It doesn’t get any more blatant than this.
I’ve already mentioned that Senate Bill 252 — immaculately conceived in the Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy in Carson City without traceable parentage — would jack up the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to one of the highest in the nation, from 25 percent by 2025 to 35 percent, but it also would change the rules of the game in the seventh inning.
The bill would amend NRS 704 to delete 33 mentions of energy “efficiency” — reducing energy consumption — as a means of complying with the legislatively mandated RPS.
The cleanest kilowatt of electricity is the one never used. Yet SB252 would eliminate this as a means for reducing carbon output.
Actually, the bill never states just what its purpose is. Nowhere does it mention greenhouse gases, carbon output, climate change or global warming. It simply demands more electricity must come from renewable sources. No explanation nor rationale offered, just do it by damn.
Not only does it eliminate “efficiency” as a means of meeting the RPS, it changes the rules for NV Energy’s compliance. Under current law, the power company can carry over to the next year any excess kilowatt-hours in renewables. For example, under current law, NV Energy is required during the calendar year 2013 to obtain 18 percent of its power from so-called “green” energy sources. If it obtained 20 percent from renewables, it could use the extra 2 percent to comply with the RPS in 2014 and beyond.
But SB252 changes that to allow only 10 percent of any excess to the carried over. So, any savings ratepayers might’ve accrued are defenestrated.
The bill also ratchets up the percentage of renewables such that in 2014 the RPS goes from 18 to 21 percent, and in 2015 from 20 to 24 percent, and so on through 2025, when the requirement reaches 35 percent.
Never mind that renewables that would have to be built now to comply with these requirements cost four times as much as power from natural gas-fired turbines, which is the cleanest fossil-fuel currently available and its price is declining as shale gas production increases. Also, pay no heed to the fact wind and solar must have gas- or coal-fired plants idling on standby for when a cloud passes over or the wind speed drops below 12 mph.
By the time one calculates the greenhouse gases released in production and construction of wind and solar, plus the output of idling fossil-fuel plants, the “green” production is dirtier than the fossil-fuel sources.
So, what’s the point?
Obviously, it is to require more renewable power plants to be built and the cost and impact on global warming be damned. You see, renewable energy companies are prolific campaign contributors to Democrats.
But the state’s news media have ignored this odorous piece of legislation. The only reference I can find is a brief story in the Las Vegas Sun quoting state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy, which sponsored SB252, as saying, “We are not going to consider anything to drive up the cost to the consumer.”
If that were the case, SB252 would have been dead on arrival. Now it will take pitchforks and torches to kill this monster, but someone will have to awaken the peasants to the threat. Don’t count on the slumbering news media.