In case you missed the new commercial from the NRSC about Obama’s energy plan here it is.

Obama and the Democrats don’t care how much it costs consumers they are determined to foist their green energy plans on all of us.

Nothing like seeing Obama being hoisted by his own petard.

Being green may be the politically correct thing to do but for residents in Great Britain it comes ata realtively steep price.

According to the British price comparison website uSwitch households will pay an additional  £500 ($780) per year to help fund the investments untilities will need to make to comply with the government’s plan to develop low carbon power plants like wind farms and nuclear plants.

One possibility the government is considering is to levy a tax on coal and gas to make them more expensive than low carbon sources which will push up costs to the end user.

The real impetus behind the effort is largely due to European Union targets that mandate that Britain increase its share of energy from renewable sources from 3 to 15 percent without regard to cost.

To encourage the greening of the energy grid the government is planning to offer a guaranteed price for electricty which may result in more wind farms but as we have seen in the U.S. doesn’t mean it will be cheaper than energy  generated by coal or gas after the costs of construction are factored in.

Even though energy secretary Chris Huhne  dismisses the claims of higher costs  the Department of Energy and Climate Change admitted t that electricity prices would rise, but that it was still best for consumers.

So I guess it depends on who you trust more the government or the energy industry.

With winter having already arrived in Britain energy costs are already on the rise and with the global recession still lingering the last thing households need is a politically manipulated energy policy that will cost them more while delivering few net benefits.

Forner vice-president and noted environmental activist Al Gore issues a mea culpa of sorts when he admitted that his support fr corn-based  ethanol was a mistake.

From Reuters

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was “not a good policy”, weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.

U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on Dec. 31.

Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Industry, which said biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

He explained his own support for the original programme on his presidential ambitions.

“One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

U.S. ethanol is made by extracting sugar from corn, an energy-intensive process. The U.S. ethanol industry will consume about 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop this year, or 15 percent of the global corn crop, according to Goldman Sachs analysts.

A food-versus-fuel debate erupted in 2008, in the wake of record food prices, where the biofuel industry was criticised for helping stoke food prices.

Gore said a range of factors had contributed to that food price crisis, including drought in Australia, but said there was no doubt biofuels have an effect.

“The size, the percentage of corn particularly, which is now being (used for) first generation ethanol definitely has an impact on food prices.

“The competition with food prices is real.”

Gore supported so-called second generation technologies which do not compete with food, for example cellulosic technologies which use chemicals or enzymes to extract sugar from fibre for example in wood, waste or grass.

“I do think second and third generation that don’t compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels.”

This is a little bit like a “Come to Jesus” moment for Hore as he admitted that not only was he mistaken in supporting corn-based ethanol but he largely did so because he was going to run for president and needed the farm vote.

Conservatives have been saying for years that corn-based ethanol is not cost effective only to be drowned out by environmentalists like Gore and the liberal media who jumped on every green energy scheme that crossed their path regardless of the facts.

Hopefully Gore’s statement will help kill the subsidy which amounted to $3 billion in credits in 2007 and was expected to reach $5 billion this year but the corn lobby will fight hard for the chance to continue feeding at the government trough.

the free market should decide what renewable energy sources succeed and fail but the problem with allowing that to happen is that mot of them would fail without heavy government subsidies which we all pay for so green energy isn’t as cheap as the left would have us believe.

For now I’m sticking to corn on the cob.

Wind power long hailed as a cheap and clean source of energy has been hit hard by the realization that being cheap is not the same as being the cheapest energy source during a recession.

Take Invenergy a company that builds wind farms.  Just two years ago the company has banks that were willing to lend it millions of dollars to provide a green breeze of juice across the country.  They even had a deal to sell energy to a utility in Virginia.  But then came the recession along with a surplus of natural gas that has turned the economic numbers against wind power.

In Virginia state regulators rejected the deal citing lower costs from fossil fuels and natural gas.  They calculated that wind energy would increase rates by 0.2 percent and that any increase couldn’t be justified no matter how small in the midst of a recession.

And so it has gone in other states like Florida,Idaho and Kentucky where deals have either been scuttled or slowed down pushing the adoption of wind energy several years down the line.

While state regulators have tried to be more fiscally responsible wind energy advocates have been arguing that the failure to add clean energy to the power mix is shortsighted and harmful to the environment.

But this is a typical liberal argument that it doesn’t matter what it costs if it’s good for the environment.  Yet in the case of many wind energy projects that is debatable.

Take Rhode Island for instance where regulators earlier this year rejected an offshore wind energy deal that would have cost 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour versus the 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour cost using electricity and fossil fuels.  That’s more than double the cost to be clean and green.  Maybe the Al Gore’s and Kennedy’s of the world can afford to pay a premium for being green but most Americans can’t and won’t especially with a sour economy.

It’s a little like going organic.  Americans flocked to stores like Whole Foods when times were good and didn’t care about overpaying for food if it was organic.  But as soon as the recession hit Whole Foods went into a tailspin that they are now only recovering from.  The same goes for many green advocates who ignored the true cost of renewable energy during the boom years but now balk at the cost of doing so leading to a slowdown in the movement.

The Rich Get Richer

Remember the Pickens Plan?  Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens extolled the virtues of wind energy several years ago as oil topped $140 a barrel and spent millions on television ads extolling his vision.

The only problem was that he was going to erect a massive number of wind turbines even in areas that had little wind which would have been heavily subsidized by the government without a clear plan as to how he was going to transmit the energy generated from such far flung locations.

If his plan had gone forward the taxpayers would have been footing the bill for a very long time in exchange for a limited amount of energy.

Pickens had a plan alright.  It was how to make his next billion on the backs of the taxpayers.

I think it is inevitable that we will move to more types of renewable energy as time goes on thanks largely to taxpayer subsidies for solar panels and wind turbines.  But with this move comes increased costs which may appear small to some but multiplied over the ratepayer base will add up to millions of dollars in unneeded expense in the name of saving the environment.

Frankly I just want cheap clean energy.  Give me nuclear.

 

 

The green energy movement which preaches that they want to save the planet by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and thus our carbon footprint has hit a wall recently as more and more people realize that their is a very real cost to being green.

Case in point is my local utility Washington Gas.  They sent a letter to their customers promoting their Clean Steps Wind Power solution. 

According to the letter customers are currently receiving 5% of their electricity from wind power but now have a chance to increase that to 100%. 

By switching to wind power every customer will be using the equivalent of 700 fewer gallons of gasoline  per year.

I have to admit that sounds pretty good.  Who wouldn’t want to save gasoline and multiplied the utility’s customer base that could be a very significant number.  To date the company has convinced over 10,000 customers to make the switch.

Now there is just one tiny catch to this do good policy.  To switch you have to agree to pay for the privilege.

If you want 50% wind energy then it will cost an extra $10 per month, at 100% an extra $20 per month.

That’s just what I want to do in the midst of a recession is to increase my energy costs.  Thanks but no thanks.

Yes the green energy movement wants us to “save the planet” by opening up our wallets to pay for the privilege.  Just look at solar energy.  It would be totally dead in the water if it wasn’t for government subsidies.  And remember T. Boone Pickens’ wind scheme of just a couple of years ago?  He wanted to build a massive wind farm in the midwest but it collapsed as oil prices fell and the inability to get the government to agree to subsidize the building of transmission lines.  Even a billionaire like Pickens was lining up at the government trough.

By the way if they really wanted to give me clean energy offer me nuclear power which is cheap and effcicient. Then we can talk.

I will do something for the environment though as a result of this mailing.  The letter and envelope it came in will be deposited in my paper recycling bin so it can be reborn in yet another letter pushing another green scheme in the future.