Renewabubble and Republicans - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Renewabubble and Republicans

WSJ has a good lead edit today trying to draw the Republicans’ attention to an economically treacherous “other way to skin that cat” of Obama’s energy scarcity agenda. And I reach that conclusion not merely because it cites me while tidily summarizing Chapter 6, “Green Eggs and Scam”, of Power Grab. But I suppose that plays a factor in my thinking.

UPDATE: I received this from a well-informed occasional correspondent in response to the WSJ piece:

“Let me see if I have this right:

  • Wind just got a 1-year extension to a $3 billion grant in the tax cut deal, and “clean energy” got more than $30 billion in the 2009 stimulus ($475,000 for every job generated), in addition to the renewable energy quotas they get from state governments.  O&G, by comparison, gets $2.8 billion in targeted tax incentives, and their customers pay excise taxes (like an average 45.6 cents per gallon federal+state excise tax on gasoline).
  • And yet new wind installations are down 72% from last year.  And this while the government was doing everything it could to stand in the way of coal, natural gas and offshore oil production!

Wind’s own lobbyists really are the most damning source: by acknowledging how much they depend on government protection, they’re making it obvious just how far from self-sufficiency they are.  They whine they’ll lose a quarter of their small workforce if they don’t get a tax credit extended; they warn that their industry would “stall out” without a renewable energy quota.  Basically, their argument for political support depends on the fact that wind requires way more people to produce every unit of electricity.  In other words: ‘We’re inefficient.  You need us!'”

CCH: That’s right. In fact, one delightful item that didn’t make the cut for I suppose space considerations was an example of self-mockery, of the renewables lobby and their mouthpieces making this precise argument. To wit, here is an utterly clueless press release, and some commentary on the ostentatious economic illiteracy. As I write in Power Grab:

Leading greens even go so far as to claim that the pittance generated by “green” energy today already requires more workers than does the key contributor, coal. But, as is generally the case with these claims, this one is balderdash, and as the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Jr. notes, it is lucky for them that it is. Were it true, it would be an admission of their spectacular expense and inefficiency.

Pielke and the Christian Science Monitor both noted, if in their own way, that such a claim of more renewable workers than coal workers, if true, would simply prove too much by showing a need for many more workers to produce a kilowatt of “renewable” energy than one from coal. Which is another way of saying it’s much more expensive.

An amusing, related claim was that made by five Democrat senators boasting of their pet projects’ inefficiency, naturally in the context of calling for more taxpayer subsidies. Signed by Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Michael Bennet of Colorado, RonWyden of Oregon, and Kirsten Gillibrand of NewYork, trade-outlet Greenwire writes how the letter “highlights that solar technology ‘creates more jobs per megawatt of energy produced than any other form of energy.'” Good heavens, and you want me to pay for that? How about instead we sprint in the other direction as its supporters cannot help but tell you that it is the most labor-intensive, inefficient source around. (citations omitted)

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