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  • A Renewable Electricity Standard is Not Stimulating

    In delivering his speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M is introducing a plan for even more green energy and more green jobs – on top of the stimulus package. The plan?

    According a release from U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s office, Tom continued his fight to enact a federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) into law by introducing legislation that would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2025. The bill, Udall’s first since being elected to the Senate, would set the first national threshold for utilities to provide 6 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2012, and gradually increases thereafter to meet the 25 percent by 2025 goal.”

    You can find his speech here. On a positive note Senator Udall included some domestic drilling and more nuclear to add to the nation’s energy portfolio. But a federal renewable electricity standard is a policy that has been introduced and failed in Congress before and it doesn’t deserve support this time. In reality, the mandate to use wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources is a market-distorting policy that diverts resources away actual energy producing sources.


    The result of an RES will be less reliable electricity and higher prices for the taxpayer and the ratepayer. As Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment issues here at Heritage writes,

    The only reason why renewable electricity needs to be mandated in the first place is that these alternatives are far too expensive to compete otherwise. In effect, Washington is forcing costlier energy options on the public. This is particularly true for certain states, especially those in the Southeast, where the conditions are not conducive to wind power.

    Moreover, these sources of electricity are intermittent and unreliable and thus pose problems beyond the added costs. And like ethanol, renewable sources of electricity enjoy substantial tax breaks; thus, the mandate will cost Americans both as taxpayers and as ratepayers.”

    While renewable electricity portfolio standards were defeated or stripped out of bills in the past, with more Democrats in Congress and a Democrat sitting in the White House who loves green energy, the challenges may reach new heights. Unless we want higher electric bills and rolling brownouts and blackouts in our future, a renewable electricity standard cannot be part of it.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to A Renewable Electricity Standard is Not Stimulating

    1. Daver Ft. Worth says:

      How much nuclear is enough? France gets 80% of their electricity from it. We invented it and get less than 20%? It's carbon neutral. Why wouldn't that be a first priority?

      If solving this country's economic crisis was really a priority–why wouldn't we start creating some high paying jobs drilling and refining more domestically?

      I believe these solutions are more stimulative than increasing sponsorship of Community stabilization for vote frauders?

    2. Barbara Wold, Albuquerque says:

      So you’re saying that greenhouse gas and nuclear energy production doesn’t receive huge subsidies from the government?

    3. duelles, santa fe, n says:

      i'm so happy that these wingnuts are in office in Washington DC and not working in the private sector for companies in which I own stock. I realize that they can do more damage systemically in DC, but I don't want them in my companies.

      I gererally think that men in office are trying to do good for the country, but in the case of this congressional leadership and absent true leadership of Obama – we might be toast.

      I will never give up principals and I lose friends!

    4. Marvin F Booth says:

      This will sound off the wall but I feel it has merit. Renewable energy, solar, wind geo-thermal. All have merit and need to be developed, but conventional energy is the only way to take advantage of the industry that has brought the world out of dark ages, the oil and gas industry. The U.S. has the world largest geo thermal area in the world, Yellowstone nat'l park but that area is off limits because of its nat'l park status. I can tell you a geo thermal electic plant there would not make any bigger "footprint" than the footprint left behind but the developement of the tourist industry.

    5. Baltusk,San Antonio, says:

      Our governenment does not possess the constitutional authority to dictate an energy standard until granted by the voters.

      If granted, The only legitimate reason for this government to legislatively force its citizens to utilize a more costly, inferior, and unreliable source of energy (such as wind, solar, biofuels) is because THEY believe they recognize a future danger from the prevaling energy system, (the continued use of so-called fossil fuels), that the general public fails to comprehend.

      Today that 'future danger' is called "climate change".

      "Climate change" is a THEORY that carbon dioxide gas, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, accumulates in the Earth's atmosphere and acts like a blanket trapping heat which will (very soon) result in a series of predictable and catastrophic changes to climate, which will threaten mankinds very existence.

      Happily, today, that THEORY has been thoroughly DISPROVEN in not one but ALL of its foundations and principles.

      BUT, wait… In 2009 science has changed!

      THEORY no longer requires unbiased verification in order to be believed. Love of the TRUTH has given way to Sensationalism and political rhetoric.

      Somehow, it has become perfectly logical, to base base future national energy policies on computer models that cannot correctly predict past weather conditions when supplied with all of the necessary facts!

      Somehow, it now makes perfect sense for our government to shun a reliable, tested and proven, technologically evolving and relatively inexpensive source of energy for everyone, for centuries to come, ALL on the basis of a perceived threat from a Discredited THEORY?

      BUT…In 2009 US politics has also changed…!

      Our elected representatives no longer have to reveal (or even read)the actual text in order to pass the largest spending bill in US history…(Their FAITH is based in their economic THEORY… not historical FACTS)

      So why should we expect these same government officials to construct a realistic or sensible future energy policy based on TRUE verifiable FACTS?

      The only way out of this madness is for each one of us to take responsibility as American citizens.

      To thoroughly educate ourselves as to precisely how our constitutionally based government works and where the so-called leaders derive their powers…

      To demand much, much more from our elected officials.

    6. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      First of all get rid of all subsidies and get the government out of energy business. Why do we keep looking to the politicians to solve our energy problems. The only thing that politicians are good for is stealing out money.

      The stupidity of using wind and solar to the extent of 25% is mind boggling. Why can't we understand two simple facts-1.Neither wind nor solar can be controlled. The wind energy requires high and low limit and the wind doesn't blow all the time. Ditto for Solar. Solar also depends on latitude. Solar is useless at night.

      2.There is no way to store electrical energy of those magnitudes. An invention is needed.

      All those factors mean that you have to have conventional power plants of equivalent rating on the ready to absorb the load when the wind farm goes down.

      Denmark ramped up the wind energy to about 20% and they are realizing that it is not sustainable. They are trying to downsize the share to 15%. Denmark is a small country. Germany and Italy are asking their governments to approve dozens of coal fired plants in their countries to get over their projected power shortages. Both counties have sizable wind power installations.

      Let us get our heads out of you know what and act smart. Use our resources that we have.

      I am waiting for the day when China demands that we allow them to explore for oil off our shore in return for all the money that we are borrowing from them.

    7. Gary Reynolds says:

      Perhapse some sort of depreciating incentive to electric generators would be a better way to go than forcing standards. Make it profitable to use "green generation".

    8. Bryan, Maryland says:

      I would have liked to have seen drilling for new oil included in the stimulus. That would have created long-term jobs for Americans. Not only that, but these jobs would lessen dependence on foreign oil, which saves America oil and highly stimulates the economy. But, not a word.


    9. Barbara, California says:

      One of the things I see missing in this line of conversation is the jobs that "green" energy will create. Someone has to build the facilities (jobs). Building materials are required and are ordered from suppliers who build various parts (jobs); others supply raw materials. Once the facility is built, it has to be maintained (jobs).

      While I agree with many of the arguments stated, e.g., that these renewable sources are costly and supplies intermittent and subject to the weather, there is some merit that it will create jobs. How many jobs? Well, that remains to be seen.

    10. W.E. Heasley, Greens says:

      The "market distortion" is the key point.

    11. Thomas Gray South Ca says:


      You see none of this green energy will work becouse it is based on mandated use of FF as a backup electricity supply except for coal and nuclear the system as a whole will become so expensive many people will not be able to pay the extremely high electric bills.

      Many people in the warmer climates do not realize that this is no joke to people living in the colder climates

    12. Tim says:

      The people who will suffer the most from this are the highly populated citys that vote these fools into office. The people living in these citys not only will have extremely high electric bills. They will not be able to afford clean water because of the extreme cost of the energy required to make the water drinkable. Not to mention Sewer treatment plants that also require large amounts of energy. The chickens maybe coming home to rooooooost.

    13. Tom, Florida says:

      Yet another example of subsidizing failure and punishing success. Wind is viable only in limited locations. Solar is years away from viability. We need a modest amount of research, not the heavy spending in the "Stimulus" pork plan. Some day solar will be viable, but not now, and you cannot force it; tech development takes time. Premature spending is pure waste.

      A genuine viable plan would be to build 500 nuclear power plants, but Dems hate that. Then we should recycle the waste, like the French do, to reprocess 90% of the leftovers and reuse them. And reduce the problem of long term waste storage by 90%. Dems are blocking all paths to progress.

      I think Greenies have a sort of reverse compass, to direct them toward the worst possible solution. If we had ignored them and built 80% nuclear like the French did, we'd be producing 50% less CO2, and fostering the use of that power for transportation, because the energy would be so much cheaper, plentiful, and clean.

      As for subsidies, who cares. Everything Greenies want require massive subsidies, and cause gigantic cost increases to the consumer. They are hypocrites. In many cases like the need for low, stable natural gas prices, they are driving industries to other nations, none of whom have our insane disincentives to exploitation of petroleum and natural gas. Greenies are killing jobs and wasting money. They are constantly making dire predictions and casting aspersions, yet their record is abysmal. They are selfish single-issue lobbyists.

    14. frank O'Brien S says:

      What is wrong with these idiots in congress? wind & solar will not help to fuel trucks and other forms of transportation which are necessary for our economy. We need to drill for oil in America, and build lots of nuclear power plants. These things will not cause any harm to our environment,and will help us to be energy independent in a reasonably short time.

    15. Thomas Gray South Ca says:

      To, Tom Florida,and Frank O'Brian,

      I see you both grasp most of the problems, but there are other factors, the supply of light sweet crude oil is now declining worldwide, although this fact is hidden at the moment by the decline in demand,

      that said there are still very large reserves of heavy crude oil that the greens want nothing to do with, BUT our energy suppliers [ oil company's ], must consider these reality's,

      becouse the price difference between the two is going to grow very rapidly becouse two of our major oil supplier's Mexico and the north sea are in sharp decline.

      My hope is atom power, electric cars will suffice for people, electric rail for heavy freight,

      and if I must walk to where ever it would be helpful to have electricity available when I get there.

    16. Tom Danley Fort Wayn says:

      Congress isn't doing its jobs. but it is invitable that oil and natural fuels will run out at the rate we are using them. we have to have alternative fuels. But this isn't what congress should be working on. The world can't hold all of the people in it. We can't keep devolping farm lands into houses. Congress should do something about that. Right now congress should worry about creating jobs in the manufacture field. Not worring about alternative energy.

    17. Cory Borne, Southern says:

      I agree with the idea that more nuclear power plants should be built. It is a clean, efficient source of energy, and there is not a real reason not to do it. Drilling for more oil in the U.S. is another choice, but I don't think it's a good idea, especially around Yellowstone. Drill too much around there, and you're likely to rupture the giant caldera underneath. If that happens, half of the U.S. will die in an instant, with the rest of us dieing shortly afterward. Nuclear is a much safer alternative.

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