Who is looking out for Nevada’s best interests, Harry Reid or …

Let’s compare and contrast.

In response to a Review-Journal editorial, Sen. Harry Reid has had someone on this staff pen an op-ed piece singing the praises of renewable energy projects and their economic benefits to the state of Nevada.

What I recommend is that you read the Reid piece and compare it to my column in The Ely Times this past week and the Nevada Policy Research Institute report that was posted online the opening day of Reid’s “green” energy confab at the Bellagio and that R-J editorial.

How many permanent jobs did these panels create?

Twice Reid boasts that Nevada has collected more than $248 million in tax revenue from clean energy projects. But he fails to mention that several of the 44 individual clean energy projects currently contracted with or in talks with NV Energy have received far more than that in grants, loan guarantees and tax credits. The parent company of a Tonopah solar power project alone received $737 million in federal loans.

For the taxpayer that is like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another.

To explain this in a more macroeconomic sense, my column quotes a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by economist Arthur Laffer. “For every additional government dollar spent there is an additional private dollar taken. All the stimulus to the spending recipients is matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis every minute of every day by a depressant placed on the people who pay for these transfers,” Laffer writes. “Or as a student of the dismal science might say, the total income effects of additional government spending always sum to zero.”

Actually, as Laffer later demonstrates in the same column, the sum is usually less than zero and reduces GDP.

Reid dismissed the previous R-J editorial, as well as calling the NPRI report as “a flawed study by a Nevada conservative think tank about the economic benefits to renewable energy development” without bothering to even try to rebut a single fact. He merely pontificates, “This editorial and the study do not serve Nevada’s best interests.”

While finding room to brag about a quarter of a million in tax revenue for the state and claim that “green energy” has created 3,500 jobs, if you include temporary construction jobs, Reid says nothing about NPRI’s calculations that found just 12 of those 44 renewable energy projects, those nearest to completion apparently, had received $1.3 billion in federal funds since 2009 alone and are projected to create only 288 permanent, full-time jobs — or $4.6 million per job.

Even if one were to throw in all the construction jobs, which may include projects in addition to the 12 studied by NPRI, that’s still nearly $400,000 per job, most of which have disappeared or will soon.

Neither does Reid mention that studies have found that “green” energy jobs kill other jobs. One study estimated that a wind project in Scotland destroyed 3.7 jobs for every one created. A Spanish economist estimated that for every “green job” created by wind and solar the rest of Spain’s economy lost 2.2 jobs.

While Reid mentions “the lowest-cost mix of renewable energy resources” being made available by a $550 million transmission line connecting northern and southern Nevada, he makes no mention of the fact that the lowest-cost renewable energy is still two to four times as expensive as power generated by gas- or coal-fired power plants.

The higher cost of power will drive up power bills and force households and businesses to cut expenses elsewhere, which inexorably leads to fewer jobs.

Like he did at his “green energy” conference Reid throws out a lot of numbers but fails to do the math. For example, at the so-called clean energy summit Reid bragged that solar panels on Nellis Air Force Base save the Air Force $1 million per year. He neglected to say the panels cost $100 million and will last no more than 30 years.

So, read the senator’s piece, read my column, read NPRI’s account and read the R-J editorial and tell me who is serving Nevada’s best interests.

11 comments on “Who is looking out for Nevada’s best interests, Harry Reid or …

  1. Steve says:

    I’ve read all but the lies, spin and omissions from Reid.
    Forgive me for seeming prejudicial but with Reid there exists a plethora of precedent.

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    Harry Reid is looking out for himself and his interests. The LVRJ published this crap which should give us an idea where they are going under new management. There should have been a caveat, “if you think your electric bill this month was huge/bad, wait until there’s more reliance on stupid solar and wind projects”. Harry and his gang will say it’s the price of progress and they, with the help of Chinese firms, are saving the world. As if freaking if!

  3. No, R-J is right to print all sides. I sure would have and did.


  4. Vernon Clayson says:

    I’ve read or heard that one should always question perception, thus my opinion/opinions. I understand your answer but still think there should be a caveat that the reader should consider the veracity of the comment and the reasoning behind the author’s writing. Whatever it is it sounds more pleading for understanding than Harry Reid’s earlier and usual demands.

  5. […] only is Harry Reid determined to kill jobs in Nevada by replacing them with overpriced, underperforming “green” energy power plants, he is now […]

  6. […] every job created by “green” energy projects, two to four jobs in the rest of the economy are […]

  7. […] jobs don’t improve the economy, they cripple it by draining private capital from real, productive jobs due to higher electric power costs and higher […]

  8. […] jobs don’t improve the economy, they cripple it by draining private capital from real, productive jobs due to higher electric power costs and higher taxes. That the United […]

  9. […] does Harry mention that “green” energy projects kill jobs by sucking money out of the private sector. Nor does he say anything about all the campaign […]

  10. […] last year’s “green” summit, Reid bragged that solar panels on Nellis Air Force Base save the Air Force $1 million per year. He neglected to […]

  11. […] course, he did not bother to note that historically for every renewable energy job created two to four jobs are destroyed because of the high cost of renewable power. Also, every dollar “invested” in renewable […]

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