They want to give your money to their renewable energy buddies

Once Crescent Dunes Solar project near Tonopah is complete, it has a contract to sell power to NV Energy for 13.5 cents per kWh. Gas-fired plants can produced electricity for about 3 cents per kWh.

Once Crescent Dunes Solar project near Tonopah is complete, it has a contract to sell power to NV Energy for 13.5 cents per kWh. Gas-fired plants can produce electricity for about 3 cents per kWh.

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.

24 comments on “They want to give your money to their renewable energy buddies

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    I’d like to give THEIR money to my buddies!

  2. It doesn’t work that way, Bruce.


  3. Steve says:

    Keep in mind I think the molten salt system has a real chance of success and as usual early efforts always come with high costs. But this one could be good because it does not shut down on no sun days it only lowers the heat source some. But it actually stores enough molten salt to continue operating for quite some time (at least overnight) with zero sunlight. PV and wind are inefficient to the extreme and every one of those monsters should be halted DOA.

    That said:
    With this bill:
    They TAKE our money and give it to RPS power companies who then contribute to Democrats. Democrats then up the requirements (possibly in hopes of, snark) creating more money for campaign contributions… Public unions better watch out, politicians may have found a more reliable source of money….with no large group of troublesome middle men who could vote it down.

  4. Rincon says:

    Since most or all of you have previously supported the right of corporations to make unlimited campaign contributions, I assume that you have objections only to the behavior of the politicians, not the contributions. Can’t be surprised that they respond to the money though.

    A reasonable carbon tax stipulating the elimination of all subsidies would have been a decent solution to this problem. Unfortunately, Conservatives are dead set against any form of compromise, so their foes will wrap themselves in a green flag while continuing to pass complex bits of legislation designed to keep their constituents confused. As Thomas said, the shame is that they don’t encourage energy conservation at all. That’s where a carbon tax would be the most effective. Oh well, it seems to work well for them…and the money will keep flowing.

  5. There is no demonstrable proof that cutting carbon output has any effect whatsoever on the temperature of the planet.


  6. Steve says:

    “Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there’s little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you’re liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn’t such a threat, who needs all that funding?”

    Pat Michaels. (Climatologist)

  7. Wendy Ellis says:

    I contacted Constituent Services at the LCB. They are very helpful, and advised me to contact Committee Manager, Barbara Kaminski, at the Sen. Cmte. on Commerce, Labor, and Energy:

    I am still digging to determine just who is responsible for this SB 252 monstrosity. I believe they are the usual suspects, however, and that the Governor’s Office (through his NSOE/NEITF), is the origin:
    Scroll down to the meeting of February 11, 2013. Click on the drop-down for “Exhibits.” This meeting was a joint one of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Energy AND the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor.
    Rose McKinney-James, of Energy Works, LLC wants to “school us” on the virtues of solar? No conflict of interest here, eh?

    Note that MINUTES are not available for this meeting. I will be calling Barbara Kaminski first thing in the morning.

  8. Boyd says:

    While molten salt does have attributes that make it preferable to PV I still object to its massive intrusion on the environment. But then, as this post illustrates, that is not its biggest problem. Left to the market this technology would never be attempted at this time. Any suggestion that it could be ultimately successful has to make the case that government “investment” does anything other than guess at what the market wants and spend ungodly sums of other peoples money to reward those who took no risk. That Harry and his buddies make a fortune making these risk free investments while the public eats the failures just shows the complete corruption of the system that today’s Progressive crony-capitalism has brought us.

  9. Rincon says:

    “no demonstrable proof that cutting carbon output has any effect whatsoever on the temperature of the planet”. If we always waited for demonstrable proof before acting, we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq. Hmmm….you might have something there! 🙂 Seriously though, the reason for a carbon tax is because it is better than the present alternative, which is a totally confusing set of tax breaks and subsidies for practically every industry in our nation.

    Politics these days is like a marriage gone sour. Both members of the couple are so convinced that theirs is the only way that they no longer listen to each other or compromise. A friend of mine, whose wife is pretty illogical, saved his marriage when he finally realized that the most important thing wasn’t who’s right, but making it work. I wish our politicians and bloggers were as wise as my friend.

  10. Steve says:

    Ah the “non confusing” carbon tax. This must be the tax that wont rot your brain, infect your soul or keep the allies from winning the (current) war.

    Carbon tax would not replace any existing taxes and some people actually think it would simplify things. If that weren’t so sad I would be laughing now.

    And you call my snark least my statement had roots in history and it worked back then.

  11. Wendy Ellis says:

    I just had a very nice conversation with Betty Kaminski. Betty is the Manager of the NV Sen. Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Energy, which “created” SB252. I expressed my frustration to Betty, about not being able to attach names to Bills which list the Committee as the sponsor. Obviously, the Committees don’t dream these things up out of thin air; someone had to have made the request…right? She sympathized, did a little digging, and called me back.

    SB252 (BDR 58-775) was requested by:

    NV Energy (Judy Stokey was the messenger)
    Rose McKinney-James (Energy Works, LLC)

    Cronyism at its most blatant.

  12. Wendy Ellis says:

    Oh, and Betty says that the minutes from the Feb. 11 Joint Meeting of Assembly Committee on Commerce & Labor, and Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Energy should be available soon. BUT, any meeting a person wants to listen to is available on CD. Order through the gift shop in Carson City.

    That meeting must have been a propaganda gala!

  13. Rincon says:

    Maybe you’re right, Steve. Taxes are so awful. Let’s just let the kids pay the debt.

  14. That is what Obama and Reid are doing now.


  15. Steve says:

    That is what federal spendaholics have been doing ever since I can remember. Keep on kickin’!

  16. Rincon says:

    If the politicians stop spending on their contributors’ pet causes, the campaign money would dry up. Can’t have that, can we? And of course, contributors don’t like compromises.

    Nevertheless, we’re nearly certain to leave the mess for the next generations – unless the house of cards falls apart first. We weren’t allergic to the spending, but many of us are allergic to paying for it.

  17. Wendy Ellis says:

    Rincon, you certainly do not speak for me, when you say, “We weren’t allergic to the spending.” Personally, I have been fighting against these bills, which benefit cronies for years. When you state that, “…many of us are allergic to paying for it,” certainly I, and many others are. But how easy it is for so many others to develop a resistance to this allergic reaction, when it comes to spending OTHER PEOPLE’s money.

    The popular idea of “taxing the rich,” which politicians and many Americans subscribe to, is completely subjective. Just how rich is “rich?” And who gets to determine this? Pretty much, they hypocrites who do whatever they can to avoid paying taxes, by setting up supposed “charitable” organizations and foundations. These are the people whose celebrity grants them the media coverage; whose concerts and appearances for which people spend money on tickets, expecting to be entertained. What happens then? These celebrities use the stage, to promote their political agenda to a captive audience.

    Do-gooders and Progressives are only too eager to speak up for what they deem essential and worthy causes. They support regulations and tax increases, as well as “programs” and public service advisories. You hear the advertisements on the radio…eat this, don’t do that, save energy, and lots of advice that most of us grew up hearing from our parents. For example, “Look both ways before you cross the street.” “Don’t stand there with the refrigerator door open!” “In or out? We aren’t paying to cool the outdoors!” Our tax dollars pay for that radio air time. Mostly by undermining the intelligence (and authority of) parents, and having little brats telling them what they ought to be doing—according to the departments of HHS,, “Let’s Move!” and the AD Council.

    I didn’t give permission for any entity, or the AD Council, to spend my money to spread propaganda over the airwaves. I smacked my kids on the butt when they did stupid things like step off the curb without first checking for oncoming traffic. There are some unnecessary risks in life, for which we should exercise our own common sense, and for which we are responsible.

    How many times have you seen pedestrians simply step off the curb, while texting on their cell phones, without even looking? They have been taught that they have the right of way because they happen to be in a crosswalk (or not). A lot of good this will do them in their daily lives, for pretty much anything they believe they are entitled to. For example: a car or truck whose driver simply did not see them. Sure, the pedestrian might have the right of way, but what good did it do them? Just as people who are taught all their lives, that they are entitled to free food, houses, transportation, cell phones…without having to exert themselves to obtain these things…react in protests and violent temper tantrums, when the government runs out of OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.

    Haven’t you developed an allergy yet, to footing the bill for these things? They have been promised by our elected representatives, and doled out by unelected bureaucrats. When you cast your ballot at election time, what were you expecting? Representation? High and mighty moral authority is exhibited by candidates to get your vote. But once they are elected, “compromise” is what they claim as a virtue. That, and “bipartisanship.”

    Gag me. It amounts to compromising YOUR principles, which they claimed to share. Sorry for taking up so much comment space about this. The Legislature is in session, and some things have really ticked me off.

    Rincon, if there are to be taxes, everyone should share the burden. Regarding Federal taxes, the Federal government has constitutionally defined responsibilities–and limitations on its power. It has overstepped its role, and YES, taxing us because it has spent more than it has, for more than it is supposed to be doing IS terrible. Expecting others to pay more for its bad decisions, is unconscionable.

  18. Rincon says:

    You’re right Wendy – at least some of it 🙂

    Many of us objected to the spending as it was occurring like you apparently did, but not Rush Limbaugh and other Conservatives, who hold Reagan as a hero even though the national debt nearly TRIPLED under his watch. The deficit nearly doubled under Bush. Clinton was the only recent President that saw an elimination of new debt, but he is vilified by Conservatives. Makes me think that Conservatives – or at least Republicans – are the big spenders.

    As for taxing the rich, I’m open to other ideas, but in the 1950’s and ’60’s, the rich were taxed at far higher rates than today. Since the early 1980’s, when we made their tax rates less than ours (I pay 28%; Romney and Buffet, etc., pay only 15%) , and according to Wikipedia, “A 2011 study by the CBO on the distribution of income in the US from 1979 to 2007 found that after federal taxes and income transfers, the top earning 1% of households gained about 275% and that the lower earning 80% had seen their share of total income in America reduced to less than half”.[5

    The top 20% have 85% of the wealth in this country, leaving 15% for the bottom 80%. So when do we act? When the bottom 80% have 10%? 5%? 0%?,_2007.jpg

    Wikipedia also has an article entitled “Income Inequality” I dare you to read it.

  19. Wendy Ellis says:

    Rincon, are you an “Occupier?” I have to ask your this. Oh, I’ll read the Income Inequality article, but Wikipedia is hardly Gospel. Bill Clinton was forced to modify his spending instincts because of the House and Senate. Congress was the only thing that held Clinton back on spending. I won’t go into the personal behavior, that Clinton refuse to control.

    George W. Bush spent too much, this is true. However, spending begins in the House of Representatives. Please, no whining about “income inequality.” How much of your own income are you willing to give to others who receive handouts, and don’t know any other way of life? Come on, pay your fair share, Rincon! And just how much would that be? Who gets to decide?

    Your statement that Romney and Buffett pay only 15% does not take into account that taxes are paid twice on some of their income. Here is why: You pay income taxes on money, which you then invest. If your investments earn money, you are taxed again. This story has been distorted, and I don’t want to hear about Mr. Buffett’s secretary.

    Here are some wonderful illustrations of logic, which should be apparent to anyone. Sometimes, it is easier to listen:

    And as for the hoax of human caused climate change:

    This is but one logical argument, and it is directly related to the topic of the original post.

    One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Thomas Sowell, from a collection of his essays, entitled, “Ever Wonder Why?”
    “Some people think the issue is whether the glass is half empty or half full. More fundamentally, the question is whether the glass started out empty or started out full.”

    The things you list, are based on a false premise: That there is only a limited amount of wealth, and that it’s “not fair” for some to possess more than others. The issue of income mobility is completely ignored. Here is an excerpt from the rest of the story about “Income Inequality”:
    You have the option of watching the full recording by clicking after the first couple of minutes.

    Good night

  20. Rincon says:

    Where do I start? First, I invite you to look at the budgets and which party controlled Congress. We’ve done that on this blog before and found that indeed, there was more spending when Republicans had control than the Democrats. If you find otherwise, I’ll be happy to look at the data again.

    If you don’t believe Wikipedia, I invite you to show me a better source. I consider Wikipedia to be reasonably accurate, since I rarely have anyone show them wrong. Think tanks and foundations on the other hand, have proven to be quite unreliable, probably because most have an ax to grind.

    When I say that 80% of the people in this country have lost a 50% share of the nation’s wealth, that’s not whining. That’s pointing out a fact that is likely to cause a great deal of unrest in the near future. Last time the wealth was this poorly distributed, Unions formed. This time, I fear that the voters will wield their massive power much to the detriment of the upper classes. 80% of the people own 15% of the wealth, down from 30%. The trend is clear and it’s happening fast. You never answered my question: If 15% is fine with you, then how do you feel about 10%, 5%, or zero?

    Saying Romney’s and Buffet’s money was already taxed shows that you aren’t prepared to think critically about the sometimes idiotic words of Conservative pundits. Think about it, Wendy. When I call a plumber and pay him with my previously taxed money, he then, is required to pay tax on the money I pay him. Almost ALL money has already been taxed. Saying that money earned a hundred years ago should continue to work tax free is ludicrous.

    As for the “false premise” that there is only a finite amount of money, I have never entertained that premise. As a matter of fact, the pie grew substantially from 1979 to 2007. Problem is, only a select few got any of it. A rising tide may lift all boats, but obviously, rising wealth doesn’t lift everyone. Poor metaphor.

    I’ll check out your videos later.

  21. Rincon says:

    I failed to stress that the money invested is not taxed twice. Only the profit gained is taxed – once. Perhaps you favor a labor tax over an income tax?

  22. Wendy Ellis says:

    Rincon, just admit you are a big lib. We have different principles upon which we base our opinions. Why should someone who inherits money, which their relative has already been taxed on, pay taxes for it? We live on different planets, you and I. I favor minimal taxes, used to pay for legitimate functions. But everyone should pay a percentage. There are people who pay zero taxes, but still receive a “tax credit” at tax time. Why should anyone be able to vote something like this for themselves?

    We live in a representative republic, not a pure democracy. Pure democracy is simply mob rule. Sure, rape is illegal. But does this make gang rape okay because “the majority ruled?” That came from Sowell or Williams. It doesn’t matter which, the logic is the same. We are wasting time arguing about this, and will never agree.

    I know that it is wrong to steal money and property from anyone, to benefit someone else. That is not giving. It is not charity. Whether done by a criminal on the street, or by government, it is theft. It is immoral to steal the identities of youngsters who cannot vote, or have not yet been born. You cannot win a logical argument on this point.

    I give to charitable causes and individuals by choice. And, it cuts out the bureaucratic middleman. You cannot say the same for free cell phones, welfare, crony “renewable energy” industries. Give it up, Rincon, I’m not going to discuss this with you anymore. I have tried to reason with you, but there is no reasoning with someone who just wants to pick a fight, and will never consider logic.

    Do you like the fact that Obama has promised even more money to 7th century barbarians in the middle east? They don’t like Obama or his policies, but they are happy to accept money from us. Who should pay for that? We certainly don’t have the money. And our government is not even willing to keep people from entering our country illegally. THAT is a legitimate function of the federal government. But they refuse to accept their responsibilities.
    Peace, dude. I’m done. We both know you will not watch the videos. How about you who like taxes visit:
    Anybody who wants to, can donate money directly, to reduce the national debt. Go ahead. Put your money where your mouth is. Share this site with your lib friends.

  23. Rincon says:

    If you’re “done”, then I’ll stop wasting time for both of us.

  24. […] example, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah is scheduled to come online this year. The solar thermal plant, which will generate power by using a massive array of mirrors […]

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