Tax Breaks & Subsidies or Utah
Wind power has all the ingredients of a good brain buster. The non-fossil fuel energy windmills produce helps preserve the environment, but the wind generators themselves have to be added to the environment. Wind power is going to make us redefine what we consider pollution. They may not be billowing smoke or leaking radiation, but they do make a lot of noise and can change a scenic horizon into a jumble of technology. Like dams in rivers, they interrupt the free flow of natural settings.
So why is this higher mandate likely to hike your bills? Because when government creates an artificial market by fiat, shortages almost always follow (of turbines for wind power, for example), thus boosting the mandate’s cost. For that matter, if all forms of renewable energy could compete on their own, they wouldn’t need a mandate in the first place.
Renewable energy sources are a great hope for the future. But there is a time and place for everything. The time for the construction of wind power facilities is after environmental impact studies. The place is anywhere away from people and off of ridge-tops.
The temptation for Silicon Valley voters would be to ignore the intricacies of the proposition and simply decide a ``yes'' vote would send a message to oil companies and to the world that California intends to lead the way in developing alternative energy sources.
That would be a mistake. We strongly support the concept of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs helping California research and develop technological breakthroughs that will eliminate our foolhardy reliance on Middle East oil. But two fundamental flaws in Proposition 87 force us to recommend a ``no'' vote.
If voters approve Initiative 937 in November, your utility bills will go up. That's enough reason to vote "no" on I-937, but the mandates in the initiative also are unnecessary for Washingtonians to enjoy clean, renewable energy. Here's why.
937 is an unnecessary government mandate that is going to increase your utility bill. So vote no on I-937.
I say this upfront because not everybody reads articles completely. No matter what else you read about I-937, remember this: If I-937 passes, we all will pay for it.
The state's utilities, which are funded by ratepayers, are already seeking alternative energy sources because it's good business.
The Pacific Northwest, with it's clean, inexpensive electric power created by the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, is the envy of the nation.
Why then should it be necessary to approve Initiative 937, which mandates that the larger utilities in Washington state obtain 15 percent of their power from other clean, renewable sources?
It's not. This state is already ahead of the nation.
Everyone, especially every energy company, loves renewable energy, but the conversion should occur as market conditions dictate, not forced by government in ways that lead to higher energy prices.......
Another reason to reject I-937 is this glaring flaw: It does not include hydropower with wind and solar as a “renewable source.” It’s impossible to envision the inexorable flow of water through turbines at our state’s dams as anything but renewable.
This demanding work is carried out by the MoD at no charge to the developer. Since the beginning of this rush for wind the MoD have received about 4500 applications and this year it is running at between 70 and 100 per month. They all have to be assessed, and many of these will be re-assessed so the work is enormous.
Taking the wrong route to the right destination can ruin a trip.
Which is why Washington voters should be wary of Initiative 937, a ballot measure that purports to steer the state toward a cleaner, cheaper power future based on wind. Ostensibly, the initiative is about all kinds of renewable energy, from biomass to ocean tides, but even advocates of I-937 concede it is primarily about wind.
MISSING from the deluge of more than 300 reports tabled in this last week of parliament before the state election were two key documents the Bracks Government has chosen to keep secret.
Both would shed important new light on big government election initiatives and allow voters to make a clearer assessment of them, but it appears that for political reasons they will be kept under wraps.
The first report concerns the economic impact of the Government’s wind farms policy and calculates the effect on the average power bill.....Premier Steve Bracks and his ministers claim the increase will be just $10 on the average annual power bill, but they refuse to release the research that underpins this claim. The Opposition claims the increase will be more like $80 a year, but without seeing the research both figures are effectively just unsupported claims of politicians.
In the 16th- century church, those who were long on cash but short on righteous living could balance the equation by buying indulgences, representing a sort of absolution for sinful behavior.
Indulgences may have disappeared about the time of Martin Luther, but they seem to be alive and thriving in a more contemporary religion — the Church of the Green.
Wells Fargo & Co. announced this week that it is buying renewable energy certificates for 550 million kilowatt-hours of wind energy a year for three years.
The bank said the acquisition makes it the “largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the United States,” but it’s hardly the first. Everyone from the National Farmers Union to Audubon New York to Whole Foods to Starbucks to FedEx Kinko’s has done similar deals.
And how much of this “clean” wind-generated electricity will Wells Fargo be taking for its own branches, offices and facilities, to supplant supposedly “dirty” power it’s getting from other sources?
Not a single watt.
But in this initiative, there’s clean energy and then there’s clean energy.
Pushed by several environmental groups, I-937 excludes hydropower — made eminently renewable by spring rains and winter snowpack that melts and turns dam turbines on rivers across the state — as a qualifying source of power......
Let’s be honest.
Washington has one of the cleanest energy profiles in the nation when it comes to green-house gas emissions from electricity generation. The state ranks third-best in pounds of carbon dioxide produced per kilowatt hour, just behind Idaho and Vermont, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2002, the most recent year figures are available, Washington’s rate was half of California’s, one-fifth of Massachusetts’ and less than one-third of New York’s.
Thank the state’s reliance on hydropower. At least 60 percent of Washington’s juice comes from dams.
WHO wouldn't like to hit Big Oil where it hurts - in the wallet? Proposition87, however, could end up costing the state and taxpayers for years to come.
While promising to bring in close to a half-billion dollars annually from taxes on oil drilling in California, none of those dollars will go in the treasury.
Not one penny will be used to pay down the state's debt, ensure education funding or provide more health insurance to working families.
Likely, California's property taxes and corporate income taxes could be reduced if oil producers decide to pump less of the black gold from California fields to avoid the extraction tax.
Also, Californians aren't likely to see any immediate benefits from the measure for many years. That's because proceeds from the tax would fuel a $4 billion program for alternative energy research and provide start-up capital for technology companies.
This initiative is really about wind power. The initiative counts other renewables, such as biomass, solar and tidal power, but other approaches are less advanced.
Bizarrely, I-937 leaves out a biggie. Hydropower — that hallmark renewable of the Northwest — doesn't count, except for efficiencies made at qualifying utility dams since 1999.
That's right: Hydropower doesn't count as renewable energy in the initiative.
While the Audubon Society supports wind power, the group understandingly is lobbying state and local governments to require regional environmental impact studies before permitting proposed wind energy projects. In addition, Audubon wants each state to do a statewide survey to identify potential wind farm sites and overlay those sites with migratory bird pathways and bird and bat habitats.
Yet, the only solid measure of the warming, the NASA satellite data, shows that over the 27 years that data has been available, warming has been at a negligible rate of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade. This level is engulfed by the statistical variation for reliability. Although there is an increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant nor does it pose health risks. Its effects, other things being equal, are to raise temperatures, but by how much is highly contentious.
Renewables may not help much with global warming, but the nation might still benefit from all the new jobs that would come from building and operating them. Recent work by professor Lloyd Dumas of the University of Texas at Dallas predicts that happy result. Dumas cites research showing that if 20 percent of future power plants are renewable, they will create two to three times more jobs than if they all burn fossil fuels.
It's the same argument we hear from consultants hired by local governments to estimate the employment that a tax-financed subway or stadium would create. Both they and Dumas conveniently forget that the money to pay these newly employed workers is unavailable for spending by consumers or investment by businesses. Workers who used to produce those goods move to other jobs, possibly after a spell of unemployment.
May I draw attention to two relevant issues in the wind energy debate:
1) Radar and 2) Renewable Obligation Certificates.
In reality, this project should generate for its investors about $2.46 billion over 20 years through the sale of power and Texas renewable energy credits, which are paid by Texas ratepayers. An additional $333 million in federal production tax credits will be added to the revenue stream, along with an anticipated county and school tax abatement (tax forgiveness) generally demanded by all wind project developers of between $125 million and $265 million, depending on the project cost.
With the project taking advantage of almost half a billion in tax abatements and credits (some directly out of school district funds and state school funds), lease royalties of only $34 million to $112 million to benefit the state education fund hardly add up to "a good deal."
Simply put, Texas public school children, and all Texas residents, will be harmed from a revenue standpoint if the Superior project is built.