Killing Their Own Competitiveness

November 27, 2014

Among many self-styled “conservatives”, the idea that we could provide for ourselves more cheaply and efficiently, produce energy from the free flow of the sun and wind, or become independent of the giant energy corporations that control our lives, (and fund so many politicians), is considered a dangerous subversion.

We see it at both the Federal, and State level.

Columbus Dispatch:

A state agency paid almost $435,000 for a survey to tally clean-energy jobs in Ohio but never released the results.

The Ohio Development Services Agency says the study went unused because it was based on dubious methods and came to flawed conclusions.

Others, including experts in survey methods, disagree with this assessment and are perplexed by the criticism.

The report, not seen by the public until today, sat on a shelf at a time when its subject matter was relevant to a heated legislative debate about whether to change standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Among its findings:

• Ohio had 31,322 jobs in the state’s “alternative energy economy” as of 2012, a number that is larger than other commonly cited studies.

• More than one-third of the jobs were for goods and services related to energy efficiency.

• Solar power was tied to more jobs (5,619) than any other renewable-energy source.

Each one of those points could have been relevant in the recent debate over Senate Bill 310, signed by Gov. John Kasich in June. The measure puts a two-year freeze on state standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and it makes a variety of other changes that critics say will damage the state’s green economy.

During the debate over the bill, opponents repeatedly said that 25,000 jobs were at stake, a statistic from a 2012 study commissioned by a trade group for green-energy companies. The opponents did not know that the state had paid for a survey that says the industry is 25 percent larger.

TALLAHASSEE — State regulators on Tuesday approved proposals to gut Florida’s energy-efficiency goals by more than 90 percent and to terminate solar rebate programs by the end of 2015, giving the investor-owned utilities virtually everything they wanted.

After almost two hours of debate, members of the state Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in support of staff recommendations that backed the proposals of Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light.

The two dissenters, Commissioners Lisa Edgar and Julie Brown, said they could not agree with a plan that so drastically altered state energy policy.

“It’s not the direction I want to go in,” Edgar said before the vote. “I am uncomfortable going to the reduced goals. It is a policy and it is a statement, as a state, of what our energy policies are.”

Other states continue to find ways to save energy at less cost than generating it because they have policies aimed at doing just that.

Vermont, for instance, pays manufacturers to offer high-efficiency products at lower prices. A compact fluorescent light bulb that costs $1.25 in Florida costs 99 cents in Vermont. Policies like that, big and small, mean Vermont now meets 2.12 percent of its annual energy needs by saving electricity rather than producing it.

In Florida, the number is 0.25 percent — and now dropping.

Meanwhile, in the reality based community:

Northern Plains News:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa has become a leader in ethanol production and wind power, and when the new Congress is sworn in to office in January, voters from both sides of the aisle will be expecting action on clean and renewable energy.

Melissa Williams, national political director with the Sierra Club, says a new poll commissioned by the conservation organization shows support for renewable energy efforts is widespread.

“Up to 73 percent of voters were more likely to support a candidate who wanted to increase the use of renewable energy, rather than a candidate pushing to increase traditional energy,” Williams said.

Iowa is the nation’s largest producer of ethanol and one of the leading states utilizing wind power, with more than 30,000 jobs in the state’s clean energy sector.

The poll also found almost seven in 10 voters wants Iowa’s Senator-elect Joni Ernst to support efforts to address the effects of climate change.

“Not surprisingly, that includes 89 percent of Democratic voters, but also 52 percent of Republican voters,” Williams said. “It goes to show that in a state like Iowa, the value on renewable energy is quite high.”

Williams also notes this is an issue important across all of the battleground states.

“In every state we surveyed, the voters were adamant the winners of the Senate contest should get to Washington and support efforts to deal with this,” she said.

American Wind Energy Association:

Washington, D.C., Nov. 25 — A new poll finds that wide majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support keeping the Production Tax Credit so that investment in wind energy can continue, and American workers can make more of our own energy here in America.

“These poll results couldn’t be clearer. American voters support wind power and support continuing the incentive for investment in wind power,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “It’s time for Congress to do what the majority of Americans want – and that means extending the Production Tax Credit so we can keep scaling up this critically important American energy source.”

The poll found 73 percent of registered voters support continuing the Production Tax Credit (PTC), including 63 percent of registered Republicans, 74 percent of Independents, and over 71 percent overall in all regions of the country.

The results show unwavering support among registered voters since a poll conducted last December by USA Today, Stanford University, and Resources for the Future also found 73 percent support for tax incentives to encourage investment in clean energy.

The latest poll also found 79 percent of registered voters, including 69 percent of Republicans, agree with the statement “incentives for investment in wind energy help American workers make more of our own energy right here in America.”






2 Responses to “Killing Their Own Competitiveness”

  1. “Iowa is the nation’s largest producer of ethanol and one of the leading states utilizing wind power, with more than 30,000 jobs in the state’s clean energy sector.”

    I can’t say too much about Iowa’s wind power program, but since when is ethanol “clean energy?” It’s a welfare program for wealthy agribusiness interests that does nothing to reduce CO2 emissions. But it gets green energy subsidies, and thus is “profitable.” You might think of it as strip mining the soil. As an added bonus, it takes agricultural land out of food production.

    Thus, in the brave new world of ethanol energy, we may have a ruined planet and a food shortage, but at least we’ll have plenty to drink.

  2. Well of course that message is subversive. Without a successful blocking of renewable energy these conservatives would be unemployed and on welfare – it’s obvious they have nothing if value to offer society – just large corporations destroying the planet’s ability to sustain higher order lifeforms

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