Why has the United States government declared war on green energy? I mean, what did green energy ever do to this country that warrants it being declared an enemy of the people and placed on the top ten list of things to destroy? What happened? Let’s back up and investigate this unusual occurrence as there must be a logical explanation.
Let’s begin on a topic I believe everyone can agree on. There is only one world on which we can maintain life, and that is earth. Human actively, spurred by a crippling population explosion and advancement of third world countries into the industrial revolution is overloading our atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other emissions, which is acting like a blanket in the upper atmosphere trapping earth’s natural heat.
This blanket of gases is not suppose to be there. Nature didn’t put it there, we did by burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. I believe scientists and people who don’t believe in science can agree on this fact.
So what’s this got to do with anything? This is where the first battle begins between the two factions of science and non-science. Science claims this blanket has created a global warming which is wrecking havoc with our weather patterns and thus our environment. This claim is based on facts, but facts matter little to the non-science faction, who claim this is a natural phenomenon that the earth has experienced before.
This is most likely very true. After all the United States was once glacier covered and deep seas existed where only desert wastelands now exist. It might be noted these changes occurred over millions of years. Keep that in mind for future reference.
So for sake of argument let’s look at may happen if the war on green energy was called off.
Air and water pollution from coal and gas fired industrial plants are responsible for creating breathing problems, cancer, heart attacks, neurological damage and a host of other illnesses. With the dismantling of the EPA, which is charged with policing illegal pollution, the health concerns will only become worse.
A Harvard University study showed the health care cost for treating such pollutant induced illnesses at $74.6 Billion dollars a year. It doesn’t matter your social status, although the wealthy can afford medical treatment while the poor suffer, or literally die, the causes of such sickness affects everyone. Cancer doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor.
The irony is green energy technology simply does not create the types of pollutants which poison the air and water. Although in all fairness geothermal and biomass systems do emit air pollutants, but are generally only a fraction of coal and gas fired facilities.
Wind and solar energy require essentially no water in which to operate, thus eliminates the risk of water pollution. Perhaps more importantly in some cases, by not consuming water, allows greater amounts of water available for distribution for agriculture, drinking water and other water needs. That may not sound important, but if you live in the Southwestern United States you realize water is growing continually scarcer and more expensive.
Jobs and other Economic Matters
Alright you’re not a scientist, tree hugger or visionary, you’re just a regular Joe worried about making a living and having a difficult time doing it.
Fossil-fuel-generated technologies are mechanized and capital intensive where as renewable energy alternatives are more labor intensive. Manufacturing and installing solar panels is more labor intensive than coal or oil extraction requiring more employees. That should be a great thing, right?
But here’s the giant rub, fossil fuel employees make a good wage while the jury is still out on wages renewable energy employees will command. Does it make sense to lose 250,000 jobs which pay $50 an hour (benefits included) to gain 500,000 jobs at $20 an hour? 250,000 more people working, but at much lower wages. Is that a fair trade-off?
I guess it depends on whether you’re losing or gaining a job, but in my opinion the answer is a resounding No. This is the classical Race to the Bottom agenda that the government and big business love to employ, which is the exact reason the American middle class, America’s backbone, is nearly extinct.
Why should this subject even enter into the overall discussion of renewable green energy vs fossil fuel? Let’s face it … like it or not, right or wrong, everything in life depends on money. Were Amazon, Facebook, Google created for the benefit of mankind? Hell, no they were created to make the owners wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Trying to bring an illegal criminal enterprise to justice? Follow the money.
Point is, if we were talking losing 250,000 jobs at $50 an hour, but not only replacing them, but adding another 250,000 at $50 an hour, the public would be screaming for the advancement of green energy by the government.
Can we accomplish this? Is the government the answer? Yes, to the first question. Absolutely no to the second. The labor hating government is the largest obstacle to overcome to accomplish the goal. Instituting Rights-to-work laws which essentially cripples unions making them ineffective at collective bargaining, is the single most negative action enacted which stagnates workers wages. Are Unions good? YES! Are there some lousy scoundrels in the union leadership? YES!
Fortunately or unfortunately I have personally witnessed Union Officials of both types. Union officials that place their greed above the memberships needs should be tar and feathered and run out of town. But then someone will say all the politicians should be included in that group. Touche’ can’t argue that.
But remember, the point is to create good paying jobs in the renewable energy sector, not menial flipping hamburgers wages. Whatever means required to reach that goal is the correct one, unions are just a traditional method utilized.
Speaking of Government
Government loves money, as your taxes illustrate, so green energy should be a no-brain-er for them. For example, Local governments could enjoy a windfall of revenue from green energy with several avenues of new revenue. The property owner where the power company installs their wind turbine will be paid $3000 to $6000 per megawatt, plus royalties, plus rights-of-way leases, all resulting in more taxes being paid. The green energy company is also required to pay taxes. Farmers can produce feed stocks for biomass power facilities. The list goes on and on.
UCS analysis estimate that by 2025 a national renewable electricity standard would result in $263.4 Billion in new capital investment in renewable energy technology, $13.5 Billion in additional landowner income and $11.5 billion in new property tax revenues which flows directly into the local government’s coffers. That’s a lot of money.
Stable Energy Prices
The government likes to crow the example of federal spending to a normal household budget, when it serves their purpose. Using that example what happens to the household budget when hit with a massive and unexpected expense, it shatters possibly destroying peoples’ lives.
Historically fossil fuel prices have experienced very dramatic price swings. In the years prior to 2008 coal demand far exceeded coal production due to global demand, skyrocketing coal costs. In 2008 world demand plummeted as did the price of coal. Natural gas experienced the same dramatic shift in 2005. In 1974 the entire United States economy came to a grinding halt when the price of oil shot up and oil production was cut by OPEC. Utilizing more renewable energy would cushion the blow of a sudden spike in fossil fuel prices regardless of whether it be coal, gas or oil.
There is a price to pay. Upfront investments to build renewable energy platforms of whatever nature, will be expensive. However, once the initial sticker shock of construction is endured the facility will be extremely cheap to operate. Most clean energy technologies employ free fuel, sun, wind, water which can result in very stable costs of energy after the initial investment is recouped.
Additionally, costs of renewable energy technology has steadily and will continue to decline. The average cost to install solar panels on a home has declined 70% from 2010 to 2017. Cost of wind generated electricity has dropped 66% between 2009 to 2016. There’s no reason to doubt the continued cost reduction as technology improves.
If I turn on a light and the bulb blows I’m immediately aggravated. Now I gotta find a bulb, a ladder, undo the light fixture, etc etc. How aggravated would you be if there was literally no power at all, for days, weeks or months.
We won’t even discuss the eventual total depletion of fossil fuels, but let’s talk about temporary unavailable fossil fuels. Hurricane Sandy devastated much of New York and New Jerseys fossil fueled electric producing capacity leaving millions without power. Green energy systems in the same pathway of Sandy resulted in much less damaged capacity. Why? One reason is the green energy system is spread out over a large area, which requires massive destruction to put it down.
Water scarcity is also becoming an increased risk potential for non-renewable power plants. Coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants require a tremendous amount of water to function. The recent dramatic shift in weather patterns have produced, and will continue to produce severe drought conditions. An examination of the quickly disappearing Lake Meade should send shivers down your spine.
The risk of disruptive weather events will only increase as droughts, heat waves, more intense storms and increasing amounts and severity of wildfires become more frequent due to global warming.
So What’s the Problem?
By now you may be thinking the argument for increased renewable green energy appears to be solid. So what’s the problem? Why is it taking so long to get going?
Well, in a nutshell … a nut. The Trump administration has declared war on green renewable energy for several reasons. The most ridiculous reason is their absolute denial that Climate change is real. They immediately publicly declared their ignorance by withdrawing from the Paris Climate agreement, the only country in the world to do so, an agreement America spearheaded and helped negotiate. This denial comes as Miami is slowly sinking into the Atlantic ocean due to rising sea levels.
Another reason is pandering to a particular voting block. Trump is an expert con-man who feeds on peoples’ fear and frustration. Coal workers, Steel workers and other hard labor good paying union jobs have been decimated by global free trade. I know, I was an autoworker who suffered greatly under NAFTA. But instead of promoting new skill training for displaced workers, which could feed directly into the green energy segment, he initiates a trade war through tariffs which may destroy the American economy, if not the world’s.
Trump is dismantling the EPA, encouraging renewed pollution of the air and water.
Trump is selling off public lands to mining companies at an accelerated pace. These are not his to sell, but that doesn’t stop a dictator.
Who has declared war on Green Energy? The Trump administration.