Constant dollars

Letter to the Editor: Government Subsidies Should Be Considered in Green Power Applications

I find it curious how climate change advocates have formed a “cult” around predictions into the future. I understand that they are passionate about their theories, but they have to remember that facts are very stubborn and the truth will usually prevail.

The most recent “wild” comment I saw was in a Summit Daily News article claiming that all snow in the Rockies will be gone by 2080.

The first logical thing that comes to mind with this prediction is: how many people living here today will be there in 2080 to confirm this? What if we experience a Little Ice Age by then? When I was studying for my engineering degree many moons ago, we called these “swags” – systematic, wild guesses.

Increasing government subsidies for “renewable energy” is a key part of the White House’s current anti-inflation strategy. John Kerry recently claimed that “solar and wind” cost less to produce energy than coal, gas or oil. They claim motorists can save thousands of dollars if they buy electric cars. Bad!!

Proponents of “green power” are masters at playing with numbers, because that’s the only way wind and solar power generation makes sense. They like to focus on the low operating costs of solar and wind power because they don’t require constant fuel purchases. They ignore the high initial investment in solar and wind and give the impression that these operate at lower costs than fossil fuels or nuclear power.

Reality: Cost is not just what you pay at retail for gas or electricity. It includes the taxes we all pay to subsidize electricity. The US Department of Energy has found that for every dollar of government subsidy per British thermal unit of energy produced from fossil fuels, wind and solar receive at least $10. Does this sound like saving money?