Monday, January 13, 2014

So What’s the Problem? Just Dump the Mandates!

By Rich Kozlovich

On December 17, 2013 I read an article by Bonner R. Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, entitled, Ohio Legislature Considers Softening Renewable Mandates”. He goes on to inform his readers that Ohio legislators are deciding what to do about Ohio’s renewable power mandates

Briefly outlining Ohio’s history with energy mandates he points out; “Ohio’s utilities are required to produce 12.5 percent of their power from renewable sources, such as wind, solar, and hydropower, by 2025. Another 12.5 percent must come from so-called “advanced energy,” "such as clean coal or state-of-the-art nuclear generators. In Ohio, this is known as the 25 by 25 standard."

There’s a problem though. Ohio’s electricity costs have unnecessarily risen 9% as a result –“triple the 3 percent rise in U.S. electricity prices.” Promoters of so-called ‘renewable’ energy promised quick development that would be cost effective. Really? Where did they get the figures to demonstrate that? Or perhaps this was merely more green speculation!

Renewable energy ideas have been failures since the Carter administration, and there have been no technological advancements so great so as to make anyone believe solar, wind, or even bio-fuels, could ever deliver anywhere near the energy value generated by traditional energy producers.

Alternative energy cannot survive on its own. Without subsidies or mandates it would have never gotten off the ground in the first place. We need to understand that wind and solar energy are only alternatives to each other – not to traditional energy sources, and if left on their own –they’re not even alternatives to each other. Why? Because traditional power plants are required as back-up and power plants don’t work like your electric switch. They can’t just be shut off or turned on. Traditional energy plants have to be running all the time in order to produce the energy we need, including times when there's a surge in demand, which neither wind nor solar can deliver. That means we’re paying for energy we’re not using and energy we don’t need.

Now we have what is being called the shale revolution, AKA, fracking! This is becoming a gigantic economic boost to every state in the nation, and every country in the world, that has wisely chosen to adopt fracking “though special interest lobbyists are fighting hard to preserve their market carve-outs”, and environmentalists are still publically protesting fracking, claiming there are safety issues – although they can’t seem to demonstrate any of their claims are anything more than mere speculation.

It appears the chairman of the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), wants to scrap this mandate law, which he supported in 2008. However, he's willing to accept compromises which would “impose only modest reforms”. Apparently Seitz - and I have no doubt he isn't alone in this - has waffling issues, since while talking compromise he says he may pursue legislation to repeal the whole thing in 2014. If the bill is doing “more harm than good” (what good he may be talking about here escapes me entirely) then what’s the problem? Don’t waffle - dump the mandates!

The author claims Ohio “has poor solar and wind power potential compared to other states”; Seitz feels the in-state mandate may well violate the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which prohibits states from discriminating against out-of-state goods and services”; the price of electricity has gone up; solar and wind enterprises are on their last leg; “so-called green energy mandates like those that were passed in [the 2008 bill by] the Strickland administration fly in the face of free-market economics and placing the state in a position to unfairly and unwisely “pick winners and losers in the energy business through fiat”. So after all of that, what's the argument for keeping energy mandates, and what's the argument for "modest changes"?

First and foremost, we need clarity. This whole alternative energy problem came into being because the green movement, supported by the media, academia, and political leaders had everyone believing the world was running out of traditional energy sources, including oil, natural gas and coal. That was a lie – they knew it - many of us who have been following this for years also knew it. Then this same cabal attempted to convince the world [and did so for some time] that traditional energy sources producing C02 was going to destroy the world via “global warming”. That was a lie – they knew it – and those of us who have followed the issue also knew it.

But the beauty of truth is it will very patiently wait for us. What is truth? Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality. Everything has an historical foundation and context, and everything we’re told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. If what we’re presented fails in either those criteria – it’s wrong!

The world is finally catching on that global warming, as a crisis, is claptrap, CO2 doesn’t cause it, and CO2 isn’t a pollutant. In fact we’re living in a CO2 starved world. Past warming periods didn’t cause any of the disasters their predicting for modern times and mankind had nothing to do with the Earth’s cooling or warming periods then, nor does mankind have anything to do with them now.

So why don’t legislators stop being ambivalent on this issue and outright abandon mandates entirely? European nations – who arrogantly and self-righteously looked down their collective noses at the U.S. because the Senate refused to adopt the Kyoto Accords and cap and trade standards – are now in "full retreat on their unilateral climate policies "– including "binding renewable targets".

Energy mandates are expensive failures and all the reasons for adopting them have been shown to be wrong. If The E.U., which has been notoriously green, can be that decisively anti-green, in spite of the fury this has generated among European Greens, I would think any American legislator could do as well without even having to think about it.

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