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Aug-01-2010 00:03printcomments

Green Energy Myths

Oregon citizens and especially Oregon politicians need to get wise to these “green” energy scams, and realize that the policies are being promoted by the National Parties.

guardian.co.uk
Photo courtesy: guardia.co.uk

(EUGENE, Ore.) - “Green” energy, “renewable” energy, and other buzz words are all the rage in national politics.  The obsession of rich urban elitists with pretending that their lifestyles are not massively destructive to the environment gets passed down to the rest of us in the form of ridiculous sermons about reducing energy consumption, and boondoggle white elephant investments in high tech junk, all on the tax payer’s tab.

Politicians in Oregon are all too quick to jump on the bandwagon being led by the National Parties they represent.  Uninformed and misinformed voters are all too quick to lap up feel good buzz words without ever bothering to engage in a fact based rational analysis of the policies being proposed.

As a result, we have State (tax payer) money in the tens of millions being dumped into one dubious scam after another. $1.2 billion over 10 years according to KATU)

Ethanol in our gasoline, wind mills littered all over our pristine landscapes, millions spent on researching “wave energy,” and worst of all, the attempt to impose a “cap-and-trade” taxation system on all sources of CO2 emissions (read: every moving thing in our economy, including people).

Is there a global warming crisis?  Debate all you want, but one thing is for sure: Oregon is not responsible for it, and Oregon has no part in it.

Fact: In 2005 72% of Oregon’s electricity came from CO2 emissions free generation, primarily hydro power.  (Electric Power and Renewable Energy in Oregon - Oregon Energy Dept.)

Fact: Due to the necessity of maintaining electrical capacity that can fluctuate with demand, it is practically impossible to increase Oregon’s reliance on non-fossil fuel resources.

Coal and gas fired plants are the only options for generating quick power on demand when hydro power is insufficient, and so we will always need them as part of our electricity mix. Wind power is a complete waste of money, because the power it provides is so sporadic that it is effectively useless as a component of our State’s current electrical generation system.

Essentially, every penny being spent on wind power, wave power, biomass, and ethanol is money being thrown away.

More importantly, that money, which will never produce any net energy, is being spent on manufacturing garbage using existing energy resources.

If politicians are really concerned about CO2 emissions, then they should stop using the taxpayers' money to buy useless junk that requires burning fossil fuels to manufacture.

While we are on the subject of Quixotic wind mill adventures, it should be pointed out that this middle ages technology is not exactly “green” or “environmentally friendly.”

Undisturbed landscape has a natural beauty that is just as much a part of the environment as any animal or plant. In the name of the environment, these idiots have destroyed hundreds of miles of the Columbia George, one of the most beautiful parts of our State.

Once all of these dummy front companies, which were set up to scam tax payer money, end up going bankrupt, then the taxpayer is going to have to pay again to clean up all the industrial waste left in the Columbia George, and return it to its natural state of beauty.

How can I say that?

Just take a look at the Ethanol boondoggle, and the bankrupt companies that got tens of millions of dollars from Oregon to build ethanol plants that have never been operated.

Corn based ethanol is another really great “environmentally friendly” “green” energy.

Sure, it requires more energy and CO2 emissions to produce than gasoline.

Sure, it reduces gas mileage so that you have to consume more of it than gasoline. Sure, it is more expensive than gasoline.

Sure, it destroys engines and imposes massive hidden costs in the form of damaged equipment on vehicle owners. Sure, it is made of food that could be feeding people in a hungry world.

Sure, our agricultural system is stretched to its limits and unsustainable as it is, without pushing it even harder to grow fuel.

But ethanol is “green!” And somebody printed a really nice brochure to tell you about how “green” it is, so it must be good.

Both wind power and ethanol, the only two “green” energy sources to actually come online, both produce more CO2 emissions than existing alternatives per unit of net energy yielded.

A study conducted by Princeton and published in Science Magazine projected that ethanol usage would increase greenhouse gas emissions by 93% compared to using gasoline over 30 years. (Reported by USA Today: usatoday.com - Study: Ethanol may add to global warming)

Wind energy is relatively low emissions, but the key problem is usability.  Wind blows when it wants to, and so most of the energy generated by wind mills is useless in a society that demands instant electricity in unlimited supplies. As it is, wind mills always have to be offset with other generation systems, such as hydro, coal, and gas, which means building a mass of excess generation capacity and only running half of it at time.

All of Oregon’s “green power” nonsense is only increasing our CO2 emissions. But what are those CO2 emissions anyway?

We get over 70% of our electricity from non-emitting generation; our State is covered in forests and agricultural land; and we have one of the lowest population densities in the country (39 of 50).

Oregon does not have a CO2 problem!  New York, D.C., and all of the other East Coast States have CO2 problems.

The population density in Washington D.C. is 255 times what it is in Oregon. In New York it is 10 times.

Do these States grow their own food?  Do they produce their own lumber?  Do they sequester all of the CO2 emitted in their electricity production?

We grow their food. We produce their lumber. Our forests and agriculture remove far more CO2 from the atmosphere relative to our emissions than any State on the East Coast.

Consequently, does it make sense for Oregonians to be paying taxes on CO2 emissions or participating in a rigged cap-and-trade system designed to enrich New York banks? With the strongest and most profane emphasis possible: No!

Oregon citizens and especially Oregon politicians need to get wise to these “green” energy scams, and realize that the policies being promoted by the National Parties, which are centered around the interests of big East Coast States, primarily New York, are directly contrary to the interests of Oregon, and totally unsuited to the reality of Oregon.

This is a billion dollar issue when it comes to State budgets, and a multi-billion dollar issue in terms of the passed-on costs to Oregon businesses and consumers.

Energy policy defines the boundaries in which economic growth and prosperity are possible, and if our State continues to get it wrong, we will continue to suffer as a result.

===================================

Salem-News.com Business/Economy Reporter Ersun Warncke is a native Oregonian. He has a degree in Economics from Portland State University and studied Law at University of Oregon. At a young age, his career spans a wide variety of fields, from fast food, to union labor, to computer programming. He has published works concerning economics, business, government, and media on blogs for several years. He currently works as an independent software designer specializing in web based applications, open source software, and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications.

Ersun describes his writing as being "in the language of the boardroom from the perspective of the shop floor." He adds that "he has no education in journalism other than reading Hunter S. Thompson." But along with life comes the real experience that indeed creates quality writers. Right now, every detail that can help the general public get ahead in life financially, is of paramount importance.

You can write to Ersun at: warncke@comcast.net




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steve August 4, 2010 8:11 am (Pacific time)

Ersun, Wind will soon supply 10% of total power production in Oregon. I wouldn't say that number is "effectively useless". That's about what the doomed Trojan Nuclear Plant contributed in it's short life. You lament 1.2 billion spent over 10 years on energy "scams" yet fail to mention the numbers associated with other energy sources. If the remaining reactor at 3 mile Island is retired, the estimated cost is $2 billion just to shut it down. The 1980's WHOOPS fiasco cost $4 billion in todays dollars. Hanford clean up is nearing $11.3 billion. There are more than 3 million registered victims of Chornobyl and over 2.5 million hectares of rich agricultural land have been withdrawn from cultivation. Nuclear is not a magic bullet, and when it fails, it fails big time. Deep water drilling and coal mining are also prone to epic failures. By comparison, Wind and Solar farms have no such problems. Oregon could become a green energy exporter. With enough wind, solar, hydro and nuclear, we could sell energy at top dollar to N.Y., D.C. and other East Coast users and keep the money out of those "New York City Banks". If Oregon doesn't do it, some other state will.


Ersun Warncke August 2, 2010 5:23 pm (Pacific time)

Steven, hydro provides consistency on a level that is completely different than wind. Hydro may fluctuate on a long term basis due to water levels, but fluctuations can be predicted 100% short term. Wind fluctuates in an unpredictable way, which means that it has to be offset with increased capacity from sources that do not fluctuate at the same rate. Thermal plants (coal, natural gas, nuclear) cannot just be "turned on and off," which means that if you offset fluctuations in wind energy with traditional thermal production you introduce a lot of waste into the system. Hydro is very flexible, but the question is, what good is it to offset wind with hydro, when hydro is already non-carbon emitting? It should also be taken into account that nuclear power is non CO2 emitting as well, and has none of the reliability problems of wind, and is cheaper than wind. So why not nuclear? The criticism of nuclear has to do with safety and waste, but if you review the history of the waste problem, it is really a political problem and not a scientific problem. There have been reasonable plans for sequestering nuclear waste around for decades that have been held up for purely political reasons which are in no way based on their technical feasibility or safety. As it is, nuclear is far "safer" than coal. How many people have died as a result of nuclear power production? How many from coal production? How many people have gotten sick from nuclear? How many from coal? Take an objective look at the numbers and tell me whether coal or nuclear is the safer energy production method.


Todd Wynn August 2, 2010 10:58 am (Pacific time)

Great work Ersun! We have spent well over $1.2 billion in the last two years on renewable energy. We spent just about that on the Business Energy Tax Credit in the past TWO years! Check out more on the problems with wind power at: http://www.cascadepolicy.org/2010/06/08/cascade-report-think-twice-why-wind-power-mandates-are-wrong-for-the-northwest/


steven August 1, 2010 8:48 pm (Pacific time)

Ersun, • Oregon ranks No. 4 for capacity added in 2009. The state added 754 megawatts of wind capacity in 2009, according to the report, enough to power about 190,000 homes. Oregon’s total installed capacity is 1,821 megawatts. source: http://www.awea.org/reports/Annual_Market_Report_Press.pdf Wind is not the only renewable with inconsistant capacity: Solar, Hydro etc. are not 100%, yet each adds to the whole.


Ersun Warncke August 1, 2010 8:22 pm (Pacific time)

Steven, The Oregonian quotes that 7% figure with no source. The legit data is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/state.html?q_state_a=orandq_state=OREGON) and the most recent year they have is 2008. Their figure is 3.7% for wind in 2008. Wind power doubled from 2007 to 2008, but Natural Gas grew by more. New wind farms will increase capacity, but the problem of inconsistent output will not go away just because capacity is being increased, nor does it change fact that the cost of building duplicate capacity needed for wind generation severely undermines any CO2 reduction advantage.


steven August 1, 2010 7:50 pm (Pacific time)

Oregon currently get 7% of its power from wind. It was almost zero 8 years ago. This number will continue to go up as the next generation of wind farms go on-line.


sukamadek August 1, 2010 6:45 pm (Pacific time)

I'm a farmer and I want you people to buy what I make or I'll tell Mom (Government) we gave you corn syrup and partialyy hydrogenated vegetable oil to give you better health (don't thank me)


Anonymous August 1, 2010 12:08 pm (Pacific time)

Apologies for rambling, but this is important. As a farmer, I get the federal government letters to subsidize what I grow. I throw the letters away, I will do fine on my own, I want nothing to do with this corrupt federal government. my point is, you dont know the billions of tax payer money, that goes to subsidize growing of corn. So, basically, you may pay less at the pump, but your taxes will have to go up, the dollar will devalue because they are printing money out of thin air to subsidize the farmers etc. We are being lied to on a massive scale, and since they own the MSM, its difficult for people to find the truth. And the lefties and the righties, are our worst problem. Both parties are the same. While the left and right fight over abortion and gay rights, which really have not changed much in decades, the overall agenda of the banks taking over our country went on thru both parties. They pulled one over on you quite well.


Anonymous August 1, 2010 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

Dan...your information sure is much different than mine. In fact, reality, is there is a gas station about a mile west of the bridge off 22 hwy that sells non-ethanol gas. Its not 50 cents more, and I buy my gas there. I dont want that ethanol crap in my car. and, the gas price does NOT come from ethanol in any way shape or form. The price of gas comes from wall street/elite/bankers etc. They manipulate the stock market, the price of gas, the price of precious metals and so forth. Most people have no idea, the power wall street/bankers/goldman sachs/oil industry has. More than the president, I can promise you that. When gas was over $140 barrel, my inside info said the elite were going to drop it to $40 a barrel within weeks. Well, you may not think there is an elite, but I KNOW there is. Nobody believed me, but I made a bundle.. A friggin bundle. Same with gold, the elite do not want you to know about gold. Because it will ruin their fiat currency. Well, I know that, so I got out of IRA's etc, and bought gold when it was $600 an ounce. It has now doubled. Our country, especially since obama's last finance reform legislation, has now been taken over, completely, by foreign corporate people, the privately owned, foreign owned federal reserve bank/goldman sachs..Look it up, EVERYONE in obamas financial cabinet is goldman sachs/federal reserve bank. All privately owned by foreigners. BP and goldman sachs were obama's biggest campaign contributors. Ethanol is a scam.


Ersun Warncke August 1, 2010 10:22 am (Pacific time)

Dan, water is also cheaper by the gallon than ethanol, but you don't mix that in your gasoline, right? Mixing ethanol in gas results in INCREASED gas consumption (see: Consumer Reports http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/news/2006/ethanol/overview/index.htm) The reason for this is that when gasoline is combusted in an engine, not all of it is efficiently converted to energy. Adulterating gasoline with lower energy content materials decreases the heat and pressure at the point of combustion, thus resulting in even less gasoline being efficiently converted into energy. Mixing ethanol into gas actually results in more gasoline being consumed, because it decreases the efficiency of use for the gasoline that is consumed. The CR article showed a 27% decrease in fuel efficiency with 15% ethanol, i.e. adding 15% ethanol resulted in a 14% increase in gasoline consumption, with all of the ethanol being pure waste. There is a reason why fuel refiners and retailers require Federal and State mandates to mix ethanol. It indemnifies them from class action lawsuits.


Douglas Benson August 1, 2010 8:35 am (Pacific time)

Ersun you forgot the new scam hydrogen power .We have paid tons of money for nothing it hasnt even gotten off the drawing board ,rumor has it that it is also a bad trade off in terms of energy to produce . The auto and oil companies have gotten together and after a small stint in the eighties took the four cyl. diesel engines off the table [in America ]. I had a chevy that got 60 miles to the gallon and ran forever .If it hadnt gotten wrecked it would have ran much longer even then it had 300,000 miles on it . With bio diesel it would have been the green car from hell . I allways thought it would be cool to slap a diesel engine in a classic car like a 61 falcon ranchero . I really like the wave power concept and am looking into putting solar panels on my roof as I get perfect sun . You said ethanol really isnt green does that go for bio-diesel too ? Im out .Peace


Dan August 1, 2010 5:37 am (Pacific time)

The facts on Ethanol production are not correct. Ethanol is cheaper than gasonline by 50 cents per gallon today. Also without Ethanol in your gasonline the price of gasonline would be at least 75 cents per gallon higher than it is today. Ethanol is about 9% of the total gasonline supply and without it the price of gasoline would be much higher. Also the technological advances in crop production in the past 5 years has risen the per acre yield to a level that we are not running out of Corn. Also the last time I looked this country has been growing corn for over 200 years, what is the definition of sustainable? Advanced technology has also made Ethanol production much more efficient than it was 20 years ago and the energy balance is not negative.

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