Editorial: Innovation is better solution for energy supply than regulation

Couric and Fiorina on Yahoo! News

The left never lets the facts get in the way of a good harangue or the profits of their cronies in the renewable energy business. The well-being of the citizens and communities be damned.

For example, in 2009, after a three-year battle with Sen. Harry Reid, NV Energy acquiesced to the senator’s pressure and canceled plans to build a $5 billion coal-fired power plant near Ely that would have created 1,600 jobs during construction and 200 permanent jobs upon completion.

Instead, the Ely area got a wind project whose German-made turbines promptly killed a few golden eagles as well as other birds and bats. The wind farm created about a dozen permanent jobs and sells power to NV Energy at about twice the price that the coal plant would have. That is, when it produces electricity.

The latest Energy Information Administration report said the plant produced power only 18.8 percent of the time.

Another company, with Reid’s blessing still plans to put up wind turbines in Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, now that Reid has moved to Henderson. The company recently got a two-year extension on its application.

The major rationale for the tax breaks and subsidies and cheap public land for wind and solar projects is that it will save the planet from global warming because carbon is a greenhouse gas — even though satellites have detected no global warming for more than two decades.

One Republican presidential candidate provided a refreshing alternative to the constant drumbeat by Reid and Obama about climate change.

In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo! News earlier this summer, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said,“So every one of the scientists that tell us climate change is real and being caused by manmade activity, also tell us that a single nation acting alone can make no difference at all. So when I see a state like California destroy lives and livelihoods with environmental regulation that will make no difference at all to climate change, when I see the Obama administration take that same regulation and apply it nationally, it will make no difference at all. And yet we are destroying people’s lives and livelihoods. I wonder why are we doing this? Why are we doing this when it won’t have any impact. So I think the answer to this problem is innovation not regulation.”

She could as easily have singled out Nevada, because the Silver State, like the Golden State, is awash in deals for solar and wind projects, including a renewable portfolio standard that requires a quarter of all power in the state to come from renewables by 2025.

Nevada opts for regulation, not innovation in clean-coal technology, despite the fact the U.S. has enough cheap coal to last 300 years.

“But I must say it angers me when liberals say I’m prepared for you to lose your job in the name of sending a signal, to whom?” Fiorina continued. “In fact China could care less. In fact China is delighted that we are not spending any time or energy figuring out clean coal because they’re going to go do it.

“We have to focus on how to make coal cleaner. Look, coal provides half the energy in this nation still, not to mention around the world. So to say we’re going to basically outlaw coal, which is what this administration has done, is so self-defeating. It destroys jobs. It destroys communities. It’s not helping us and it’s not helping global warming.”

She went on to say there is no perfect solution, noting that turbines kill birds and solar plants require huge amounts of water.

“I think it is, frankly, ridiculous for the Obama administration to call ISIS a strategic distraction and then go to say that climate change is the single most pressing national security issue of our time. That’s hyperbole,” the candidate reasoned. “I think a far more serious issue right now is the fact that our government is a vast, bloated, unaccountable, corrupt bureaucracy.”

Nevada is an early caucus state and there are a lot of candidates in both parties to evaluate.

We recommend you keep an eye on Fiorina, who everyone said won the so-called Happy Hour debate, because her energy policy is the polar opposite of Reid’s, which makes it right for Nevada.

A version of this editorial appeared this past week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel, the Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

20 comments on “Editorial: Innovation is better solution for energy supply than regulation

  1. Steve says:

    I liked how she sounded, calm and, in reality, “presidential” (if there really is such a thing)
    Wouldn’t it be fun to have a race with Clinton and Fiorina?
    I would call it angry vs calm!

    It might be even more fun if Sanders takes the Democrat nomination. A real choice between socialist tendencies vs capitalist leanings.

  2. nyp says:

    Except that just about everything she said was wrong.

    For example, she was completely wrong when she asserted that coal provides half the energy used by the U.S. In reality, coal provides only 20 percent of US energy.

  3. nyp says:

    No. You are wrong. According to the “Annual Energy Review” of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal is the source of 20% of U.S. primary energy consumption.


  4. That is total energy consumption not generating capacity. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

    as Steve already beat me.

  5. Steve says:

    And nyp conveniently uses old data.

  6. nyp says:

    That is correct. Coal is responsible for 20% of total energy consumption — just like I originally wrote. So when Ms. Fiorina says that “coal provides half the energy in this nation still” she is completely wrong.

    Of course, you and Steve are also correct that coal is responsible for approximately 40% of the electricity generated in the U.S. But Fiorina did not say that.

    BTW — her bit about how the Obama Administration is “outlawing coal”? Also completely wrong.

  7. Rincon says:

    As usual, you guys call foul on renewable energy subsidies, which is often appropriate, but are completely mute about the far larger subsidies enjoyed by fossil fuels. Conservatives seem to like everything old fashioned and cringe at anything new.

  8. Steve says:

    She said coal “provides” half the electricity used in this nation and the world.

    Parsing words is as bad as parsing statistics.

  9. Energy Source Subsidy per kwh
    Coal $0.0006
    Natural Gas and
    Petroleum Liquids $0.0006
    Nuclear $0.0031
    Renewables $0.0154
    Biomass Power $0.0020
    Geothermal $0.0125
    Hydroelectric $0.0008
    Solar $0.9680
    Wind $0.0525

    – See more at: http://environmentblog.ncpa.org/which-energy-source-receives-the-largest-subsidy/#sthash.Bn3SysB0.dpuf

  10. Nyp says:

    No, she didn’t. She didn’t say coal provided 1/2 the generated electricity; she said it provided 1/2 the electricity.

    “We have to focus on how to make coal cleaner. Look, coal provides half the energy in this nation ”

    My God, you are an idiot.

  11. Nyp says:

    My typo — she said it provided 1/2 the energy.

  12. Steve says:

    When comparing to solar, the discussion is about electricity, hence the energy referred (in context) is electricity.

    My gawd you’re an asshole.

  13. Patrick says:

    When will republicans learn that they ought not attack their best candidate? (It’s not this republican woman)

    But, as relates to Carly, how’s HP doing and I wonder what she did with her $21 million dollar severance package she got for running that once proud company into the ground?

    And finally, what the heck does does a salesperson marketer know about clean power?

  14. Nyp says:

    The word “electricity” does not occur once in the discussion leading up to her assertion that coal provides half of Americas’s energy. Not once.

  15. Rincon says:

    Thomas says the governmental subsidy for fossil fuel;s per kwh is tiny, but note where the information comes from: A conservative think tank. Why am I not surprised? Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Using the same technique, I find that the true cost for a barrel of oil is, get ready….$480.00! http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil-gas-crude/461
    I know we’re talking electricity, but according to my source, compared to gasoline, electric powered vehicles powered by renewable sources are dirt cheap, so we all need to convert ASAP. It’s amazing what you can find out if you just accept whatever source appeals to you.

    The real question to ask is why does the source Thomas used show the subsidy per kwh? Because the costs for renewables is mostly initial, while those for fossil fuels are ongoing. Did they calculate the subsidies per kwh over the projected life of the wind turbines and solar panels or just in dollars paid to date? Since it’s a think tank, I would assume dollars to date, although I can’t be sure. In addition, since fossil fuels supply way more electricity than renewables, they can mask the true size of the fossil fuels subsidies by calculating per kwh. It’s so easy to hide the truth – and fun too!

    The other real question is, why subsidize the fossil fuel industry at all? While there is a reasonable argument that a nascent industry is at an inherent disadvantage over one that has had 150 years to develop and so, may deserve short term subsidies to get its wings, there is absolutely no justification of any kind for subsidizing a behemoth like our fossil fuels industry, but in the conservative (fantasy) world, they consistently get a pass. Do you guys own Exxon stock?

    Projected life is interesting too. I just visited a friend who bought a used 30 year old solar panel for his RV and is expecting it to work for many more years. He’s an electrical engineer.. The projected life for solar panels is usually given as 20 years. If they actually last for thirty, then solar suddenly becomes more economical than fossil fuels. Has anyone studied the life expectancy of the solar panels and wind turbines from more than 20 years ago? 20 years is an awfully round number. Even if someone has though, we still wouldn’t learn much because back then, we didn’t subsidize renewables and so, have no reasonable track record. Creating that record for the future alone justifies reasonable subsidies for renewables. Lack of knowledge is usually far more costly than research.

  16. Steve says:

    Oh, so renewables are, in no way, all about electricity, nyp.

    get real, babe. Electricity everything to renewables. Electricity is hoped to replace fossil in every way. Electricity is THE energy of the future, the whole discussion is about electricity.

  17. nyp says:

    hey, weren’t President Obama’s policies supposed to lead to job-killing increases in the price of oil?

    What happened with that?

  18. Steve says:

    He didn’t get to implement the policies he wanted.

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