Marita Bonus: Solar tax credits are not “conservative” or “free market” “free market

Greetings!

I originally wrote this extra piece as an exclusive op-ed for The Advocate. Yesterday, I heard from the editor. He’ll publish it as a Letter to the Editor at 450 words. I quickly edited it down and sent it back. I then, added in the radio story and a few other items for this version. I hope you’ll choose to give this important story an audience by posting it, passing it on and/or personally enjoying Solar tax credits are not “conservative” or “free market” (attached and pasted-in-below).

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For immediate release: April 21, 2015

Energy Commentary from Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 962

Solar tax credits are not “conservative” or “free market”

The solar industry has poured a startling amount of effort and funding—much of it backed by California-based, billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who is heavily invested in solar—into attempting to gain the legislative favor needed for it to survive.

Nationwide, the growth of the renewable power industry is dependent on a combination of big government mandates, tax credits, and subsidies—making it the perfect target of wrath from limited-government, free-market, and/or fiscally-conservative individuals and policymakers.

Some proposed legislation would prop up the industry (Florida), and force it to stand on its own (Louisiana).

In Louisiana, about 80 percent of the cost of solar installation is paid for through a combination of federal and state tax credits.

In discussing the state’s dramatic $1.6 billion budget shortfall, The Advocate’s, Mark Ballard, on April 6, aptly pointed out that the solar industry promises a “full-court press to protect” Louisiana’s generous tax credits that it says are “vital to its survival.” Ballard cites State Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield, who called the solar tax credit’s cost to the state’s taxpayers: “one of the fastest-growing. The solar credit cost $63.5 million in 2014, up from $9 million in 2013.” Plans to ratchet back—not remove—the tax credit, Ballard reports, could save the state $57 million.

Facing the loss of the essential-to-survival tax credit, legislators have been besieged by solar supporters. State Senator Robert Adley says, many, claiming to be “a businessman,” have sat in his office to plead the case. He snaps back: “You are not a businessman. A real businessman has skin in the game; has his own money at risk. With eighty percent of your costs coming from the taxpayers, you don’t depend on the market, you depend on the government. You are feeding at the trough.”

Representative J. Lance Harris agrees: “This subsidy absolutely makes no sense, there’s no energy crisis! We’ve got plenty of oil, plenty of natural gas, and plenty of electricity. What if the taxpayer subsidized eighty percent of the cost of a new Porsche for anyone who wanted one? There’s no difference; it’s misguided and ridiculous.”

As part of its “full-court press,” the solar industry is bringing the Tea Party’s Judas Iscariot equivalent to town. Debbie Dooley, who was part of the original Tea Party movement back in 2009, has since capitalized on the affiliation by claiming—as she did in her April 7 Facebook post crowing about “speaking directly after Al Gore” at an event in New York—that she is “advancing energy choice in a conservative way through free market competition.”

A power source that depends on big government handouts of taxpayer dollars for “survival” doesn’t qualify as “conservative” or “free market.”

During a recent trip to Louisiana, I was discussing the state’s generous solar subsidies on Jeff Crouere’s Ringside Politics radio show. He asked me how the solar subsidies were working. I explained that the answer depended on which side of the equation you stood. For the solar industry and homeowners, who benefitted from the subsidies, it was working well. But for the taxpayers and ratepayers: not so good. We chatted for a few minutes about the situation and, then, had a caller who couldn’t have been more perfect if I’d scripted him.

The caller planned to dispute my argument and, instead, ended up reinforcing it.

He told about his rooftop solar system—with which he was very happy. Why wouldn’t he be happy? He got a $40,000 system for $7000. He explained that, now, after five years of payments, his electricity was virtually “free.”

I was pleased that the caller addressed the system’s $40,000 cost. If one only listens to the ads, you’d think a solar system is cheap. He went on to say that he “got a generous check from Bobby Jindal” and he “took advantage of the federal incentives”—which resulted in his $7000 cost. He bragged that he amortized the cost over five years. He argued with me over my assertion that a few rooftop solar customers penalized the entire ratebase.

At the end of the call, Crouere asked for my response. I pointed out how the caller made my point. Courtesy of Louisiana and federal taxpayers, he got a $40,000 system for $7000. Because the utility is required to buy the surplus electricity his system generates (when it does) during the sunny days at full retail, known as net metering, and he buys it back at night, his bill is essentially zero. But any business owner knows that you can’t buy your product at retail and sell it at retail and stay in business for long. Because of people like the caller, who as Senator Adley stated, are “feeding at the trough,” costs for all ratepayers must increase to cover all the expenses of generating and delivering electricity that he is using but not paying for.

Yes, the caller benefitted from the system, but taxpayers and ratepayers are the victims of his winfall Like Dooley, he believed it was a free-market choice. Yet, government subsidies picking solar as a winner, make it possible—even attractive—for him.

The Advocate quotes Dooley as saying: “conservatives want to champion free market choice, and not let the government pick the winners and losers”—though that is exactly what the state’s solar subsidies, for which she shills, do. No other industry receives 63.5 million of Louisiana taxpayer’s dollars in one year. Yes, the industry claims it has created 1200 jobs, which costs taxpayers almost $53,000 per job.

In defending the subsidies, solar supporters, like Dooley, claim that the fossil fuel industry gets them, too. However, in 2013, the state’s oil-and-gas industry paid nearly $1.5 billion in state taxes and supports 64,669 jobs in the extraction, pipeline, and refining industries—not including indirect taxes and jobs. The petroleum industry gives; solar takes away.

As the Louisiana legislature looks at ways to fix the budget deficit, it is clear where cuts, rather than encouragement, should take place.

Marita Noon is an author and the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She educates the public and influences policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. CARE recently released the policy paper Solar Power in the U.S., which offers a comprehensive look at the impacts of solar power on the nation’s consumers.

Marita: Sun and wind … free, but expensive to convert

Here’s the latest from Marita ….

The sun and the wind are free, but converting them to reliable electricity is expensive, if not impossible

In an effort to get America off of fossil fuels, “free” solar and wind energy is often touted as the solution. However, in reality, the so-called free energy has high costs and does little to minimize fossil-fuel use or cut greenhouse gases.

Because solar-and-wind energy are not available 24/7—also frequently referenced as not “dispatchable”—incorporating them into the electricity portfolio requires back-up power to be available on demand. When the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, we still expect to have heating or air conditioning, cook our dinners, charge our phones, and use our computers. To do this, requires fossil fuels—typically natural gas “peaking plants,” but depending on what is available, it may be a coal-fueled power plant that is forced to operate inefficiently; releasing more CO2 than it would if allowed to operate as intended.

Think of it this way.

If you want to cook a hamburger, and you have a charcoal grill, you go outside about 30 minutes before you plan to cook. You mound up the charcoal, sprinkle it with lighter fluid, and toss on a match. When the coals are white on the edges, you know they are ready. You put your burger on the grill and cook it for five to eight minutes. Once you remove the burger, the coals are still hot for hours. Ultimately, they burn down to ashes and are cold enough that you can throw them into your plastic trash can, or into the forest. To restart it later in the same day is not efficient.

By comparison, if you are going to cook that same hamburger over natural gas, or propane, you go out five minutes before you plan to grill to heat up the elements. You cook your burger, and you turn it off. No coals, no cool down needed.

Power plants function in a similar fashion.

A coal-fueled power plant cannot easily be turned on and off. It works most efficiently—i.e. cleanly—when it burns continuously. Like the grill, you can add more coal throughout the process to keep the temperature up, which creates the steam that generates electricity.

But, with a natural-gas-fueled power plant, you can easily turn it on and off. So when the wind suddenly stops blowing—with no warning, the gas plant can quickly ramp up to generate the needed power.

As Germany, with the highest implementation of renewable energy of any country, found out, to maintain grid stability, it needs the coal- and natural-gas-fueled power plants. As a result of its policies that favor renewables, such as solar and wind, Germany has had to subsidize its fossil fueled power plants to keep them open.

So, by adding solar and wind power, to the energy mix, we actually increase costs by paying for redundant power supplies—which ultimately, through rate increases, hurts the less fortunate who also have to cover the costs of the renewables.

In the cold weather of Albuquerque’s winter, I received a call from an “unemployed single mother living in an 800 square-foot apartment.” When I answered the phone, she dumped on me. She was angry. Her life circumstances meant she didn’t turn on her heat because she couldn’t afford it. After stating her position, she ranted at me: “I just opened up my utility bill. I see that I am paying $1.63 a month for renewable energy.” She continued: “I don’t give a f#*! about renewable energy! Why do I have to pay for it?”

I tried to steer her attention away from the utility company and toward the Legislature that nearly a decade ago passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires increasing amounts of more expensive renewable energy. As a result, her rates went up, and she had no say in the matter—except that she may have voted for the legislators who approved the policy.

Recently, in Florida, the state NAACP chapter had an op-ed published that, essentially, said the same thing: renewable energy for some people, costs those who can least afford it.

It is not that renewable energy is bad. I have friends who live off the grid. They are cattle ranchers, who live in New Mexico’s Gila Forest. Were it not for their solar panels, they’d have no lights, no computers, no direct contact with the rest of the world. For them, solar panels on the roof—with a back-up system of car batteries—are their salvation. At a cost that worked for them, they were able to purchase used solar panels that someone else had discarded. They are grateful for their solar panels, but they have little option—and they know that; they accept it.

Without thinking of what works well in each situation, government has tried to apply a one-size-fits-all solution. Based on a phony narrative of energy shortages and global warming, err, climate change, renewables have been sold as the panacea. While they may be the right choice in a few cases, such as my cattle ranching friends, or even in the oil fields—which are one of the single biggest industrial users of solar power, many individual locales may be better served by coal, or natural gas, even nuclear, than by renewable power. But the mandates, or the EPA, have not taken that into consideration.

In New Mexico, there are two coal-fueled power plants situated, virtually, at the mouth of the coal mine. The coal is extracted and sent straight to the power plants that generate most of New Mexico’s power and provide enough excess to sell to neighboring Arizona and California. But, EPA regulations require that these plants, now, with years of useful service left, be shut down. Some of the units will be converted to natural gas—something the region also has in abundance. However, the natural gas has pipelines that can take it to the world markets; it is not stranded the in the San Juan Basin.

In contrast, the coal cannot conveniently leave the area—there is no rail to transport it. Looking at the specifics of the basin, it makes sense to continue to generate electricity from coal and allow the natural gas to benefit markets (perhaps even our allies) without other resources—but the EPA and its environmental advocates will hear nothing of it. Their ideology drives the policy whether it makes economic, or practical, sense or not.

Just try to bring truth or logic into the discussion and the crusaders will treat you as they have Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence.

Last month, I released a white paper: Solar power in the U.S. Using real-life data and news reports, we present the harsh realities of today’s solar market—which has reacted, not with facts, but by smearing me and the supposed funding of the organizations I lead. Apparently, when you have emotion and messaging on your side, you do not need to be impeded by facts—such as the sun and the wind are free, but converting them to electricity is expensive; converting them to reliable, albeit expensive, electricity is virtually impossible. Ah, but they never let the truth stand in the way of their feel-good story.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column.

 

Again: The Most UnReverend Al Sharpton

According to an article in the New York Post, Al Sharpton is not held in high esteem by many people that have experienced Al and his cohorts as they organize to put the NAN logo on everything moving or still.

The article provides both narrative and a video showing the work of James O’Keeth and some of his investigative team, Project Veritas

Here is a partial clip of the “Post,” story and a resource link to the story and the video

Al Sharpton is all about the Benjamins, a daughter of police chokehold victim Eric Garner claims in a bombshell videotape.

Erica Snipes tees off on the reverend as interested primarily in money during a conversation secretly recorded by controversial conservative activist James O’Keefe’s group, Project Veritas.

Here’s the link to the story and the video is included on the article page:

New York Post

Don’t forget to give the Related Stories a look.  You’ll find them below.

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Jason L. Riley: Black, blue and in-between

The problem with or between the black communities and law enforcement agencies has been discussed, one could say, ad infinitum.  One could say such and to some degree be right on target.  The tendency might be for those capable and with the desire to act to forget trying to accomplish anything due to the epithet of racist being hurled in their direction.  We are not talking only of whites, but also of those blacks suffering from the same appellation being plastered on their backs when they do not agree with their black brothers and sisters that the cause of the current sorry state of black crime and black family structure can be laid solely on the treatment by whites and law enforcement.

Jason L Riley is no stranger to black poverty or to what happens in black communities which have suffered from disproportionate criminal acts committed by blacks, and especially black on black crime.

Below you will find a video which runs close to one hour.  The speech from which the video was recorded was presented at Hillsdale College‘s Kirby Center.

Conspiracy Brews 2.14.15

If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday. Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting. For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact: ConspiracyBrews@aol.com.
Conspiracy Brews

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

Benjamin Franklin
Not your average political discussion group!
February 14, 2015
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.
*** Quotes of the Week ***
“Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“A sailor without a destination cannot hope for a favorable wind.”
Leon Tec M.D.

Suggested Topics

— Do you go to government for your soul (individuals or corporations) ?
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/eric-scheiner/rep-cummings-people-come-government-feed-their-souls

— Sexual harassment in AFD… will the Major handle this charge better than APD?

— What do you think of the Albuquerque Epicenter for Entrepreneurs?
http://www.abqjournal.com/539681/biz/biz-most-recent/entrepreneur-epicenter-to-open-downtown.html
(Light Quotes of the week)
“The greatest justice in life is that your vision and looks tend to go simultaneously.”

Kevin Bacon

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.”

Mark Twain

“There’s an old saying about those who forget history. I don’t remember it but it’s good.”

Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, March 10, 2008

——-

“He,” hangs out with the strangest women and men

We are talking about our stellar president.  You know, the one with great difficulty in finding a tongue to say, “Islamic Jihadist,” or anything similar.

He has now opened up his home and our White House, to people proven to be those words.  The Clarion has the story that he and his minions would not admit to.

Right here to start:

US President Barack Obama, privately met with 14 Muslim leaders, including several leaders of Muslim Brotherhood front groups with ties to Hamas.

By Elliot Friedland

Sun, February 8, 2015

The White House has released the names of senior American Muslim leaders that President Obama met with personally last week. The list of names was included on the transcript of the White House daily press briefing on Thursday, despite journalists having requested the information much sooner. Prior to that, the White House had refused to name the leaders.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with the President meeting with representatives from any faith community and with the Muslim community in particular. Yet some of the individuals who met with the President have alarming links to the Muslim Brotherhood and organizations that have funded terrorism.

Azhar Azeez represented the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in the talks with Obama. Declassified FBI documents show that ISNA was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group as early as 1987 and its past leaders include Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who was convicted on terrorism related charges in 2004 …

Follow this link for more

Editor: Shamefully there is so much more to demonstrate how Obama throws caution to the wind and slaps American citizens across their face with with people who either are themselves terrible murderers … or lay with sadists who are.