Wind Energy: The Next Green Black-Hole – Marita Noon – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Can you say crony capitalism at its worst? That’s exactly what this is.

I’ve featured Marita Noon before, she is extremely knowledgeable on energy so listen up:

 

The wind energy industry has been having a hard time. The taxpayer funding that has kept it alive for the last twenty years is coming to an end, and those promoting the industry are panicking.

Perhaps this current wave started when one of wind energy’s most noted supporters, T. Boone Pickens, “Mr. Wind,” in an April 12 interview on MSNBC said, “I’m in the wind business…I lost my ass in the business.”

The industry’s fortunes didn’t get any better when on May 4, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote an editorial titled, “Gouged by the wind,” in which they stated: “With natural gases not far from $2 per million BTU, the competitiveness of wind power is highly suspect.” Citing a study on renewable energy mandates, the WSJ says: “The states with mandates paid 31.9% more for electricity than states without them.”

Then, last week the Financial Times did a comprehensive story: “US Renewables boom could turn into a bust” in which they predict the “enthusiasm for renewables” … “could fizzle out.” The article says: “US industry is stalling and may be about to go into reverse. …Governments all over the world have been curbing support for renewable energy.”

Michael Liebreich of the research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance says: “With a financially stressed electorate, it’s really hard to go to them and say: ‘Gas is cheap, but we’ve decided to build wind farms for no good reason that we can articulate.’” Christopher Blansett, who is a top analyst in the alternative-energy sector in the Best on the Street survey, says, “People want cheap energy. They don’t necessarily want clean energy.”

It all boils down to a production tax credit (PTC) that is set to expire at the end 2012. Four attempts to get it extended have already been beaten back so far this year—and we are only in the fifth month. The Financial Times reports: “Time-limited subsidy programmes…face an uphill battle. The biggest to expire this year is the production tax credit for onshore wind power, the most important factor behind the fourfold expansion of US wind generation since 2006. Re

Continue reading Wind Energy: The Next Green Black-Hole – Marita Noon – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

Solyndra Part 5429? (I’m not sure either)

Seal of the United States Department of Energy.

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I know I’ve written four times about this but, I choose not to write about it every day, I (and you) get bored with it. But Solyndra, like Fast and Furious, and Old Man River, just keeps rolling along.

This installment is from the Washington Post via Hot Air and Melissa Clouthier and details how layoff announcement was delayed till 3 November 2010 at the cost of $40 Billion taxpayer dollars.

The Washington Post broke this story earlier this morning.  Does anyone want to argue that Solyndra isn’t a scandal now?

“The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show. …

“Solyndra’s chief executive warned the Energy Department on Oct. 25, 2010, that he intended to announce worker layoffs Oct. 28. He said he was spurred by numerous calls from reporters and potential investors about rumors the firm was in financial trouble and was planning to lay off workers and close one of its two plants.

“But in an Oct. 30, 2010, e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3. The midterm elections were held Nov. 2, and led to Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Read the Article.

About the only thing I find even slightly humorous about this debacle is that Hot Air commenters are referring to Michelle Malkin referring to Obama as Icarus and recalling his fate. I’m reasonably certain at this point that if the Republicans had won the Senate, impeachment would be in the air.

But at least its only a year until elections.

Keystone Update

Truck Hauling 36-Inch Pipe To Build Keystone X...

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As we have noted before the Keystone XL pipeline which will run from Canada to Texas has overwhelming support. It will provide lower cost oil (from the Canadian Oils Sands) and increase our security.

I suppose we should note in passing that in Montana they are also building a rail car loading facility to handle part of the Bakken field that has North Dakota booming. (more here)

Anyway the Watermelons (you know: Green on the outside and red on the inside) are filing another frivolous lawsuit to try to stop the pipeline. This time they’re excited because investigations are being done to make sure find and relocate the American burrowing beetle (don’t ask me, I’ve never seen one either) from under the pipeline route.

As part of this they are mowing the grass; the group, which includes; The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth, has filed suit to stop them.

Ben Howe at RedState has the story:

Environmentalists are up in arms and going to court to try to prevent the mowing of grass taking place around the future site of the Keystone XL Pipeline, an oil pipeline connecting Alberta, Canada with Gulf Coast refineries.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth have filed a lawsuit making the charge that the mowing of grass along the proposed route is really the beginning of construction.

“It’s outrageous that TransCanada is already clearing the way for the Keystone XL pipeline before the public has had a chance to have its say and, indeed, before federal agencies have even said it can be built,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It looks like the fix is in on this dangerous project, and the sham public process is nothing more than an afterthought.”

In actuality, the mowing is an effort to find and relocate the American burying beetle from burrowing below where the pipeline is proposed to be built.  Something you’d think the environmentalist whackos would be happy was being done.

But it’s not really about the beetle or the grass.  This is simply a stalling technique, and one that the Center for Biological Diversity is well accustomed to.

Continue Reading

Isn’t that special?

With the Mid east blowing up and all the other problems we have they still want to stop anything that might have to do with safe domestic power if it is derived from fossil fuels instead of their precious, completely inadequate, so-called renewables.

Personally, I don’t think we can afford the watermelons, any more. Western Civilization was built on using mechanical energy instead of animal (including human) energy, and they are trying their best to undo the Industrial revolution. But, of course, only for us peons, not for them.

Solyndra Part IV

First PumaBydesign001 has the video of Washington’s reaction.

Just about what we’ve come to expect.

Scott Walker at Philanthropy Today has an article up in connection with Solyndra where he writes about some of the odd characteristics of the Kaiser Foundation.

For example, it turns out that the “George Kaiser Family Foundation” isn’t exactly a foundation as conventionally understood. Legally speaking, it’s not a “private nonoperating foundation” like, say, the Ford Foundation or the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Instead, it’s a “supporting organization” of the Tulsa Community Foundation.

That fact has several consequences:

– George Kaiser can use a much higher proportion of his donations to lower his personal income tax bill.

– The Kaiser Foundation can own big chunks of for-profit companies like Solyndra, whereas it’s not clear a standard foundation could legally do so.

– Unlike standard foundations, the Kaiser Foundation has no legal requirement to give away at least 5 percent of its assets every year (and so far it hasn’t come close to giving that much away – in 2009, the last year for which figures are available, it contributed just over 1 percent to charities).

You really should read the rest, and his links.

Wapo says Secretary Chu is getting ready to fall on his sword.

Bloomberg says Solyndra should have a bankruptcy trustee because they won’t answer questions.

Hot Air’s Green Room and the Scandal of Tommorrowland.

Megan McArdle, explaining why the federal loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra is more venture socialism than venture capitalism, concluded:

[T]his isn’t much like a VC. Or anything else that makes financial sense in the private sector. It’s like… the government giving money to companies that sound whizzy.

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds added: “A more cynical explanation is that the ‘sound whizzy’ is just meant to be a distraction from what’s really no more than a payoff to political supporters.” When the history of the Solydra debacle is fully written, Prof. Reynolds may well be correct about the political payoff angle. However, our sprawling federal government offer myriad opportunities for political payoffs, so it’s worth examining why the Obama administration would throw hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars at things that “sound whizzy.”

Read the rest.

If you’ve forgotten, here is what I’ve said.

Solyndra, and

Solyndra Part II, and

Solyndra (et. al.) Part III.

In other news: PumaBydesign 001 also reports that New Yorkers are getting pretty damn tired of #OccupyWallStreet even if Frances Fox Pivens drops by.

Have a fun rest of Monday.

Solyndra-Part II

Cliff Stearns

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CNN Money is talking about Solyndra as a case study of whether the government should be financing risky ventures in the private sector.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Until recently, few outside the solar power industry had even heard of Solyndra Inc.

Now the company’s bankruptcy has become a case study on an issue likely to gain increasing attention: Should the government be investing taxpayer dollars in promising — but risky — startup companies?

The takeaway quote to me is:

“Taxpayers may be better served by putting that money towards reducing the deficit,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns.

And there’s this:

So far, the department has backed nearly $40 billion in projects that range from solar and wind farms to nuclear power plants.

Read it all.

Ace has the story of the ABC coverage and a link to Mark Levin at Hot Air.

Not the longest report, but the questions were properly framed — “Did the White House rush a half billion of your dollars to a company certain to fail?”   Read the rest.

The Washington Post reports that the program also failed to create jobs, green or otherwise. They are claiming amongst other thing that it saved 33,000 jobs at Ford Motor Company (about half of its payroll). Link here.

And finally here’s the Solyndra Story Final Memo from the House Energy Committee.

ps. For those of you that still think Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is settled science, another Nobel winning physicist has resigned from the American Physical Society of their promotion of AGW. The story from Climate Depot

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