Don’t you sometimes get the feeling all levels of government are little more than a shell game in which the pea is always in someone’s pocket. You lay down your bet, as the grifter lays down an incessant prattle, but you never pick up any winnings.
Only in this game, they won’t let you walk away, and they keep insisting you are winning.
Take the city of Las Vegas’ new deal with NV Energy in which the city claims it will be operating on 100 percent renewable energy at no additional cost. They announced the deal at a press conference recently at which there were more people doing the announcing than there were members of the press.
The mayor and other highly-paid city officials as well as the well-compensated head of NV Energy declared that a new three-year contract would free the city of ever using a single electron of fossil fuel-tainted power again. The city would be powered around-the-clock by a 100-megawatt solar photo-voltaic power plant farm near Boulder City, though the explanation for how they are going to keep the street lights on at night was shuffled away under a shell.
All this would save the planet and save the taxpayers money, the officials boasted as they shuffled to the podium.
You see that extra quarter of a million dollars a year in payments to NV Energy under this contract would be offset by savings due to energy efficiency and other green goblins such as retrofits. No one ever did say what the capital costs of those savings are or what the maintenance costs are or the return on investment over the life of the green goodies.
The city’s chief sustainability officer — yes, that is what the mayor called him, as well as the city’s green guru — bragged about getting $9 million to $10 million in rebates and millions more in grants for the city’s renewable energy scams, as though that money was picked from the magic money tree out back instead from the pockets of taxpayers and ratepayers. According to Transparent Nevada, the chief sustainability officer is paid more than a quarter of million dollars a year in pay and benefits to come up with these “savings.”
(It reminds me of all the times Harry Reid bragged about the solar panels at Nellis Air Force Base saving $1 million year, without ever mentioning the array cost $100 million and would last only 20 or 30 years, at most.)
The NV Energy guy bragged about the company paying less than 5 cents a kilowatt-hour for the solar power it would be selling to the city, without mentioning that the SunPower Corp. had to contract with a buyer before the federal investment tax credit for solar power drops from 30 percent to 10 percent. More pickings from the money tree.
They never did say what the city would be paying per kilowatt-hour, though the sustainability guy said the contract was for 43 million kWh annually and the newspaper said the contract was for $20 million a year, which works out to 46.5 cents a kWh, which would be four times the residential retail rate for power and makes no sense at all. So, I don’t what the city is paying and whether it is a good deal or not to go green.
It all seems like a bit of sleight of hand that we are supposed to believe is magic.
Pay no attention to the fact that in order to save the planet, as they hope to do in Paris in a couple of days, it will cost the global economy $1 trillion a year while preventing a total temperature rise by 2100 of only 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit.