Free Markets, Free People

Obama plans to carpet the West in solar projects

But open the same amount of federal land to fossil fuel exploration and exploitation? 


Instead, we get this:

The Obama administration will open public lands in six Western states to more solar projects as part of a solar energy road map it publicized Tuesday.

The Interior Department set aside 285,000 acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah for the initiative. Firms can apply for waivers to develop projects on an additional 19 million acres.

Imagine 19 million acres covered in solar installations.  That won’t have any environmental impact on eco-systems, will it?

And if it does, well, they’ll just “waiver” them, because, you know, this is a favored industry.  Regulation?  Yeah, most likely not at all as stringent as those applied to those old “dirty” fuels. 

Which brings us to an ironic point.  Remember in years past when we fought against the dumping of government subsidized products from other countries on our shores.

Guess what?  We’re now the target for much the same argument:

China’s Commerce Ministry said Friday that it is investigating possible solar equipment subsidies by the U.S. and South Korea and their impact on Chinese manufacturers, widening a trade spat at a time of oversupply and weakening demand for solar power equipment.

The ministry has launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into polysilicon imports from the U.S., as well as an anti-dumping probe into imports from South Korea, it said in separate statements on its website.

Yes I know, China is as hypocritical as they come, but, apparently, so are we.

It’s called crony capitalism (or as mentioned previously, venture socialism).  Again government, using your money, is subsidizing an industry that can’t make it alone because in reality there’s no market demand for their product. By subsidizing them, government is socializing their losses.  This administration has heavily subsidized the domestic solar industry (and even then we see industry business failures right and left) and is forcing a product on the market to satisfy a political agenda even when alternate and more viable (but unfavored) products are available much more cheaply.

The administration has since approved 17 major solar projects on public lands producing about 6,000 megawatts of power, Salazar said.

“We have made huge strides in the last three-and-a-half years, but we realize we are only at the beginning of this effort and that there’s a lot more to do,” Salazar said. “I have no doubt that the United States will lead the world in solar energy development.”

My guess is those 17 solar projects will end up on more acreage than has been approved by the administration for oil exploration.

“Huge strides”?  Not in any market sense.  What he’s talking about is the administration making “huge strides” in forcing a product into a market that is not in demand by that market, ignoring the environmental impact of such projects (even while being more restrictive on fossil fuel development) and generally playing the “central planning” game.  Government knows better than you and the markets about what we need, or didn’t you know that?

Sort of reminds me of those new light bulbs they forced on us which are now being found to cause skin damage due to UV light leakage.

But hey, I’m just a prole, what do I know?

Oh, and here’s where you have to read between the lines.  Note the spin involved in this sentence:

The areas selected in the plan minimize “resource conflict,” Salazar noted, meaning they avoid regions where solar development would edge out exploration for other natural resources.

What that also means is the administration has successfully exempted up to 19 million acres of federal land from fossil fuel exploration.


The plan released Tuesday would expedite solar project approval while cutting some up-front costs for developers, Steve Black, counsel to the Interior Department, said Tuesday.

Translation: The favored industry will get favored treatment all paid for by your dollars (or borrowed ones, most likely).

Environmental groups?  Forget about it.  You haven’t a chance on this one.  You’’ll be steamrolled just like the rest of the country.  Save your money and effort for something you can tie up and delay – anything to do with fossil fuels.  You know, the life blood of our commerce?

Yeah, concentrate there.  The administration will be glad to help.



Twitter: @McQandO

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61 Responses to Obama plans to carpet the West in solar projects

  • Wonder what the life-cycle and per watt costs are for these delusional energy projects?
    Take water, for instance.  I figure solar panels in dusty desert regions have to be kept clean somehow.  How much water is required over a life-cycle and per watt?  How does that compare with a gas turbine power plant of equal out-put?
    See, contra a certain Capitanus, these projects are detached from anything like a “good idea” in the world of reality.

    • Don’t forget the efficiency-reducing abrasion caused by all that dust and grit flying around during dust storms. I wonder how many years that takes off the life cycle.

    • That’s a bigger problem than many might realize. I have 5.2kW of roof panels and if I don’t keep them clean, I notice a decrease in power production. Dust, smoke from chimney and forest fires, all this coats the panels. Also don’t forget that roads will have to be built and these will look amazingly like logging and well maintenance roads But of course no one will make a fuss about the endangered Oogi Boogi light blue sand flea whose only habitat will be destroyed.

      • Plus, with directional drilling, you could drill MANY wells from a single location, and produce from the same relatively tiny foot-print.
        When those wells are depleted, you roll everything up, pretty much like it was never there.

  • They’re in ‘we’re doing something’ mode.  In case you haven’t noticed, they don’t bother to concern themselves about whether the something they are doing is sensible, practical or economical.

  • I’m sure glad the government invented  the internet.  There is minimal study of the adverse effect of the energy-saving florescent light bulbs.  If future studies confirm these results, then they will be modified—that’s the way science works.  They’ve already developed energy-saving bulbs without mercury.

    • You likely believe in the tooth fairy as well, huh Tad?

      • Are you denying that government funded scientific and engineering projects—in conjunction with the university system and the military, along with a few socialistic countries—collaborated in the development of the internet; or, are you disputing that mercury free energy-saving light bulbs have been developed?

        • Nope, what I’m intimating is you believe the government is the source and solution for everything.

          • The government as an investor would be out of business in a week.
            Oh, and Xerox PARC invented the Internet because the government was typically sluggish and too bureaucratic.

            According to a book about Xerox PARC, “Dealers of Lightning” (by Michael Hiltzik), its top researchers realized they couldn’t wait for the government to connect different networks, so would have to do it themselves. “We have a more immediate problem than they do,” Robert Metcalfe told his colleague John Shoch in 1973. “We have more networks than they do.” Mr. Shoch later recalled that ARPA staffers “were working under government funding and university contracts. They had contract administrators . . . and all that slow, lugubrious behavior to contend with.”

            And BankOfAmerica built the Golden Gate bridge.


            The Department of Defense (then called the Department of War) kicked and screamed saying that the bridge would be dangerous and block the channel from ships going in an out of the Presidio base.
            Since the DOD owned the land on either side of the channel, there was no way to build it without Federal approval, and they refused to grant it.
            After another year of wrangling, and some heavy support from the fledgling automotive industry lobbying (yes, they had lobbyists back then too), the DOD finally relents and allows construction of the bridge, but only sells the land back to the state commission and does not participate in its construction.
            Construction did not go as smoothly as planned. It takes another FIVE years for the government and the architects to come to agreement on the design. Furthermore, Federal contractor unions wanted the contracts to build the bridge and stalled the government on the issue, demanding they take action to halt construction unless they got the contract. Fortunately, local authorities insisted that as part of the contract only local labor would be used instead of Federal union contracts, insuring the area had work during Depression era unemployment.
            A second problem in 1929 when the US Stock Market collapsed made for more problems. The Golden Gate committee now has trouble issuing the bond needed for the construction of the bridge, even though the citizens of the surrounding area had put up their own personal lands and farms as collateral. It takes 3 more years and the wealthy President and founder of Bank of America, A.P. Giannini, to personally buy the 35 million dollar bond which he then finances through the bank. Without the bank and the intervention of private industry fueled by personal wealth, again the bridge would not have been built. By 1937 the bridge is completed—and [architect Joseph] Strauss delivers the bridge 1.7 million UNDER budget, using local non-union labor and private contractors.

            Government Investing Corp. would be sued for fraud under SEC rules under innumerable provisions.

          • Contrast the Golden Gate experience with the Empire State building; from conception to completion in under two years.

          • Oh my … no government help?

            How is that possible?

        • The internet also was created based upon private enterprise. No government would create the internet we now know.

          • In theory government workers wouldn’t populate the net with porn.   In theory.

        • Well yes I am denying that the Internet was taxpayer funded. ARPA wanted a robust way to connect research computers but the protocol developed was not TCP/IP which is what the Internet relies upon. Cerf and Kahn made the first proposals for TCPIP in the early-mid 70s. TCP addressed the problems of network congestion and reliability which were not part of the ARPA work.

    • In todays news, those cursed, over-priced, foreign-made, toxic-spill-looking-for-a-place-to-happen light bulbs have a new claim to infamy: They emit so much UV rays, they are damaging our eyes and skin.
      You just can’t make this stuff up.

    • “then they will be modified”

      The studies? Seems to work with AGW.

  • If Barry ever picked a winner in the market place, he might actually sway public opinion that government is capable of making good energy decisions. Given his perfect record of Epic Fail… not so much.

  • Did it ever occur to y’all that in the infancy of the oil and gas industry it was subsidized by the government, and those subsidies helped develop it into the most valuable traded commodity on the planet?

    There was a study that looked at government subsidies during the first fifteen years of an energy source and what it found was that oil and gas and nuclear were MUCH more heavily subsidized than all alternative energy sources combined, by a factor of 5 to 9.

    “Federal support during the first 15 years works out to $3.3 billion annually for nuclear energy and $1.8 billion annually for oil and gas, but an average of only $400 million a year in inflation-adjusted dollars for ­renewables.”

    This is not new stuff here.

    • Only if you torture the meaning of “subsidy” to make it say anything you want.
      Seriously, is there no lie you will blush to tell?

    • “There was a study that looked at government subsidies during the first fifteen years of an energy source and what it found was that oil and gas and nuclear were MUCH more heavily subsidized than all alternative energy sources combined, by a factor of 5 to 9.”
      key words here – ” first fifteen years of an energy source”
      In, uh, 1859?
      Are you telling me the Federal government in 1859 was subsidizing the oil industry in Pennsylvania?
      Are you telling me the Federal government was subsidizing combustible gas production or collection as far back as 1816 (Baltimore)?
      Kinda makes your study suspect since oil and gas were both being heavily used on a large scale before we even fully understood germs, let alone atoms and fission and long before anyone would have been able to convince Congress to subsidize them.

      • The left relies upon a definition of subsidy that changes as required.

        A tax break for an oil company is a subsidy. Now, what about the 65 cents per /gallon I pay in taxes every time I put gas in my tank? Isn’t that a subsidy for every character driving an electric car? Is she counting that?

        • It has long been a lefty contention that a tax break is a subsidy.  That ties back to their philosophy that YOUR labor (wealth) really belongs to the government, and when they let you KEEP more of it, they are subsidizing you.
          All in all, a pretty sick way of seeing the world and one that leads to where we are.

      • The subsidies in the study don’t appear to start occurring with frequency until around the turn of the last century.  Which leaves 40 years for oil, and nearly a century for gas produced by various means (pine needles, gassification of coal, etc) going without a significant subsidy, and certainly not the way we subsidize things now.  And wow, doesn’t that seem to occur in the age of the robber barons?
        So, is Solyndra part of a robber baron empire?
        Hardly indicates a massive government outlay, of a much cheaper government, back in the 1800’s.  If anything it would have been a desire to develop the resource to ‘gasp’ escape the need to rely on Europe, England in particular, since they weren’t exactly our best buds for a very good portion of the 19th century.

      • “Are you telling me the Federal government in 1859 was subsidizing the oil industry in Pennsylvania?”

        Why not? According to the anthropologist and the grad. student who wrote the “study”, ” Coal, Pfund notes, benefits from a host of centuries-old programs that signal a rich history of aid”. Perhaps if they had consulted a historian, or even a history book, they would have known that coal as an energy source predated even their alleged ‘programs’.

    • When quizzed about the Solyndra failure, Pfund says it is consistent with the history of energy transitions in America.
      “Today, we see a very stable and concentrated oil industry. But history tells us there used to be plenty of wildcatters and small oil and coal companies,” Pfund explains. “Many failed and went out of business or were long ago absorbed into larger companies. That is part of the innovative cycle—you make bets that don’t work and weed out the weaker participants. It is a destructive cycle. I don’t think you can make progress without accepting that there will be failures.”

      Right, no doubt those wildcatters recieved huge government loans, just like Solyndra.

      The left’s willingness to lie is amazing.

      • Well…plus there was a market DEMANDING the energy at MARKET prices those wildcatters and small coal companies were trying to produce.
        If you read Pfund’s BS carefully, you will note she is very careless in her use of the term “subsidy”.

        • In fact it ALL demonstrates a highly dynamic energy market in action without the government fingerpoking the damn thing!
          Look at the energy source in competition – oil, natural gases, wood, coal, wind and water –

        • “If you read Pfund’s BS carefully..”

          Hell, you only need to skim the surface to become aware of the pungent barnyard smell wafting from the pages of this soi-disant “study”. But at least it’s biodegradable and makes the grass grow green.

          • By the way, I would check your investment portfolio to make sure your assets are not in her fund. Prety poor judgement and knowledge, I’d say.

    • Infancy? Here’s infancy … from California:

      1861 First oil well in California is drilled manually in Humboldt County.
      1866 Oil is collected from tunnels dug at Sulphur Mountain in Ventura County by the brothers of railroad baron Leland Stanford, the same year that these techniques are applied to the Pechelbronn oil mine in France.
      1866 First steam-powered rig in California drills an oil well at Ojai, not far from the Sulphur Mountain seeps.
      1875 First commercial oil field in California is discovered at Pico Canyon in Los Angeles County.
      1878 Electric light bulb invented by Thomas Edison eliminates demand for kerosene, and the oil industry enters a recession.
      1885 Gas wells are drilled in Stockton, California for fuel and lighting.
      1885 Oil burners on steam engines in the California oil fields, and later on steam locomotives, create new crude oil markets.
      1886 Gasoline-powered automobiles introduced in Europe by Karl Benz and Wilhelm Daimler create additional markets for California oil. Prior to the automobile, gasoline was a cheap solvent produced as a byproduct of kerosene distillation.
      1888 A steel-hulled tanker sails from Ventura to San Francisco, eleven years after the 1877 sailing of a Russian tanker across the Caspian sea at Baku.
      1899 Discovery of Kern River oil field propels Kern County to top oil-producing region in state.

      Sounds like a rapidly growing 38 year old industry, doesn’t it?


      1896 – Shamrock Gusher blows in at McKittrick and hastens end of tar mining operations.
      1899 – Hand-dug oil well discovers Kern River field and starts an oil boom in Kern County.
      1902 – Arrival of railroad makes development of Midway-Sunset field economically feasible.
      1902 – First rotary rig in Califonia reportedly drills a well at Coalinga field, but the hole is so crooked that a cable tool is used to redrill the well.
      1903 – Kern River and Midway-Sunset production makes California the top oil producing state.
      1904 – 17.2 million bbls of oil produced at Kern River exceeds annual production from Texas.
      1908 – Rotary drilling rigs and crews arrive in California from Louisiana and successfully drill wells at Midway-Sunset field and erase the embaressment of the Coalinga experiment six years earlier.
      1909 – Midway Gusher blows out near Fellows and focuses attention on Midway-Sunset field.
      1910 – Lakeview Gusher blows in near Taft and becomes America’s greatest oil gusher.

      All done without a single government dollar.

      Add 6 years (you’ll see why in a minute) and we’re talking an industry that in 1916 was 55 years old and growing by leaps and bounds.

      And government subsidies?:

      They were first were done in 1916 in the form of the ability to write off drilling costs for tax purposes – something extended to all businesses (i.e. cost to produce written off against profits).

      The Congressional Research Service states the fledgling oil industry in the United States first received government assistance in 1916. That was when intangible drilling costs were able to be fully deducted from a company’s expenses for tax purposes.

      IOW the industry was allowed to keep more of the money it had earned instead of government taking it … what some people apparently refer to as a “subsidy”.

      The industry, however, was certainly not in its “infancy” by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.

      • ” first were done in 1916 in the form of the ability to write off drilling costs for tax purposes”

        Note also that the tax structure back then was also still in its infancy*. Intangible drilling costs are a perfectly defensible deduction, as are indirect and intangible costs in any other industry. 

        * ” The first Federal income tax was enacted in 1861, and expired in 1872, amid Constitutional challenges. A corporate income tax was enacted in 1894, but was shortly held unconstitutional. In 1909, Congress enacted an excise tax on corporations based on income. After ratification of the Sixteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this became the corporate provisions of the Federal income tax”

        • So, of course, the bottom line is the “subsidy” gave relief to a recently imposed government tax. Or said another way, it wasn’t something the oil industry needed or asked for – the tax was imposed by government and the “subsidy” was an exemption that all corporations got.

      • Bruce,

        Of course it was all done with subsidies. Whatever income the government doesn’t take from you is the subsidy.

        • Along those lines, we can infer, and should probably do a ‘study’ showing that the government was heavily subsidizing American citizens for the better part of the first hundred years of our country’s existence since there was no income tax.  Up until 1894 (not counting the war time income tax during the Civil War) the government was subsidizing all Americans.  No doubt THAT is why we have the tremendous debt accumulated at present.
          This may explain why a significant portion of your accumulated wealth is taken by the government upon your death, as back taxes owed from the 1800’s.

    • “Did it ever occur to y’all that in the infancy of the oil and gas industry it was subsidized”

      Is  it really that difficult to copy and paste a link?  Because frankly, I think that is BS. The source you do supply is definite BS. “For coal, which generates half the nation’s electricity, the authors were unable to quantify government support for the first 15 years”  Really. But they know it’s there, and they know it’s substantial! Fake, but accurate, eh?

      You know, I like to give folks the benefit of a doubt, but this just pisses me off. Contrary to what you seem to believe, I am neither ignorant nor stupid. I can only conclude, based on the evidence here, that you are. Screw false modesty. Sorry, but you are out of your league when you are dealing with some of us here.

      Still, unlike Rags, I am willing to believe that you are just stupid, not immoral. So far.

  • We have always been at war with EastAsia.

  • This was a precious little “tell” about the bias of this author…

    When railroads shifted from burning wood to coal for fuel, no powerful timber lobby fought this change, nor was there a well-heeled influential whale-oil lobby blocking fledgling oil producers as they developed kerosene and petroleum products, Pfund adds. Renewable energy developers face a tough battle to get a toehold in the marketplace when facing a traditional energy supplier with a fully depreciated power plant and a complete infrastructure in place to supply electricity. Without government support or a price on carbon emissions, the hurdle is even higher.
    “A century’s worth of subsidies is going to put a damper on new product innovation and make it extremely costly to switch energy sources,” Pfund says. A huge driver for renewable energy development in the U.S. would be a price on carbon or the threat of one, which the coal and oil industries vehemently oppose.

    Private energy consumers were offered SUPERIOR sources at MARKET PRICES, they readily adopted them.  Duh.
    Nor does she support her bald assertions about any push-back from timber or whale-oil producers.
    There is NO cost to “switch energy sources” to electric power consumers.  ANY producer can sell power they produce to consumers, and it travels through the existing grid, ONCE it gets to the grid.  That, of course, is the “special pleading” the likes of T. Boone Pickens had to make to cadge subsidies out of government to help fund transmission lines out of remote areas.
    There IS A PROHIBITIVE ENGINEERING cost to changing from reality energy to delusional energy WRT transportation.
    She warmly endorses clubbing consumers via a “CARBON TAX” to use INFERIOR energy sources, exactly the opposite of what reality energy presented and presents consumers.

    •  ”  Renewable energy developers face a tough battle to get a toehold in the marketplace when facing a traditional energy supplier with a fully depreciated power plant”

      Not too knowledgeable about accounting, either.

  • It’s a good thing those nasty corporations were not around back then to influence the political process, or those hundreds of years of subsidies would have been contaminated by improper influence, unlike the system of ‘green’ subsidies advocated here.
    I am getting confused.

  • The first commercial solar cells were sold in 1956, the first subsidies appeared decades later (unless you want to consider NASA, which would be valid, but then again, does anyone doubt the enormous technical innovations and inventions that came from the space program?)

    Solar energy was not just an idea on a piece of paper that the government decided to get behind. It has been developed in the private markets for decades. Wind power is of course as old as windmills and sails.

    But I get it, all that we did in history was wrong.

    • What a sissy-girl POS.

    • Hey, it was your assertion about government help in the “infancy” of the oil business not mine.  Are you now saying subsidies came later?

      And, why is the fact that government decided to get behind solar power make solar power viable?  It obviously doesn’t.  Which is the point of the post.

      • There’s infancy and there’s infancy.

        Oil was not used for much more than creating kerosense to light lamps and friction reducer for the first few decades, and there were other products that did that.

        Solar calls were not used for much more than powering calculators and other toys for the first few decades, and other products did that.

        The point is that neither industries were remotely mature (ie; infancy) when they started recieving government subsidies, but neither were they just drawings in the patent office.

        • Oh please. This is just lame, Cap. And the so-called “subsidy” was nothing the oil industry asked for, it was a result of a tax government unilaterally imposed on all corporations.

    • The problem isn’t with solar energy per se, which has useful applictions. Solar is great on welder’s helmets, calculators, satellites, and for charging the batteries on Ham repeaters.

      The problem is when you try to make solar a source for grid power. It simply isn’t suited for that.

      Pumping $$$ into solar to try to make it into grid energy is flat out stupid.

      Look at your argument. Solar has been around for half a century and it still can’t compete, and it still doesn’t make muster as a source of grid power.

      • Exactly. If a government must go all-in on some new energy sources to truly phase-out gas and coal then it should be on something that can supply the same or more energy with less impact on the landscape with the same reliability. In other words, it should be chucking a bucketload of money at either nuclear fusion or cleaner & cheaper nuclear fission (thorium reactors, pebble-bed reactors and the like). We know for certain that the energy density is enormous in these and the “problems” to be solved are technical/engineering to achieve akin to the space program. Whereas for solar we know for sure the energy density *isn’t* there and engineering can only get us somewhat better efficiency on a still very low energy density so we will still have to carpet-bomb half the planet with unsightly panels requiring enormous amounts of cleaning and *still* require spinning reserve in winters, nights, stormy days etc.

        • Sir sir!  I protest!  This sort of talk is based on common sense and logic, on reality, on cost benefit considerations, and to a large extent on environmental concerns that we choose to ignore.
          We KNOW the Sun and her energy is clearly GREEN and therefore all things derived from the Sun and her energy must ALSO be green sir!  This flows as a river of conviction to the sea of undeniable truth!  You cannot deny such thinking with your ‘science’ and your ‘economic considerations’ or even your realities!    Solar is GREEN, charging BATTERIES that are GREEN!  Acres and acres of panels spread across the land in blinding fields are GREEN SIR!  GREEN!   The maintenance of such massive facilities, the cleaning, the infrastructure, the raw materials for creation and the bi-products of the process, why, even the paltry degrading effects of simple cloudy weather on these panels, those are merely considerations for (sneer) engineering types and other colorless unimaginative and boring drudges and drones to concern themselves with!
          WE HAVE A VISION!  You sir are clearly not part of it!  We will hear no more!

          • “Acres and acres of panels spread across the land in blinding fields are GREEN SIR!  GREEN!”
            Ah, yes, another problem. Unless you build them in deserts you need to keep the grass mowed and the weeds down.

          • In deserts they get sand-blasted…. not so great either for something designed to maximize surface area.

  • ” If a government must go all-in on some new energy sources”

    The government is not remotely going “all-in” on any alternative energy sources and the amount of subsidies for all alternative sources combined, as I pointed out, is far less than what it was for oil.

    There have been, and will certainly be more, breakthroughs in alternatiive energy. None of these breakthroughs have brought kw production to levels anywhere near that of fossil fuels, and perhaps they never will, but they might, and the investment and research into these alternatives may bring unforeseenn breakthoughs.

    We are spending a pittance on them in relative terms, and our global competitors are spending a LOT more. I am not suggesting we spend more, I am counting on American exceptionalism to beat out our rivals, but I see no problem in spending $4b a year to encourage development. I also see no problem with the $20B in tax subsidies for preferred energy sources. The market still functions, the better alternatives will beat out the lesser alternatives, and eventually, there will be breakthoughs.

    In reality, the entire history of American industrialization and technological innovation was driven by epic government investments in the development and commercialization of new technologies. Think of a transformative technology­­ — computers, the Internet, pharmaceutical drugs, jet turbines, cellular telephones, nuclear power — and what you will find is a history of government investment in those technologies at a scale that private firms simply cannot replicate.

    If you believe that time has passed and we can no longer be that country, that’s fine, I disagree.

    • Gawd, you are an idiot.  And you WILL say any-FLUCKING-thing, no matter how risibly false on its face.

    • The point they’ve tried to get across on Solar and wind is it’s neither is a good mechanism for producing grid power because of the energy density and the need for specific NATURAL conditions to be in play as well (the wind don’t blow, the sun don’t shine, your refrigerator, she don’t work….).
      So the idea that we’re going to use them as widespread replacements for coal is a pipedream from the get go.  Meaning the investment in them is a pipedream.   And as and I’m CERTAIN will be demonstrated when this administration is out of office, they were nothing more than crony paybacks and payoffs.
      You want to invest in the latest flavors of nuke power, like pebble bed reactors or study fusion, fine.   What has happened recently is we’ve bought into an idea akin to collecting buffalo chips to run steam turbines as a practical long term solution for power and it just ain’t so, and never will be.

      • There is the potential for solar plants that heat salt water held in large underground tanks. This might prove to be a workable solution, and I think one plant is coming on line in Spain and another is being considered in Texas. I would venture that such a program can’t compete with nukes, or coal, let along NG.

        The correct answer right now is clearly NG. Fracking for the MFW.

    • It IS good to get you fully flushed (I use the term advisedly) out as a stooge of BIG GOVERNMENT and enemy of individual choice.

    • Dumping money into solar and wind with the intent of powering the grid is stupid. The very nature of solar and wind make them a poor choice for grid energy.

      If the government went “all in” it would be a short and interesting effort, so no, not even Obama went “all in”. Nevertheless, the resources wasted on this nonsense is amazing.

    • ” and perhaps they never will, but they might,”
      No, they won’t. We know absolutely the energy density available in each source and what efficiencies can be obtained. You might believe the US federal government can defeat the law of conservation of energy and the second law of thermodynamics. Maybe the Supreme Court can throw the commerce clause at them. Me, I kind of doubt it.

  • Another thing to explore is how solar represents a tax break for the wealthy. Obviously, there is all the Obamacash that poors into failing solar companies that Obama contributers have invested in, but aside from that there are the house mounted solar panels.

    Earlier this year I took a hike with the family on a trail near Escondido, and noticed all the big fancy houses with solar panels. They get state and federal tax rebates for these, and the government forces the power companies to buy power from them.

    Note that peak power usage is typically after the sun sets and well past peak solar generation. Power companies would probably love to buy power at this time, but the government forces them to buy power when the solar cells provide it. This benifits the well off who have the wealth to benifit from the government programs.