You have to discount everything that follows a Fox Butterfield-worthy opening line like this one from Harry Reid in today’s morning newspaper: “The Review-Journal editorial board espouses itself as a libertarian haven but its opinions have long been out-of-touch with the state it represents.”
Jame Taranto’s Wall Street Journal opinion piece called Best of the Web has made a practice of tweaking longtime New York Times reporter Butterfield for his non sequiturs, asking in a running feature: “Fox Butterfield, Is That You?”
Taranto notes that Butterfield wrote in 1997, “It has become a comforting story: for five straight years, crime has been falling, led by a drop in murder. So why is the number of inmates in prisons and jails around the nation still going up?” — mistaking a cause-and-effect as a paradox.
After that head-scratcher of an opening line, Reid goes on to berate the paper’s editorial stances that question the value of throwing tax money at green energy projects.
“If the Review-Journal editorial board had its way, the seven acres of wind turbines dotting the skyline in White Pine County would have never been built,” Reid pontificates. “And the 45,000 homes powered by the wind farm? Too bad, find your power elsewhere.”
Elsewhere? At what cost?
Reid neglects to mention that NV Energy is paying about 10 cents a kilowatt-hour for wholesale power from that wind farm, about what residential customers are currently paying for retail electricity. And his screed repeatedly mentions the number of jobs created by renewable energy, but that wind farm has only 13 employees — not sure how many of those jobs involve picking up bird carcasses. Nor does he mention that it is operating at only 18 percent of capacity.
Reid lecturers the editorials about the Moapa River Indian Reservation that “is a short drive from Bonanza Road,” where the newspaper is located, which has solar panels across 2,000 acres of land, generating 250 megawatts of power. He fails to mention that the city of Los Angeles is paying 9.4 cents per kWh at a time when utilities are generating electricity from natural gas-fired turbines for about 2 cents a kWh.
He then suggests a three-hour drive north to Tonopah to discover the tallest solar power tower in the world, which uses molten salt to store the sun’s heat so it can continue to generate power long after the sun sets. NV Energy is paying 13.5 cents per kWh for the privilege of purchasing that power from Crescent Dunes.
Four years ago the PUC released the following prices for renewable power for the first year of the contracts with NV Energy. The contracts allow an annual increase of 1 percent per year.
Tuscarora Geothermal: 8.8 cents/KWh
Waste Management Lockwood: 8.1 cents/KWh
San Emidio Geothermal: 8.975 cents/KWh
Enel Stillwater Solar: 6.9 cents/KWh
Silver State Solar North: 13.2 cents/KWh
Apex Solar: 12.85 cents/KWh
Spring Valley Wind: 9.8 cents/KWh
McGinness Hills Geothermal: 8.6 cents/KWh
Spectrum Solar: 11.1 cents/KWh
Crescent Dunes Solar: 13.495 cents/KWh
Mountain View Solar: 11.605 cents/KWh
Clayton Valley Geothermal: 9.8 cents or 10.3 cents/KWh (Depending on whether the plant qualifies for a production tax credit.)
Dixie Meadows Geothermal: 9.2 cents/KWh
Also, Reid ignores the fact that those higher prices come out of the pockets of consumers who are left with no choice and no competition. These higher prices actually kill four jobs for every one or two the renewable energy plants produce.
But it also cuts carbon emissions and prevents global warming, Reid claims.
“We could grind all economic activity to a halt, hold our breaths forever, and cut carbon emissions to zero in the U.S. — and still wind up lowering average temperatures by no more than 0.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” the Heritage Foundation reports. “And that’s using a climate calculator developed by the Environmental Protection Agency.”