beef.

Like other wealthy climate snake oil salesmen, Gate is not above profiting from his advocacy of “saving the planet.” After publicly touting the synthetic meat industry, Cheeseburger Bill conveniently cashed-out his multi-million-dollar stake in a fake meat start-up, and did so before the company’s hyped-up stock price fell through the floor, pocketing a handsome return while investors with no connections ate huge losses. Did he act on insider information? Who knows? It wouldn’t be the first time climate snake oil salesmen made off with fat profits while the getting was good.

Green activism isn’t the only way Cheeseburger Bill is helping subvert America

Gates is helping push the hammer and sickle down America’s throat not only by promoting the (Marxist) renewable energy hoax, but also by donating large chunks of his massive fortune to fund the same kind of subversive educational concepts promoted by self-declared communist Bill Ayers, the America-hating former domestic terrorist in whose living room Barack Obama launched his political career.

In 1995, Ayers co-founded a left-wing educational non-profit called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), which named Obama as chairman. On September 23, 2008, National Review journalist Stanley Kurtz completed a weeks-long examination of records of the Annenberg Challenge that found the following:

  • At CAC, Ayers and Obama worked as partners to impose Ayers’s radical educational concepts on Chicago’s public schools.
  • Instead of funding schools directly, CAC required schools to affiliate with “external partners,” far-left organizations that were selected based on their agreement with Ayers’s extreme educational views.
  • External partners that de-emphasized traditional education in favor of political consciousness, Afro-centricity and multiculturalism were awarded CAC funding, while groups that focused on achievement in math, science and American history were rejected.

Under Obama’s direction, CAC operated in a manner wholly consistent with Ayers’ concept that individual schools should be built around political themes that indoctrinate students with Ayers’ belief that America is an incurably oppressive nation that must be upended. In other words, Ayers and Obama used CAC to see that young future voters who attended Chicago’s public schools were taught to hate their country.

As recently reported by the Washington Free Bacon, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the same kind of anti-American, race-focused educational concepts that were pushed by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama, policies that turn classrooms into political indoctrination halls that push communist propaganda on impressionable young children who one day will have the power of the vote.

Related reading on how Democrats are using Critical Race Theory to culminate Obama’s vow to fundamentally transform the United States of America:

  • NYC public school principal calls on white parents to “subvert white authority.” Story here
  • Woke educators in Oregon seek to quash “racism in mathematics,” say searching for the right answer is a manifestation of “white supremacy.” Story here

America’s descent into mediocrity 

The Wall Street Journal recently published an eye-opening opinion piece titled “Mediocrity Is Now Mandatory.” Since not everyone subscribes to WSJ, the Andy Kessler article was posted on Facebook. Well worth reading, it describes how rapidly our deeply troubled country is sinking into the abyss of mediocrity due to political correctness, multiculturalism, white privilege, wokeness, critical race theory, Black Lives Matter, identity politics, cancel culture and other forms of victim vs. oppressor ideology. Please consider reading and sharing Kessler’s superb article.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

Fascistic Facebook Says It Will Fact Check Global Warming ‘Misinformation’

Climate Brownshirts imposing their “truth.” Tilt at windmills or you will be destroyed alongside reason and logic.

Ayn Rand presciently explained in  her 1971Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution:

“And just as peace was not their goal or motive in that crusade, so clean air is not their goal or motive in this one.

The immediate goal is obvious: the destruction of the remnants of capitalism in today’s mixed economy, and the establishment of a global dictatorship. This goal does not have to be inferred—many speeches and books on the subject state explicitly that the ecological crusade is a means to that end.”

Adolf Hitler on Nazism and Socialism:

“Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is Socialism—not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper . . . .“[T]he people about us are unaware of what is really happening to them. They gaze fascinated at one or two familiar superficialities, such as possessions and income and rank and other outworn conceptions. As long as these are kept intact, they are quite satisfied. But in the meantime they have entered a new relation; a powerful social force has caught them up. They themselves are changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.” – Adolf Hitler to Hermann Rauschning.

“Useless, land wasting, bird killing, subsidized, behemoths, and eyesores.“

Facebook Says It Will Fact Check Global Warming ‘Misinformation’

By: Lucas Nolan, Breitbart News, February 20, 2021:Tech giant Facebook recently stated it plans to start adding information labels to posts about global warming that direct people to a “climate change information hub.”  George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the University of Cambridge will all contribute to Facebook’s program of fact checking. NBC News reports that Facebook announced this week that it will begin debunking commonly myths about climate change, continuing to define what is and isn’t “misinformation,” something which the company previously claimed it would not do.

Facebook said that it is adding a section to its climate change information hub that will feature facts with information about misinformation and falsehoods relating to climate change. Some of these facts will include data about the decline of polar bear populations due to global warming as well as information about the effects of carbon dioxide on plant life.

Facebook stated that it plans to rely on professionals from George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the University of Cambridge to fact-check climate change posts.

Facebook recently introduced information hubs and has relied on them as part of its tactic to combat what it considers misinformation across its services. This is a quick change of pace considering CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments in May when he defended unrestricted speech on the platform and said he did not think that “Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth.”

Facebook introduced its climate change information hub in September, shortly after the firm removed a report with false claims that Oregon wildfires were started by Antifa members.

Facebook now plans to start adding information labels to posts about climate change that direct people to its climate change information hub

This hub will also be expanded to users in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan. The feature is already available in the U.S., UK, France, and Germany.

RELATED ARTICLE: John Kerry says Earth has 9 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis: “There’s no faking it on this one”

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

American K-12 science education gone bad

I don’t often write an article about someone else’s article but Shepard Barbash’s deeply researched piece “Science betrayed” deserves a wide readership. His subtitle says it all: “The propaganda infecting K12 science curricula, especially on the environment, wont go away.”

Barbash first looks at the history, then where we are today. The entrenchment of the great green message really got going in the 60’s and 70’s, to the point where it is now just business as usual in teacher education and the textbooks. No wonder millions are marching.

But now it is getting systematically much worse. The so-called Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) govern over a third of America’s K-12 public school students, with more on the way. State science standards say what will be taught in each grade. The conventional state standards have been relatively neutral when it comes to green propaganda, while the NGSS are full of it. They also don’t care much for scientific knowledge.

The article is full of great quotes. On the history side here is a good one from 1983:

For the moment at least, ecological doomsayers rule the cultural roost. Fire-and-brimstone logic is combined with fear-and-doomsday psychology in textbooks around the country. [The story] could be retold tens of thousands of times, about children in public and private schools, in high schools and at elementary levels, with conservative and with liberal teachers, in wealthy neighborhoods and in poor. A tidal wave of pessimism has swept across the country, leaving in its wake grief, despair, immobility, and paralysis. . . . Why should our students be misled?

That “moment” has lasted for almost 30 years and the doomsaying just gets worse with the onset of climate change hysteria.

Here is Barbash’s succinct summary: “This fear has suffused curricula since the 1970s with an ever-growing list of alarms: pesticides, smog, water pollution, forest fires, species extinction, overpopulation, famine, rain forest destruction, natural resource scarcity, ozone depletion, acid rain, and the great absorbing panic of our time: global warming.

These premises inform everything about environmental education: the standards of learning that states impose on school districts; the position statements from the associations of science teachers; the course work and texts in education schools; the training that educators receive throughout their careers; and the textbooks, lesson plans, field trips, and homework assigned in all grades.”

The NGSS really pile on the climate change hysteria. Here is how Barbash explains it:

The phrase climate change” appears in the document as a core idea” for middle and high school. The phenomenon is presented as fact, as are its supposed consequences—loss of biodiversity, species extinction, changing rainfall patterns, disruption of the global food supply, glacial ice loss, and mass migration due to rising sea levels. Nowhere do the standards say that both the nature of the phenomenon and its consequences are matters of pitched debate, or that rival theories to explain climate change exist—put forth not by flat-earthers or disbelieving parsons but by serious scientists.

In most conventional state standards, climate change is a minor topic taught in the high school Earth Science class, which is an elective that many students do not take. The NGSS make the climate scare a required topic in middle school, when most students are too young to question it. To date 19 states have adopted the alarmist NGSS.

Barbash says the Feds are also very active in pushing green climate propaganda:

At least 15 federal or federally funded websites offer free teaching materials about climate change and its dangers. The entities include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Global Change Research Program. The sites offer thousands of resources, including lesson plans, games, and videos for all grades. No website funded by government or universities or K12 education groups is devoted to teaching about the scientific debate.”

How the NGSS teaches science in general also gets a good look:

The Next Generation Science Standards are so convoluted that it is hard to imagine how they would help anybody teach any science at all, much less a fast-changing, contested science like climatology. Many concepts are too generic. Heres one for third through fifth grade: Peoples needs and wants change over time, as do their demands for new and improved technologies.” Many performance expectations are unclear. Heres one for kindergartners: Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.” What kind of data will a five-year-old analyze? Other standards pack too much science into one statement, often without sufficient instruction from earlier grades. This one for high school would challenge a graduate student: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.”

I too think the NGSS are a big step backward when it comes to teaching science. In many places they replace the detailed scientific knowledge called for in the state standards they replace with hopelessly vague concepts.

Even worse, these vague concepts are embedded in a 3-D matrix. In addition to substituting abstract concepts for scientific knowledge, the NGSS have a three dimensional structure. They do not realize that if each dimension has just 20 concepts there are 8,000 combinations. If 100 concepts each then 1,000,000 combos.

Thus the NGSS are a prescription for confusion. In fact I think they are having trouble with the testing. In the NGSS case there should be national or international test scores becoming available at the state level, so we can see how well or badly the teaching under these strange new standards is doing.

In short the green propaganda in K-12 science education has been a growing problem for decades. But now under the Next Generation Science Standards it is quickly getting a lot worse. There is much more on this green wave in Barbash’s article so I recommend it highly.

American science education is transitioning and not in a good way.

*****

This article first appeared on February 16, 2021, at CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and is republished with permission. 

Left Spins as Texas Turbines Freeze

Green energy policies have failed Texas. Power outages, in large part caused by frozen wind turbines and snow covered solar panels, are still keeping nearly 500,000 Lone Star residents freezing in the dark. Now, Big Green and the wind and solar industries are in non-stop spin-mode, trying to drum up an alternative narrative to shift the blame from their failed policies.

As The Wall Street Journal reports:

“While millions of Texans remain without power for a third day, the wind industry and its advocates are spinning a fable that gas, coal and nuclear plants—not their frozen turbines—are to blame.

After imperiling the grid with their wind turbines and solar panels, Big Green is gleefully distributing talking points to the press about natural gas plants failing to keep up with demand.”

Holman Jenkins tells us why in another article at the WSJ:

“Thanks to the Clean Air Act, pipeline compressors run on electricity now rather than natural gas. So blackouts meant to conserve electricity can actually reduce it, by knocking gas-burning generators offline.

Tracing energy problems to their source always leads back to bad Green policy.

Yesterday we were all slapped in the face by some very sad news.

CFACT mourns the passing of Rush Limbaugh who was as much a voice of reason on climate and energy as he was on so many issues where freedom was on the line.

As Peter Murphy writes at CFACT.org:

Rush Limbaugh had a connection to CFACT, which was one of his go-to places for environment and energy issues; in particular, Climate Depot, which he viewed as his favorite source of climate change information other than himself. (That was another part of his humor, his braggart act, which was always meant as lighthearted.)

In the early 1990’s, Marc Morano, before he became CFACT’s Director of Communications, was Rush Limbaugh’s “Man in Washington,” as he described. Admittedly, Rush also once said he never liked the word “Committee” as part of CFACT’s name.

Texans shiver in the dark as Green energy fails.

RELATED ARTICLE: Climate Lockdowns to Break Us into a New Peasant Class

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

JUST RELEASED: Hot Talk, Cold Science

If you’re in need of a bit of distraction from your television and screen, we have the perfect thing! This book, written by the late, great Dr. S. Fred Singer is exactly what we all need right now. No #fakenews here, just the straight climate facts.

Updated for 2021, by David R. Legates and Anthony R. Lupo, Hot Talk, Cold Scienceis an essential, clear-headed book of scope and substance that no one who claims to value science, the environment, and human well-being can afford to ignore.

Singer’s masterful analysis decisively shows that the pessimistic, and often alarming, global-warming scenarios depicted in the media have no scientific basis. In fact, he finds that many aspects of increased levels of CO2, as well as any modest warming, such as a longer growing seasons for food and a reduced need to use fossil fuels for heating, would have a highly positive impact on the human race.


CLICK HERE TO GET ‘HOT TALK, COLD SCIENCE’ NOW!


EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Something Evil This Way Comes

Last night Tucker Carlson did a fine segment on the stupidity of wind.

Make SURE that you watch the short video in the article, which is superb!

My only beef is that Tucker repeatedly called industrial wind projects “wind farms.” There is nothing being farmed, other than subsidies. The lobbyists purposefully coined the phrase “wind farm” to deceive non-aware citizens into thinking an industrial wind project is pastoral and environmentally benign.

Both are false, as industrial wind projects are environmentally destructive. (E.g. see here.)

They are also typically a net economic liability to host communities. (E.g. see here.)

Further, industrial wind facilities are a net burden on the electric grid — the backbone of our modern society (and the Texas situation is one of numerous examples).

Stunningly, this is actually a desirable consequence for those pushing wind, as their real objective is to undermine our way of life. (E.g. carefully read Bill McKibben, the journalist — not scientist — who is the leader of the environmental movement.)

Lastly, there is zero genuine scientific proof that wind turbines are of any consequential benefit regarding climate change. In fact there is substantial evidence that they are a climate detriment! (E.g. see here.)

Please get educated about energy realities, as this is just a small part of the enormous devastation that will result from Green New Deal type policies. Please pass this onto your social contacts.

©John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Texas Freeze Shuts Down ‘Renewable’ Power

Texas is experiencing a serious deep freeze which is causing people to lose power.

Texas investors larded their state with solar panels and wind turbines to rake in federal subsidies and tax credits.  Wind and solar are not only inefficient, a cold snap can shut them down all together.

CFACT’s Marc Morano discussed the Texas freeze with Tucker Carlson on Fox News last night:

“Warren Buffett famously said years ago that there’s no reason to build windmills without the tax breaks and without the subsidies… the same thing’s happening in Germany by the way right now Tucker. Their solar panels are covered in snow and Germans are freezing through winter much the way Texans are.  Who would have thought this would have happened in Texas?  But this is what we’re dealing with. And Biden now wants to nationalize this plan of the less than four percent that comes from solar and wind and make it our chief go-to energy source.”

After generations of striving, America at last achieved energy independence.  Forcing America to abandon efficient energy sources such as natural gas and nuclear power and pushing them instead to wind and solar which can’t deliver is a tragic mistake.

As Marc told Tucker Carlson:

“We were in a position where we weren’t just independent, we were dominant. We had our own domestic energy. So the Green New Deal is going to swap that for a reliance on solar and wind and electric cars which, by the way, are going to be using rare earth minerals from China — 90% of which dominates things like cobalt copper, nickel. And we’re going to now be reliant on China for these rare earth minerals to make these unreliable solar and wind power batteries!  So the Green New Deal is lose, lose, lose all the way.  We’re seeing it unfold in Texas like we’ve seen it unfold in California.”

Europe and Australia have already proven that forcing people to subsidize wind and solar energy raises prices for consumers while making energy grids unreliable.

It only took a little cold and snow to show that you can’t depend on them in Texas either.

Relying on wind and solar to power the grid is always a mistake.   Don’t count on the Biden Administration figuring that out.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Green Energy Leaves America Out in the Cold in More Ways Than One

February gave Texas the cold shoulder this weekend as an extreme winter storm pounded the entire state. As of this morning, power had not been restored to more than 4 million Texans. Hundreds of thousands have also lost water after the water treatment plants in Fort Worth, Abilene, and elsewhere suffered power outages. A handful of deaths from the cold have already been reported, although we may not know the true toll until the state digs itself out.

Prolonged power outages are always life-threatening for the sick and elderly, but are made worse by freezing temperatures. In subtropical Houston, temperatures dipped into the teens, while temperatures around Dallas plunged toward zero this morning. Residents have reported temperatures inside their homes are in the 30s and 40s, and they still have no power.

Economically speaking, the catastrophe was caused because power demand peaked as power production plummeted. But what role did lack of preparation and an over-reliance on so-called green energy play? The state had planned to implement 45-minute, rolling blackouts — because those always work so well for California — but was forced instead to cut power to entire regions for extended periods. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, responsible for running the state’s power grid, reported 30,000 megawatts of power generation went offline. For context, they also reported that nearly 70,000 megawatts of power was demanded, a new winter record.

If you believe NPR, most of the outages are at “facilities run by gas, coal or nuclear energy,” a narrative they’ve repeated over and over. Those reports are “false,” according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation. They pointed out gas, coal, or nuclear power plants work just fine in parts of the world much colder than Texas. The real problem, they said, is the state’s reliance on nearly 20,000 megawatts of wind and solar power. Wind power generation bottomed out at 2 percent, creating a system failure that knocked other plants offline, too.

It turns out green energy performs poorly in white-out conditions. This should come as no surprise. National Review’s John Fund pointed out that winter storms freeze wind turbines, and snow blankets disable solar panels. The Center for the American Experiment calculated that, during freezing conditions, wind turbines are a net loss of power because even when they are unable to produce power, they have to consume it to run electric heaters to keep the oil in their housing from freezing.

The lesson here is that green energy production is least available when it is needed most. Even if, by some miracle, America achieves 100 percent renewable energy production, we will need gas, coal, and nuclear-generated power as a backup for when wind and solar generation inevitably goes offline. Advocates believe that renewable energy can be stored in batteries to be used when needed, but the Texas Public Policy Foundation said batteries are an “impractical and expensive” solution. In Texas alone, they estimate the state would need more than 1,000 times its current battery capacity.

While Americans slowly freeze in their homes, President Biden in his first month in office has already aggressively restricted the fossil fuels that could keep them warm. He has revoked the Keystone Pipeline permit, restricted drilling offshore and in Alaska, and closed public lands to fracking. All this is done with an eye towards expanding green energy production. In fact, White House climate czar John Kerry inanely suggested pipeline workers who lost their jobs could make solar panels. But when energy matters most, renewables just can’t cut it. Americans will be forced to rely on foreign dictators to export the oil that will heat their homes. This is simply unacceptable. There is little chance that Americans will warm up to President Biden’s environmental policies.

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Progressive Eco-Group: Renewable Energy is a Hoax

Independent physicist John Droz alerted me to the website of Deep Green Resistance (DGR), an international environmental organization that calls for the total destruction of what it refers to as the “global industrial economy,” a.k.a. capitalism. Given the group’s progressive credentials, its call for dismantling capitalism throughout the world is not surprising.

What is surprising is that in an unusual show of progressive candor, Deep Green Resistance openly acknowledges what skeptical scientists have been saying for more than two decades: that renewable energy is a government-backed hoax that enriches big corporations and green energy investors at the expense of taxpayers and the environment. If you find that admission hard to believe, please keep reading.  The questions and answers below were copied from the organization’s website.

Will green technology save the planet?

No. Wind turbines, solar PV panels, and the grid itself are all manufactured using cheap energy from fossil fuels. When fossil fuel costs begin to rise such highly manufactured items will simply cease to be feasible.

Solar panels and wind turbines aren’t made out of nothing. They are made out of metals, plastics, and chemicals. These products have been mined out of the ground, transported, processed, manufactured. Each stage leaves behind a trail of devastation: habitat destruction, water contamination, colonization, toxic waste, slave labor, greenhouse gas emissions, wars, and corporate profits. [Author’s note: The devastation can be seen in this 3-min. clip from Michael Moore’s renewable energy documentary “Planet of the Humans.”]

The basic ingredients for renewables are the same materials that are ubiquitous in industrial products, like cement and aluminum. No one is going to make cement in any quantity without using the energy of fossil fuels. And aluminum? The mining itself is a destructive and toxic nightmare from which riparian communities will not awaken in anything but geologic time.

From beginning to end, so called “renewable energy” and other “green technologies” lead to the destruction of the planet. These technologies are rooted in the same industrial extraction and production processes that have rampaged across the world for the last 150 years.

We are not concerned with slightly reducing the harm caused by industrial civilization; we are interested in stopping that harm completely. Doing so will require dismantling the global industrial economy, which will render impossible the creation of these technologies.

Will renewable energy save the economy?

Renewable energy technologies rely heavily on government subsidies, taken from taxpayers and given directly to large corporations like General Electric, BP, Samsung, and Mitsubishi. While the scheme pads their bottom lines, it doesn’t help the rest of us.

Further, this is the wrong question to ask. The industrial capitalist economy is dispossessing and impoverishing billions of humans and killing the living world. Renewable energy depends on centralized capital and power imbalance. We don’t benefit from saving that system.

Instead of advocating for more industrial technology, we need to move to local economies based on community decision-making and what our local landbases can provide sustainably. And we need is to stop the global economy on which renewable energy depends.

“Stopping the global economy” means destroying the capitalist system that created here in America the most widespread prosperity the world has ever known. That a progressive eco-group would admit that the true agenda behind the push for renewable energy has nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with destroying capitalism is quite remarkable. To reinforce its position that renewable energy is a hoax, DGR’s website has a cartoon that shows dollar bills being sucked from a wind turbine directly into the pocket of a fat cat investor in subsidized green energy projects.

The Elmer Gantry of renewable energy

Few insiders have profited more from taxpayer-backed renewable energy projects than Al Gore. When he left the vice presidency in 2001, his net worth was estimated at $1 million to $2 million. Since then, his wealth has skyrocketed to $300 million, and if the climate change legislation he advocates is enacted, the former vice president stands to become a billionaire. Much of his enviable fortune has come from being an inside investor in government-backed renewable energy projects, many of which went belly up after the insiders made off with millions, leaving hard-working U.S. taxpayers stuck with the bill.

Like all wealthy eco-preachers, the Elmer Gantry of renewable energy uses his immense wealth to indulge in lavish living. When asked by Rep. Marsha Blackburn during his 2009 testimony before Congress whether he personally profits from his advocacy of global warming, Pastor Al professed a vow of poverty, and if you’ve never seen video of the tense encounter, you don’t want to miss it: “Every penny I have made I have put into a non-profit deal, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge. And Congresswoman, if you believe the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is out of greed, you do not know me.”

Turned out Rep. Blackburn knows him quite will. As greedy owner of a gargantuan green energy fortune, Pastor Al looked her squarely in the eye and denied making even a penny of profit. If every penny he makes goes into a non-profit deal, how did he end up with $300 million? The same way his alter ego pilfered money from the Lord: by concealing his true stripes.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Another Expensive Solar Scheme Bites the Dust

Wind Turbines Don’t Even Last 20 Years

Editors Note:  As some at the Arizona Corporation Commission want to take us down the “green” rat hole of subsidies and expensive electricity, we need to learn what has happened in other states, in this case, Minnesota. 

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), wind turbines are supposed to have a useful lifetime of 20 years, but real-life evidence shows that wind turbines don’t even last this long before they are torn down and repowered so wind companies can soak up more of your tax dollars. This is why Xcel Energy is spending $750 million on repowering wind projects built between 2008 and 2015.

It’s All About the Subsidies, Baby!

Thanks to a subsidy that has been “temporary” since 1992, wind turbines receive a federal tax credit of $24 for every megawatt-hour (MWh) generated. The most recent extension of these “temporary” tax credits locks in wind developments at 60 percent of the original subsidy, or $18 per MWh, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Wind turbines don’t receive this tax subsidy for their entire lives, however. The subsidy expires after the first ten years of a project’s life. Unsurprisingly, a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs shows the average age of repowered turbines was 11 years, meaning electric companies are spending millions of dollars to help themselves to more of your tax dollars and increase electricity prices at the same time.

The shorter lifetime of wind turbines may help pad Xcel Energy’s government-guaranteed profits,  but this is bad news for ratepayers because it means electricity generated from wind turbines is much more expensive than advertised.

How Shorter Lifespans Affect the Levelized Cost of Energy

The cost of generating electricity is often expressed using a metric called the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), which attempts to figure out the cost of each energy source per unit of electricity generated. In simpler terms, it is like comparing the cost of driving different cars for each mile driven, taking things into account like up-front cost, gas mileage, and the cost of fuel. The more miles you drive, the lower the cost per mile.

If wind turbines are only operating for half of their original, useful lifetimes, it means they are generating fewer units of electricity, which makes the LCOE of wind much higher than advertised. We can see this in action in the example below.  For this example, I use Region 3 MISW assumptions for capital costs and fixed operational and maintenance costs from Table 3 of the 2021 Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook.

If a wind facility operates for 11 years instead of 20 years, the cost of electricity from the facility increases by $14.01, from $37.57 per MWh to $51.58 per MWh. This represents a 37 percent increase in the cost of wind energy, and it means that new wind is far more expensive than continuing to operate Minnesota’s existing coal, nuclear, and natural gas facilities.

Conclusions

The wind industry is kept afloat by infusions of your money. These infusions come in the form of higher taxes to pay for federal subsidies and the higher electricity prices you pay each month. The fact that Xcel Energy is repowering wind facilities that are less than 10 years old is all the evidence you need to conclude that wind turbines are not the future of energy. Instead of squandering more money on the wind, we should be looking to keep our existing power plants open as long as possible while looking toward a future powered by nuclear, hydro, and carbon capture resources.

*****

This article first appeared on February 10, 2021 at The Center of the American Experiment.