Every Election and Every Office Matters: Energy Edition

 

Solar scam corporation commissionEvery election and every office matters. Every American eligible to vote knows this now. We have all been affected by the decisions, the proclamations, of officials from city hall to federal agencies we hardly knew. Pay attention to signs and statements, from local campaign signs to the national party platforms. Consider the case of energy policy, with the examples of California, Arizona, and the Democrats’ national platform. California’s blackouts illuminate the stakes for all of us.

California

California is the largest and most advanced environmental leftist experiment among the fifty “laboratories of democracy.” They have starved their own residents of both water and power, steadfastly blocking new power generation and water storage, while shutting down disfavored power plants like they send millions of gallons of water flowing past parched farmland into the sea. Governor Newsom is entirely unrepentant, along with the Democrat super-majority in the state legislature, avoiding blame for California blackouts.

California maintains a “prideful” sustainable energy portfolio, but the past weekend has exposed an overreliance on energy sources that may not yet be able to meet high demand, Newsom said Monday.

“With the need to shut down polluting gas plants comes the need to have more insurance, and there have been, by definition, in the next few days, gaps in that reliability,” Newsom said. “We can’t sacrifice reliability as we move forward in this transition.”

As Californians swelter in the heat, another one of those “sustainable energy” sources has gone belly-up. A solar generating boondoggle in Nevada was supposed to provide morally superior power to the grid, but it was both unreliable and fabulously overpriced even for solar power. Tonopah Solar Energy finally ran out of political juice and U.S. taxpayer backed loans. Notice that the loan program started with Bush Republicans, then ramped up with Obama’s people dishing out dollars to favored programs (and their wealthy leftist backers).

Tonopah is owned by SolarReserve, the startup that developed the plant, Cobra Energy Investments LLC, a division of Spanish infrastructure company ACS (ACS.MC), and Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC), according to court papers.

Tonopah’s 110-megawatt plant in the Nevada desert was billed as the first to be able to store solar energy. But its technology, which uses more than 10,000 mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on a tower to create steam, was both unreliable and expensive.

[. . .]

The DOE’s loan guarantee program, created in 2005 under the Bush administration, was intended to support development of new, risky technologies that traditional project financiers shied away from.

The program for renewable energy projects was first funded in 2009 as part of former President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus. Solyndra had received more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees under the program before going bust in 2011.

Speaking of Solyndra, Democrats, and Biden, ABC News reported in 2011 that the Obama administration, with Vice President Biden supposedly leading the recovery stimulus spending effort, engaged in shortcuts as they dished out the dollars.

The Obama administration bypassed procedural steps meant to protect taxpayers as it hurried to approve an energy loan guarantee to a politically-connected California solar power startup, ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News have learned.

The Energy Department in March 2009 announced its intention to award Solyndra Inc. a $535 million loan guarantee before receiving final copies of outside reviews typically used to vet such deals. An independent federal auditor who has reviewed the energy loan program said moving so quickly without completing thorough reviews risked exposing the program to claims of political influence and put taxpayers at greater risk.

[. . .]

The loan guarantee, the administration’s first for a clean energy project, benefited a company whose prime financial backers include Oklahoma oil billionaire George Kaiser, a “bundler” of campaign donations. Kaiser raised at least $50,000 for the president’s 2008 election effort.

Several political allies of the president have ties to companies receiving Energy Department loans, grants or loan guarantees. For instance, the venture firm of another top Obama bundler, Steve Westly, has financially supported companies that won more than half a billion dollars in energy grants and loans during President Obama’s time in office, iWatch News and ABC News reported in March. Relatively few applicants succeed in winning such benefits. The Energy Department said every one of those awards was won on merit.

Arizona

The Arizona Republican’t Party stinks. Governor, the Lord High D-uc-ey, who will never face Arizona voters again, has kept his knee on Arizonan’s necks with one executive order after another robbing people of their savings and dreams in their small businesses. This has taken so much of his time that he has failed to lead the state GOP, unless his great plan is to win by losing. Under his neglectful non-leadership, his party failed to safely qualify at least three candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission. This means that Democrats have an excellent chance to take the majority and impose radical California Democrat energy policies, crushing our economy and imposing massive increased costs on workers, consumers, and small businesses. Just look at the sign; they are not hiding their agenda.

There are five seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates energy utilities among other things. Democrats have steadily worked towards a majority that would let them impose massive regulatory giveaways to (primarilly) leftists running solar scams. They want to dictate a radical shift away from stable nuclear power and permanently foreclose the Navajo Nation ever restarting their coal-fired plant. This will cause massive increases in real costs and instability in energy availability. The working poor and those struggling to get a piece of the American dream will be hardest hit, as always.

The “businessman” governor, Doug Ducey, presided over a massive failure in the run-up to the Arizona primaries, leaving Republicans with only two candidates qualified for the general election, while Democrats safely got three candidates onto the ticket. There are three seats up for election. The other two are split, one Republican : one Democrat. So, unless both Republicans score in the top three, the Democrats will take the majority. That is, because there are three seats and only two Republican candidates, the state Republicant party has failed to even compete for one of the open seats. The Democrats just need to get the second and third most votes and they take control.

Candidates get on primary ballots by collecting enough valid voter signatures on petitions. The process is well-known, including the long-time sport of knocking people off by challenging signatures. Competent party operations make sure they not only recruit candidates to cover all the offices on the ballot but also make sure there are enough extra signatures to survive aggressive challenges. Governor Ducey and Arizona Republican Party Chairman Kelli Ward, a two time Senate primary loser, failed to enforce basic competence in the party apparatus. A businessman should know that reliable and affordable energy is essential to economic development, so the Corporation Commission bears close attention each election cycle.

Democrat 2020 Platform

If you don’t like the California model, you will do everything in your power to reelect President Trump, keeping Obama’s Vice President (see the ABC News report above) and the junior senator from California out of the White House. Take them at their words and note their past deeds. They are doubling down on leftism for all to see. Democrats believe California climate policy is a good example to replicate, on a grander scale. Imagine the billions in grift they see just beyond the election!

At the Democratic National Convention this week, presidential and vice-presidential candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will make the case for spending $2 trillion, or $500 billion per year, to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels toward renewables like solar and wind.

Biden has said he would not “tinker around the edges” with his plan. “We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity.”

In many respects, the Biden-Harris plan is even more aggressive than California’s. “The plan is very bold,” Leah Stokes of the University of California, Santa Barbara, told the Financial Times. “There is no [US] state right now that has a target this ambitious.”

[. . .]

“People wonder how we made it through the heat wave of 2006,” said Berberich. “The answer is that there was a lot more generating capacity in 2006 than in 2020…. We had San Onofre [nuclear plant] of 2,200 MW, and a number of other plants, totalling thousands of MW not there today.”

For decades, California Democrats have argued that major economies can run mostly, if not entirely, on renewables. “We are in the future business in California and that means we’re in the renewables business,” said Governor Gavin Newsom in 2016, when he made the case for closing the state’s nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon.

Diablo Canyon is the last nuclear power plant in California, and the leftists controlling state government have ordered it closed in 2025.

“We chart a new energy future by phasing out nuclear power here in California,” California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker said before the 5-0 vote to shut down the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County. “We agree the time has come.”

The decision comes after the plant’s operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, announced an agreement in 2016 with a collection of environmental and labor groups to shutter the plant that has delivered electricity since 1985.

So, not only coal, oil, and natural gas, but also nuclear power is excluded in the leftist Democrat definition of “clean energy sources.” Just read what the DNC has proudly published:

We are committed to getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade, with half a billion solar panels installed within four years and enough renewable energy to power every home in the country. We will cut energy waste in American homes, schools, hospitals, and offices through energy efficient improvements; modernize our electric grid; and make American manufacturing the cleanest and most efficient in the world. These efforts will create millions of new jobs and save families and businesses money on their monthly energy bills. [This is a lie, even bigger than “you can keep your doctor,” and the Democrats all know it.] We will transform American transportation by reducing oil consumption through cleaner fuels, vehicle electrification increasing the fuel efficiency of cars, boilers, ships, and trucks. We will make new investments in public transportation and build bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure across our urban and suburban areas. Democrats believe the tax code must reflect our commitment to a clean energy future by eliminating special tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies as well as defending and extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.

Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and help meet our climate goals. Democrats believe that climate change is too important to wait for climate deniers and defeatists in Congress to start listening to science, and support using every tool available to reduce emissions now. Democrats are committed to defending, implementing, and extending smart pollution and efficiency standards, including the Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards for automobiles and heavy-duty vehicles, building codes, and appliance standards. We are also committed to expanding clean energy research and development.

Democrats recognize the importance of climate leadership at the local level and know that achieving our national clean energy goals requires an active partnership with states, cities, and rural communities where so much of our country’s energy policy is made. We will ensure that those taking the lead on clean energy and energy efficiency have the tools and resources they need to succeed. The federal government should lead by example, which is why we support taking steps to power the government with 100 percent clean electricity.

Democrats are committed to closing the Halliburton loophole that stripped the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing, and ensuring tough safeguards are in place, including Safe Drinking Water Act provisions, to protect local water supplies. We believe hydraulic fracturing should not take place where states and local communities oppose it. We will reduce methane emissions from all oil and gas production and transportation by at least 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 through common-sense standards for both new and existing sources and by repairing and replacing thousands of miles of leaky pipes. This will both protect our climate and create thousands of good-paying jobs.

We will work to expand access to cost-saving renewable energy by low-income households, create good-paying jobs in communities that have struggled with energy poverty, and oppose efforts by utilities to limit consumer choice or slow clean energy deployment. We will streamline federal permitting to accelerate the construction of new transmission lines to get low-cost renewable energy to market, and incentivize wind, solar, and other renewable energy over the development of new natural gas power plants.

How you vote in the 2020 general election will determine whether we are all plunged into radical national decline, with energy becoming a luxury doled out by Democrats, and California-style rolling blackouts and brown-outs everywhere. Act accordingly.

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  1. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    New Mexico doesn’t have a ton of electoral votes. But New Mexico does get over a third of its state budget from oil and natural gas revenues and royalties, more than Texas’ total. Adding Harris to the ticket, who wants to kill off all fracking, on top of Biden wanting to kill off all fracking on public lands — which would include about half of NM’s drilling zone — should make it a state that’s flippable from 2016 for Trump. He’s already going to win the Permian Basin section of the state, but it’s that huge cut to the budget a fracking ban would cause which should get even people outside of the main drilling areas concerned, since they’ll be looking at either major program cuts or much higher taxes if the Democrats win in November.

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Sorry to read this. Looks like I may have to scratch Arizona from my “where to move to from California” list   

    • #2
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    New Mexico doesn’t have a ton of electoral votes. But New Mexico does get over a third of its state budget from oil and natural gas revenues and royalties, more than Texas’ total. Adding Harris to the ticket, who wants to kill off all fracking, on top of Biden wanting to kill off all fracking on public lands — which would include about half of NM’s drilling zone — should make it a state that’s flippable from 2016 for Trump. He’s already going to win the Permian Basin section of the state, but it’s that huge cut to the budget a fracking ban would cause which should get even people outside of the main drilling areas concerned, since they’ll be looking at either major program cuts or much higher taxes if the Democrats win in November.

    But New Mexico has a strong socialist streak.  I think they would gladly vote for the party that promises to ban fracking, just to get more goodies from D.C.

    • #3
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    No honest moral person can be against cheap fossil fuel sourced energy.  Unfortunately, honest moral people are in short supply.

    • #4
  5. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    New Mexico doesn’t have a ton of electoral votes. But New Mexico does get over a third of its state budget from oil and natural gas revenues and royalties, more than Texas’ total. Adding Harris to the ticket, who wants to kill off all fracking, on top of Biden wanting to kill off all fracking on public lands — which would include about half of NM’s drilling zone — should make it a state that’s flippable from 2016 for Trump. He’s already going to win the Permian Basin section of the state, but it’s that huge cut to the budget a fracking ban would cause which should get even people outside of the main drilling areas concerned, since they’ll be looking at either major program cuts or much higher taxes if the Democrats win in November.

    But New Mexico has a strong socialist streak. I think they would gladly vote for the party that promises to ban fracking, just to get more goodies from D.C.

    Governor Freak-Out-And-Close-Everything-Because-Of-COVID came into office in 2019 with the idea she was going to be hyper-woke on the environment and slay the evil fracking dragon … until her budget people told her just how much New Mexico would have to hack out of their state budget if she followed through. Lujan-Grisham backed off after that, though she did throw a bone to her progressive backers by promising to offer dirt-cheap state school tuition via oil funding subsidies. Hard to see how she gets around that problem if Biden-Harris goes all over the country touting their fracking cutbacks. The enviros in the northern part of the state will still back her, Joe and Kamala, but the people fearful of major budget cuts or tax hikes are the ones Trump may be able to win over, if they don’t believe Uncle Sugar in D.C. is going to make up for the loss of energy revenues.

    • #5
  6. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Sorry to read this. Looks like I may have to scratch Arizona from my “where to move to from California” list

    And where will CA buy its energy from?

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I read an article that even Governor Newsom is starting to have second thoughts about going all renewable . . .

    • #7
  8. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Stad (View Comment):

    I read an article that even Governor Newsom is starting to have second thoughts about going all renewable . . .

    Yes, it’s amazing that when a recall measure is being circulated that he wouldn’t want to give more energy to that through a lack of cooling of your residence.

    • #8
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    New Mexico doesn’t have a ton of electoral votes. But New Mexico does get over a third of its state budget from oil and natural gas revenues and royalties, more than Texas’ total. Adding Harris to the ticket, who wants to kill off all fracking, on top of Biden wanting to kill off all fracking on public lands — which would include about half of NM’s drilling zone — should make it a state that’s flippable from 2016 for Trump. He’s already going to win the Permian Basin section of the state, but it’s that huge cut to the budget a fracking ban would cause which should get even people outside of the main drilling areas concerned, since they’ll be looking at either major program cuts or much higher taxes if the Democrats win in November.

    Thank you for the New Mexico local detail. President Trump seems serious about expanding the electoral map and seeking an popular majority in addition to electoral college majority. 

    • #9
  10. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Yes, by all means we need more elected officials to screw around with the production of electrical power. It’s going to take a lot of solar panels to replace this power plant.

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is located on 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of land, and it consists of three pressurized water reactors, each with an original capacity to produce 1.27 GW of electric power. After a power uprate, each reactor is now able to produce 1.4 GW of electric power. The usual power production capacity is about 70 to 95 percent of this. This nuclear power plant is a major source of electric power for the densely populated parts of Southern Arizona and Southern California, e.g. the Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California metropolitan areas.

    • #10
  11. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Yes, by all means we need more elected officials to screw around with the production of electrical power. It’s going to take a lot of solar panels to replace this power plant.

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.

    The Palo Verde Generating Station is located on 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of land, and it consists of three pressurized water reactors, each with an original capacity to produce 1.27 GW of electric power. After a power uprate, each reactor is now able to produce 1.4 GW of electric power. The usual power production capacity is about 70 to 95 percent of this.

    It was the last major nuclear plant in the U.S. to come online, because by the 1980s the left had so demonized nuclear power that the regulatory costs caused some of the sponsoring utilities to flirt with bankruptcy.

    • #11
  12. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Sorry to read this. Looks like I may have to scratch Arizona from my “where to move to from California” list

    We moved in 2017 and have been very disappointed in Ducey who seems more interested in Cindy McCain than the AZ residents.  I lived in CA for 60 years and my wife is a third generation native CA. We go back only to see grand children.

    • #12
  13. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Sorry to read this. Looks like I may have to scratch Arizona from my “where to move to from California” list

    And where will CA buy its energy from?

    It has a problem. Back about  15 years ago, after AZ passed SB210, Los Angeles city council banned any imports from AZ.  The staff had to quietly inform them that LA got 25% of its electricity from AZ. The ban was quietly dropped.

    • #13