John and Ken read from an L.A. TIMES article that raises the alarm a bit too late for Californians.
Californians are likely to pay more for gasoline, electricity, food and new homes — and to feel their lives jolted in myriad other ways — because their state broadly expanded its war on climate change this summer. The ambitious new goals will require complex regulations on an unprecedented scale, but were approved in Sacramento without a study of possible economic repercussions. Some of the nation’s top energy, housing and business experts say the effort may not only raise the cost of staples, but also slow the pace of job and income growth for millions of California families.
Larry Elder interviews Randy Thomas… Randy lost his business through regulations “said” to save the environment… however, during the course of this program we learn how the Teamster (and other) Unions of California use Federal EPA and California “green” mandates to close down mom-and-pop businesses and force them onto the Union dole.
Only between BIG-business and BIG-government can true monopolies exist (Milton Freidman)… and you see here a stark example of the unions in California doing ALL they can to shut down forcefully the free-market options in Democrat run cities. (This has been going on for 5-years.)
Inserted into this upload is a NASA “aeresol” map that the jet-streams/trade-winds move primarily from India and China to America and other parts of the world. So the artificial readings often in L.A. are messaged by the left who are fully aware that their regulations have no environmental impact. They are — instead — means for leftist cities to join forces with unions to fill their dole and keep the votes coming in for them.
To see an example of how this works, see “The Machine” by ReasonTV.
For more clear thinking like this from Larry Elder… I invite you to visit:
According to the EIA, new on-shore wind power is about 37 percent more expensive than new advanced-coal technologies. And solar power makes wind power look like a bargain — new solar photovoltaic power is close to 300 percent more expensive than new advanced-coal technologies. Americans already massively subsidize these costly forms of energy. Wind receives federal subsidies equal to $23.37 per megawatt hour, and solar receives $24.34 per megawatt hour. (Coal receives 44 cents per megawatt hour.) ~ National Review
I have people close to me that will never vote for a bond measure because they do not want their property taxes to increase, but they will increase everyone’s taxes to fund failing business plans and technology. The disconnect is astounding. Here is a positive look at this ponzi scheme that has transferred millions of tax-payer monies to fund the company, to fund people buying the product, and to fund the buying back of the energy — all at the cost of the tax-payer because profit in this industry is impossible:
…Additionally, renewable energy qualifies for accelerated depreciation, which has the effect of reducing OFM’s taxable income and will lower the company’s tax obligation by about $170,000 over two years, Zalcberg said.
Then there’s the business of selling power to the power company. OFM is selling electricity from its solar farm to Progress for 18 cents a kilowatt hour, a premium price approved by state regulators to promote solar energy. At the same time, OFM is paying only one-third of that price for the power it buys from Progress.
The effect is that instead of paying a utility bill, OFM will receive $60,000 yearly from Progress over its 20-year contract with the utility….
Getting taxpayers and electricity ratepayers to pay your electric bill
This September 2010 N&O report about the Holly Springs furniture company OFM shows why solar is so popular with private businesses and why it is such a bad deal for taxpayers and ratepayers.
According to the numbers in the story, we can make a rough calculation of who pays and who benefits. First, OFM gets the taxpayers to pay for half of the cost of the solar equipment (i.e., half of $1.4 million, or $700,000). Then OFM receives taxpayer-paid tax breaks worth $170,000. Then Progress Energy ratepayers pay OFM 18 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced by the solar panels, while OFM buys power from Progress Energy for 6 cents per kilowatt-hour to run its facility — a net profit of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Over 20 years, that would amount to a $1.2 million “profit” from Progress Energy inflicted on ratepayers by the legislature when it passed SB 3.
We must remember that OFM must pay for one-half of the cost of the solar panels, but subtracting the $700,000 cost from the total subsidies above ($2.070 million), OFM gets a cool “profit” after that expense of $1,370,000 to its bottom line courtesy of North Carolina taxpayers and Progress Energy ratepayers.
And that is not all. OFM and other businesses that participate in this fleecing of taxpayers and ratepayers get glowing media reports like this one.
OFM Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Solar Farm With Plans to Expand
Holly Springs, N.C. — This month office and school furniture manufacturer, distributor and wholesaler OFM is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the 250-kilowatt solar farm it installed on the rooftop of its headquarters in Holly Springs, N.C. last August. The company has since been producing more energy than it uses…
Why not expand when you can force taxpayers and ratepayers to pay your electricity bills? Businesses that feed at the public trough are nothing new. This example illustrates that the environmental movement is the new home of crony capitalism, with taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for solar, wind, electric car batteries, new LED lighting, the list goes on and on. Businesses get billions, politicians get good press, and taxpayers and ratepayers get fleeced. For more details, see John Stossel’s report on crony capitalism….
How bout’ California? We can see the same boondoggle going on here as well… and its getting worse under government MoonBeam! (Waaay worse.) Here is some info from Hockey Stick, via the WSJ:
…California, for example, has allocated $3.3 billion in rebates for solar installations through 2016 and compensates residents between $0.20 and $0.35 cents per watt of expected performance (about 5% to 10% of the total cost of installation). San Francisco, which has a 100% renewable goal, provides additional rebates ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per residential installation.
Meantime, school districts in California have received a total of $400 million this year for energy-efficiency projects, including window-glazing and solar-panel installations. SolarCity has contracted with school districts in Barstow, Simi Valley, Los Angeles and other cities.
SolarCity also benefits from “net metering” policies that 43 states, including California, have adopted. Utilities pay solar-panel customers the retail power rate for the solar power they generate but don’t use and then export to the grid. Retail rates can be two to three times as high as the wholesale price of electricity because transmission and delivery costs, along with taxes and other surcharges that fund state renewable programs, are baked in.
So in California, solar ratepayers on average are credited about 16 cents per kilowatt hour on their electric bills for the excess energy they generate—even though utilities could buy that power at less than half the cost from other types of power generators…
Not to mention green jobs and money going to waste or keeping money laundering back into the political parties (mainly Democratic):
Cal Watchdog asks a simple question, gives three short responses, and then you can read the rest:
1.) A cutting edge solar energy project to bring about a “self-sustaining” solar power industry, as touted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and state legislators?
The answer is mostly no based on post-project evaluations done by academic experts.
2.) A program to replace very expensive conventional peak time power plants with equally expensive but clean rooftop solar electricity that is generated at the time of day when it is hottest?
The answer is no. Contending that rooftop solar power replaces conventional peak time power is bogus. This is because electricity rates are tiered depending on usage and climate zone and the fact that ultra peak power rates during heat waves and cold snaps only last maybe as much as four weeks out of 52 weeks in a year.
3.) An expensive, artificial green energy and jobs program that is now being wound down, as there is a recovery in the jobs market?
The answer is yes. Since California’s Solar Initiative did not produce a self-sustaining rooftop solar power market (Question No. 1) and cannot be justified as a replacement for expensive peak time electricity, this leaves us with one conclusion: It was mainly a jobs stimulus program that ended up adding about a $200 tax to 10.8 million utility customers’ electric bills.
Millions of utility customers subsidize solar installations
Of course, the CPUC omitted disclosing that the $6.16 per kilowatt cost of installing rooftop solar power came by adding $2.167 billion to the electricity bills of other California electricity ratepayers. To provide subsidies to the 118,303 recipients of residential, commercial and governmental rooftop solar power installations the electricity bills had to be raised for 10.8 million customers of Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) through its subsidiary the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE).
In other words, the Solar Initiative mandated on average about 91 other electricity customers to subsidize the rooftop solar installations of each rooftop solar power installation. Spread over 10.8 million customers, that equates to about a $200 tax per California electricity customer. The California Solar Initiative is another socialized system like Social Security that is based on a larger base of utility ratepayers paying for a smaller number of recipients. It is a program based on privatizing profits and socializing losses.
Thus, the $6.16 per kilowatt cost installed and 43,000 solar-energy-related jobs created by the California Solar Initiative are artificial and not market-based. The program could never have become self-sustaining in the first place.
When government picks winners and losers, we all lose:
The California Air Resources Board is reportedly considering a new plan to help transportation for low earners: buying them cars. The agency would like to give those of low income a voucher to buy energy-efficient vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, which has a sticker price of $21,000. The board currently gives drivers $1,000 to $1,500 to get rid of their older vehicles in an attempt to curb carbon emissions; there is a second program that gives up to $4,000 depending on the vehicles involved.
….The CARB has even implied that it could sponsor the full purchase of an $18,000 for families of three looking to pick up a hybrid. Stanley Young, spokesman for the Air Resources Board, said that California should “make sure low-income people can also get into these clean vehicles.”
The federal cash for clunkers program was an immense failure, frontloading car purchases but doing nothing to truly spur demand for new vehicles. This program would have the ostensible goal of moving America’s auto industry toward more fuel efficiency; instead, it would redistribute income by subsidizing big business.
“A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge” ~ George Gilder
Central planning ALWAYS fails. Competition is a “discovery procedure,” Nobel-prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek taught. Through the competitive market process, we producers and consumers constantly learn things that force us to adjust our behavior if we are to succeed. Central planners fail for two reasons:
First, knowledge about supply, demand, individual preferences and resource availability is scattered — much of it never articulated — throughout society. It is not concentrated in a database where a group of planners can access it.
Second, this “data” is dynamic: It changes without notice. No matter how honorable the central planners’ intentions, they will fail because they cannot know the needs and wishes of 300 million different people. And if they somehow did know their needs, they wouldn’t know them tomorrow.
Here are two of the latest, the first story comes via The Blaze:
A taxpayer-funded “green” energy company that went bankrupt in July 2012 didn’t just leave behind a legal mess for its creditors – it left behind a mess of contaminated water and toxic carcinogens.
And its up to the owners of Abound Solar’s deserted 37,000 square foot facility to clean up the broken glass and hazardous wastes.
The mess left by the company, which was awarded a $400 million loan guarantee in 2010 by the Obama administration, and the damage done to the facility will cost an estimated $3.7 million to repair, according to The Northern Colorado Business Report.
The Department of Energy originally extended Fisker a $529 million line of credit back in the 2009 stimulus effort, but cut off the already ailing Fisker in 2011 after having dished out only about $190 million. Including the recent auction, the DOE has managed to recover only about $53 million of that loan, which is where the number of the $130 million for which taxpayers will be on the hook came from — except that that specific loan guarantee apparently wasn’t the only tax break of which Fisker was one of the Obama administration’s anointed beneficiaries. According to Reuters:
The bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive could end up costing the U.S. government much more than the $168 million it loaned to the maker of the Karma plug-in hybrid sports car.
According to its bankruptcy filing on Friday, Fisker owns tax breaks worth $320 million.
Fisker’s bankruptcy papers said the Southern California-based company plans to sell its automotive operations to a business affiliated with Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, but it will hold on to the tax breaks after it emerges from bankruptcy.
Fisker piled up some $800 million in net operating losses in recent years, which have a future cash benefit worth approximately $320 million, according to the bankruptcy filing.
That lost tax revenue would add to taxpayers’ pain from Fisker’s failure.
The Obama administration’s green-energy loan guarantees: The “investments” on behalf of the American taxpayer and overriding the obviously cretinous free-market signals of the private sector that just won’t die.
(from Moonbat) Having trouble keeping track of how much money Obama has flushed down green energy boondoggles? This list from the Heritage Foundation should help. It lists faltering or bankrupt green energy companies as of last October, along with the amount of taxpayer loot offered them by the Obama Regime in parentheses (not including other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies):
A new report by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) has shown that despite strong support from the Obama administration, all funded by tax payers, the green energy sector has struggled to grow, and created very few jobs.
The report notes that since 2009 the Department of Energy has invested nearly $26 billion through the Section 1703 and 1705 loan programs, and in that time only 2,308 permanent green jobs have been generated, meaning that each new green sector job cost the taxpayers $11.25 million.
The IER stated in the report that “clearly, in terms of ‘bang for the buck,’ government programs that coddle renewable energy are losers. In terms of jobs, the losers are the American workers who would otherwise be gainfully employed but for the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars on the administration’s obsession with green energy.”
Barack Obama visited the Siemens wind turbine blade plant in Fort Madison, Iowa in April 2010. He praised the plant as a green energy success story and saying, “Investments in clean energy technologies can help return jobs to the country’s heartland.”
Siemens Energy Inc. announced today that it will lay off around two thirds of the workforce at its facility in Ft. Madison. WGEMreported:
Siemens Energy Inc. says that it will lay off 407 workers at its facility in Ft. Madison, around two thirds of the workforce.
Siemens spokesperson Melanie Forbrick says around 220 workers will be retained in Ft. Madison. The layoffs will not take effect before Nov. 19.
Here’s a list of the green companies that have gone belly-up since receiving Obama dollars. Heritage reported:
For those who only hear about these failing companies one by one, the following is a list of all the clean energy companies supported by President Obama’s stimulus that are now failing or have filed for bankruptcy. The liberal media hopes you’ve forgotten about all of them except Solyndra, but we haven’t.
Solyndra (received $535 million)
Beacon Power (received $43 million)
AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy
Nevada Geothermal (received $98.5 million)
SunPower (received $1.5 billion)
First Solar (received $1.46 billion)
Babcock & Brown (an Australian company which received $178 million)
Ener1 (subsidiary EnerDel received $118.5 million)
Amonix (received 5.9 million)
The National Renewable Energy Lab
Abound Solar (received $400 million)
Chevy Volt (taxpayers basically own GM)
Solar Trust of America
A123 Systems (received $279 million)
Willard & Kelsey Solar Group (received $6 million)
Johnson Controls (received $299 million)
Schneider Electric (received $86 million)
That’s 19 (that we know of so far). We also know that loans went to foreign clean energy companies (Fisker sent money to their overseas plant to develop an electric car), and that 80% of these loans went to President Obama’s campaign donors.
Spain announced this week that they would halt all new renewable energy and co-generation projects. Renewable Energy reported, via Steven Hayward at Power Line:
For over a decade, the Spanish government has prevented utilities from charging consumers the true costs of electricity. In other words, the final price paid by both large and small electricity buyers has been kept artificially low, in an arguably misguided attempt to contain inflation, protect consumers, and maintain the competitiveness of Spanish industry.
The following comes from a discussion elsewhere on the Web, and should serve as a great reminder to the deleterious effects of larger (more regulatory) government vs. a smaller form of it:
The main point is that one party has people in it that are for small government — people like Ron Paul, Larry Elder, and the late Milton Friedman (a libertarian “god” of sorts). In the other you have people who want to grow government larger, and larger, and larger. California is a microcosm of the effect this has on businesses and regulating people’s lives. However, this drive to regulate people and their lives and to grow government, has, in every case, increased the possibility of government intrusion by force into the lives of ordinary people, which increase the risk (again, this is provable in history) of detention and death.
Which is why most libertarians vote Republican, they want smaller government. A great example is the housing market crisis. Some people are under the impression this was caused due to an easing of regulation. Not true. In fact, it was government-regulating banks to loan to people it would previously not. Why is this? Because the left wants [material] equality, the right wants people to prosper. One offers the most freedom, the other forces one person to pay for another. Here is an a small sampling of 2012 regulations from California that is helping businesses make the choice in moving to other states:
✦In addition to mandatory insurance coverage, eligible female employees can take four months pregnancy disability leave, under provisions of SB 299. ✦The independent contractor law, SB 459, is worth discussing with a legal or h/r expert, because the rules are so tough and potentially expensive. That $5,000 to $25,000 fine is PER INCIDENT. ✦Employees can take up to 30 business days in a year for donating organs or bone marrow. SB 272 clarifies the law a bit. ✦Company dress codes must accommodate transvestites and cross dressers under AB 887. ✦Companies operating in multiple states must offer the same insurance coverage for same-sec couples and domestic partners as they do married couples in California. ✦Five new laws change workers compensation insurance. Check with your insurance carrier.
Everything the growth in government touches (which is typically from the left… or, the right embracing the foundational thinking of the left [like Bush working with Kennedy to increase the size and focus of the Dept of Education]). This regulation causes friction between government and regular people. As more and more regulations are added, the increase in the possibility of armed persons coming to your door increases — like this example of natural foods markets being raided: http://biggovernment.com/reasontv/2011/08/04/reason-tv-rawesome-foods-raided-again/
So persons that *REALLY* want to effect the political spectrum and possibly decrease the size of the government the most would want to vote Republican (like Milton Friedman, Larry Elder, and Rand Paul [Ron Paul’s son]). And this decreases the abrasive aspect of government and the regular Joe meeting. Congress — for instance – should meet for 3-months during the year, and do less of this:
“Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry…” James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martins Griffen; 1994), 1.
“All forms of the liberal agenda interfere with the rational relationship between human action and the conditions of life by disconnecting outcomes from adaptive behavior. Government welfare programs of all kinds disconnect the receipt of material benefits from productive behavior and voluntary exchange, and from those normal developmental processes that lead to adult competence. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal and state welfare programs divorce an individual’s material security and emotional well being from his economic and social connections to his community, and replace them with a marriage to government officials. In particular, welfare programs disconnect the individual’s security and well being from two of his most reliable resources: his own initiative in producing and exchanging with others, and his social bonds to members of his family, church, neighborhood or village. The liberal agenda’s takeover of countless individual and community functions, from early education to care of the elderly, has had the effect of alienating the individual from his community and robbing both of their essential mutuality. In the economic sphere, especially, the liberal agenda’s rules have become strikingly irrational. Countless restrictions dictate what the ordinary businessman and professional may or may not do regarding hiring procedures, sales and purchasing, health insurance plans, retirement plans, safety precautions, transportation policies, racial and ethnic quotas, immigration matters, liability rules, and provisions for the handicapped. Endless paperwork adds to the already crushing burden of confiscatory taxation. Licensure requirements needlessly prevent workers from entering new fields in which they are willing to work hard and risk much in order to make life better for themselves and their families. Unnecessary and unjust restrictions in the freedom with which individuals can run their economic lives are the hallmarks of the liberal agenda. But the social pathology of collectivism extends well beyond the economic realm. While children can be happy in dependent relationships with parents, adults cannot be happy in any mature sense in dependent relationships with government welfare programs, no matter how well intentioned or administered. The reasons for this are developed more thoroughly below and occupy a major portion of this book. Stated briefly, however, the large-scale dependency of the adult citizen on governments is always inherently pathological and always profoundly detrimental to…” Lyle H. Rossiter, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, p. 71.
Cal Watchdog adds to the idea with the most recent businesses leaving:
Waste Connections, a Folsom-based garbage hauling and landfill company, said last week it is busting a move for Texas. Santa Barbara-based Superconductor Technologies Inc., which develops advanced superconducting wire, also confirmed this week it is leaving for the Lone Star State.
After California’s ongoing budget imbroglio, there is arguably no greater crisis facing our once Golden State than the continuing exodus of homegrown companies like Waste Connections and Superconductor Technologies. Yet, lawmakers in Sacramento are doing next to nothing about it.
In fact, Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittlestaedt actually warned state officials back in August that his company was thinking about relocating to another state. Those officials failed to step up and dissuade the Sacramento region’s largest publicly traded company from leaving. Higher Taxes
Mittlestaedt echoed the lament of all too many California CEO’s that the state is inhospitable for business. It “has the highest tax rates in the nation,” he told the Sacramento Bee this week, “and they’re going higher.” And California is not only fiscally broke, he said, but also “structurally.”
By that, he was referring to the state’s hostile regulatory environment. As when the Legislature this year neglected to pass a measure that would have made it easier for Waste Connections and other landfill operators to move trash around the state, while doing no harm to the environment.
Superconductor Technologies CEO Jeff Quiram said in a statement that the company’s goal of becoming “a leader in the superconducting wire industry recently reached the inflection point where it was time to make a move.”
Translation: The cost, the hassle of doing business in California has risen to such a level that aspiring companies like STI cannot grow their businesses the way they can in competing states….
….The committee also raised questions about whether the loan deal came about because of political influence, highlighting an email that they said showed how the White House was trying to hurry a loan approval so Vice President Joseph R. Biden could announce the deal in 2009.
The largest private investor in Solyndra is a venture-capital firm tied to Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, a fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
….Solyndra became the first company to get a Department of Energy loan guarantee through the stimulus program, and it was hailed as an example of job creation and clean-energy technology by the White House. ….
….But in a report released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, officials said documents show that OMB staff working on the loan approval felt pressure from the White House to finish their work in time for the groundbreaking, which also was attended by Mr. Chu and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who was California’s governor at the time. Mr. Biden appeared via a satellite feed.
“And out there at Solyndra, you guys have figured it out,” Mr. Biden said. “You figured out how to harness the sun’s power for a better, more efficient, more prosperous future for all of America, and you’re creating more jobs.”
In his remarks, Mr. Schwarzenegger said the project would create thousands of jobs, and he applauded the Obama administration.
“So let’s give a big hand to President Obama and the Obama administration for this great job,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said….
….Mr. Waxman said the loan deal deserves scrutiny, and he raised questions about whether there was proper vetting and whether the company misled federal officials about its finances. He said the company even briefed him personally on its finances and assured him it was in solid shape. Still, he said, the company’s collapse shouldn’t keep the government from backing solar-energy initiatives.
But Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Republican, said the collapse wasn’t surprising. He said that’s what happens when the government tries to pick winners and losers.
Despite President Barack Obama’s steep decline in job approval, especially this summer, the president has commanded a remarkable reserve of high personal regard from voters. Even as the polls show him approaching the kind of job support last seen with his predecessor George W. Bush in the post-Katrina era, Obama has not had to deal with significant levels of personal dislike in national surveys….
….It takes more than a bad bet to make a scandal — but Solyndra has connections all the way to Obama himself. When Solyndra initially applied for taxpayer subsidies, auditors at the Department of Energy questioned Solyndra’s stability. So why did the Obama administration fast-track Solyndra’s application? One reason might be that one of the chief investors in Solyndra is George Kaiser — who also was one of Obama’s campaign bundlers in 2008, raising more than $50,000. Solyndra executives made more than 20 visits to the White House between March 2009 and April 2011. Was it a coincidence that Solyndra ended up with an interest rate from the feds at one-fourth the going rate for green-jobs projects?….
….There have been other controversies in the Obama administration, such as Operation Fast and Furious in the ATF office in Phoenix and the Department of Justice. But Solyndra is the first controversy that has the potential to directly stain Barack Obama himself. Indeed, Obama might find that his well of personal favorability could run dry if investigations discover quid pro quos in Solyndra’s collapse and the vaporization of over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer funds.
The Obama Administration spent nearly half of the $38.6 billion funds ($17.2 billion) set aside for his green energy programs and was only able to create 3,545 permanent green jobs. This comes out to a staggering $4,853,000 per job.
The Obama Administration has blown billions of taxpayer dollars on green energy and has only succeeded in producing a few thousand jobs. The Washington Post reported:
“There are good reasons to create green jobs, but they have more to do with green than with jobs,” Princeton University economics professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has said.
But, there’s more… Top Obama bundler George Kaisermade multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted a $535 million loan from the government. And top Solyndra officials also made numerous visits — 20 — to the White House, according to logs and reporting by The Daily Caller. Solyndra officials in the logs included chairman and founder Christian Gronet and board members Thomas Baruch and David Prend. The company secured the $535 million loan despite the fact that it was widely known Solyndra was in deep economic trouble and had negative cash flows since its inception.
There’s more… It has now been confirmed that White House officials sat in on the Solyndra meetings this past year before the company went under. The White House monitored the huge loans. And before the loan guarantees were granted officials knew the company would fail.