Good news: Interior all set to fast-track solar projects on public lands

posted at 11:31 am on October 13, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Well, that’s a relief! Even while the Obama administration continues to dither about finishing those environmental reviews on ostensible-but-still-elusive proof of groundwater contamination from fracking,; and continues to deny oil and gas companies access to America’s own wildly abundant resources; and owns over a third of the United States’ surface area which puts the land to less productive uses than private property owners and businesses could and more often than not engenders environmental degradation while costing American taxpayers a heap; at least we can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that the Department of Interior, in what I’m sure is their completely dispassionate and enlightened wisdom, has recently expended their bureaucratic energies on finalizing a program to quickly review-and-greenlight solar energy projects on public lands across the Western states. From The Hill:

The Interior Department set aside about 285,000 acres for commercial-scale solar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The federal government will offer incentives for development, help facilitate access to existing or planned electric infrastructure and ease the permitting process in the 17 zones.

“Energy from sources like wind and solar have doubled since the president took office, and with today’s milestone, we are laying a sustainable foundation to keep expanding our nation’s domestic energy resources,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. …

The development program approved Friday cuts some up-front costs for developers, as the federal government already has performed National Environmental Policy Act assessments for the sites.

Did you catch those bits about “offering incentives,” “helping to facilitate,” “ease the permitting process,” and “already performed assessments”? Yes, most generous and munificent of the Interior Department to spend OUR money that way, isn’t it?

Who cares that the government’s dabbling in solar and green energy has produced myriad failures at taxpayer expense; that even some environmentalist groups think this could be a bad idea that will mess up pristine and fragile areas and actually cause a greater carbon release that it purports to save; and that solar power has demonstrated no real propensity to cheaply and efficiently provide mass energy while fitting into our infrastructure.

Oh, but here’s the best part:

The administration fired the most recent volley Wednesday by affirming tariffs on Chinese imports. The Commerce Department determined Chinese solar panels were sold below fair value and that its solar businesses unfairly received direct government support.

Yes, you read that correctly — even with all of the many types of subsidies and special government treatment the solar industry receives, they still can’t compete, so the government affords the domestic industry protectionist tariffs… purportedly because China gives its own industry unfair government help.

Is this real life?


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May they all spontaneously combut, for stupidity and charlatanry.

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM

combust

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Got to get as much money into their cronies pockets as fast as they can. Their gravy train is coming to a stop in 2 1/2 months.

Flange on October 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

You know I’m not really a violent person, but every time I see a picture of that sniveling liberal Salazar wearing a cowboy hat I want to slap it off his head. Is it just me?

Certif on October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Is this real life?

It’s an Obamination.

the_nile on October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Just one more thing for R/R to take a giant $hit on next year.

BigWyo on October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Ok.. the enviro lobby whines that building roads and putting oil rigs on public land is too destructive and bothers the squirrels…

is ok with this?

The same access roads, and solar farms which will eat up hundreds of acres disrupting the same squirrels favorite nut picking grounds?

So tearing up small tiny parcels of land to gather oil is evil..

but tearing up 285,000 acres for solar is not?

-

-

Liberals are halfwits..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Fare thee well, Mojave Desert Tortoise. 90′s style environmentalism is well and truly dead, sacrificed on the altar of the Climate Change industry.

Rich white men grabbing fistfuls of government money are now more sympathetic figures to the green left than actual endangered species.

joewm315 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

OT – Obama’s America

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You can’t make this stuff up. Truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.

College Prof on October 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

As Ron White has observed, “Ya can’t fix stupid!”

GarandFan on October 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

You know I’m not really a violent person, but every time I see a picture of that sniveling liberal Salazar wearing a cowboy hat I want to slap it off his head. Is it just me?

Certif on October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

lol…. no.

When stationed in Cheyenne, a subset of new recruits, when they got there the first week, they go into town and buy..

One over sized cowboy hat
One pair of pointy toed cowboy boots
one very very large belt buckle..

to the great amusement of vets and locals alike…

and um.. I uh.. what’s the statute of limitations on slapping a nerds cowboy hat off anyway?

it was just once…

and he was um.. annoying..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Liberals are halfwits..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

You give them too much credit by half, bro…

trigon on October 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

How is it that the Feds own all this (public) land? Which state will be the first to nut up and buy/seize it back..?

affenhauer on October 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

As Ron White has observed, “Ya can’t fix stupid!”

GarandFan on October 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Nope, but as one of the ladies that post here regularly observed, you can accidentally back up over it a couple of times in your car…

Joe Biden, Paul Ryan and Bibi’s “Red Line” time line.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

in what I’m sure is their completely dispassionate and enlightened wisdom

Erika, I’m shocked at your cynicism.

jwolf on October 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Rich white men grabbing fistfuls of government money are now more sympathetic figures to the green left than actual endangered species.

joewm315 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

That’s because those lily white money grubbers donate to the “cause”.. and Obama could grill whale steaks over burning tires every Friday..

and these chuckleheads would grab a plate.

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

….for some reason the environ-wackos will not be filing lawsuits to delay the implementation like they do for anything that will benefit the American public…ie… the Keystone Pipeline……….

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

May one take it that Romney will squash this in January?

OldEnglish on October 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Is it just me?

Certif on October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Not at all. I wanna do the same thing.

But that’s because my chain saw won’t start…

Kraken on October 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Good news: Interior all set to fast-track solar projects on public lands

…QUICK!…need more campaign funds!

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Idiots, idiots idiots.

rplat on October 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Is it just me?

Certif on October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Not at all. I wanna do the same thing.

But that’s because my chain saw won’t start…

Kraken on October 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

…I’d like to use a small Buck knife to cut off something… to put in his hat for him!

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Watch the plug get pulled on 1/21/13.

disa on October 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

How much does Al Gore stand to make from this latest brilliant move by Ken “All Hat – No Cattle” Salazar?

natasha333 on October 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Well, Obama has the OPEC vote locked up.

Left Coast Right Mind on October 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

May they all spontaneously combut, for stupidity and charlatanry.

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Well, “combut” may not be a word, but somehow it just sounds like it should be for this administration.

natasha333 on October 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Rich white men grabbing fistfuls of government money are now more sympathetic figures to the green left than actual endangered species.

joewm315 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

…I haven’t noticed any “affirmative action” candidates…have you?

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Sure–you can’t walk on public lands because it might upset some snail-darting tree owl, but building solar panels is just ducky.

The saddest part is that these insane liberals actually take themselves seriously and can get away with their nonsense

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Bullets vs solar panels = no contest

dirtengineer on October 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Got to get as much money into their cronies pockets as fast as they can. Their gravy train is coming to a stop in 2 1/2 months.

Flange on October 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

…heck!…into THEIR OWN POCKETS!…why do you think Jessee Jackson Jr. wanted a Senate seat so bad?

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Before I fled (2007) the late, great state of Kalifornia the environmentalists stopped several “green” energy projects via the lawsuit route.

chemman on October 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

combut: to knowingly enact policies, rules or regulations guaranteed to result in inefficiency and waste in furtherance of political cronyism. Ex: “Combutting was one of the many factors that led to former President Obama’s failed bid for a second term.”

natasha333 on October 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Yes, you read that correctly — even with all of the many types of subsidies and special government treatment the solar industry receives, they still can’t compete, so the government affords the domestic industry protectionist tariffs… purportedly because China gives its own industry unfair government help.

Is this real life?

Ericka dear, love you much, BUT. Believe it or not this is actually the truth. Solyendra, everybody’s favorite whipping horse was actually driven out of business by Chinese anti-competitive practices. Well that an another little tactic that the Chinese used that most Americans are not aware of. China controls about 80 percent of the Earth’s Rare Earth Metals market. (You can thank Californian’s Environmental Nazi’s for that, California used to control it, but the Enviro-Nazi’s shut down California’s Rare Earth Metal’s Production)

The Chinese intentionally under sold (using government subsidies to do so) Solyendra plus they restricted Solyendra’s access to the Rare Earth Metals they needed to make their solar panels.

Does this absolve Solyendra of culpability for going bankrupt? No, Solyendra was a poorly run company that became dependent on government funding. But the product Solyendra produced was a GOOD product and it should have been a competitive product. Poor management alone would not have doomed Solyendra.

Now understand, I am not a profoundly pro solar energy individual, I understand the problems associated with it and have seen the math involved in making solar energy a significant public supply of energy, and it is not good.

There are places in the country however where Solar energy is a extremely viable private energy alternative, throughout the Southwest solar energy is extremely viable alternative for residential and small to mid sized commercial venture. It will never be a large scale commercial or public energy alternative, but that does not mean that it does not have it’s place in our economy.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Watch the plug get pulled on 1/21/13.

disa on October 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

If that was on purpose, then…

EXCELLENT!

Kraken on October 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

What I didn’t see mentioned above is whether the developers are getting money from the government for the work.

I’m actually not opposed to them building a solar farm, as long as they’re not taking my tax dollars to do it. They should be opening up land for oil drilling, too, though.

Mohonri on October 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

May they all spontaneously combut, for stupidity and charlatanry.

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I don’t want them to spontaneously combust. I rather see God hit them with a bolt of lightning. What a news lead-in that would make: “In another example of God’s latest wrath, Joe Biden took a hit from a lightning bolt estimated to be in the zillion bazillion volt range…In a related story, Chris Matthews and Soledad O’Brian are nowhere to be found…”

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Kraken on October 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Oops, I thought this was a Biden thread. My bad…

Kraken on October 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Oh yee of little faith! Fear not, for there are still plenty of environmental wackos who, while violently opposed to coal, oil and nuclear, will protect Gaia from the devestation wrought by acres and acres of solar panels upon her delicate and fragile skin.

Can you say lawsuits o’plenty?

Hill60 on October 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Oh yee of little faith! Fear not, for there are still plenty of environmental wackos who, while violently opposed to coal, oil and nuclear, will protect Gaia from the devestation wrought by acres and acres of solar panels upon her delicate and fragile skin.

Can you say lawsuits o’plenty?

Hill60 on October 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

ROTFLMAO… We already have those going like crazy to prevent a solar power facility here in California. Yes, the Enviro-Nazi’s are nucking Futs…

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Oops, I thought this was a Biden thread. My bad…

Kraken on October 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Bashing Biden is good on any thread, far as I’m concerned.

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

In the mean time, the feds put fences around our land and gates on access roads to prevent us from using our own land. Then they charge us to go into Natl Parks that are supported by our tax dollars.

Kissmygrits on October 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

In the mean time, the feds put fences around our land and gates on access roads to prevent us from using our own land. Then they charge us to go into Natl Parks that are supported by our tax dollars.

Kissmygrits on October 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Well if you want to get all technical, that’s because it isn’t “OUR” land, it was purchased by the Federal Government which technically makes it federal land, i.e. under the stewardship of the Federal Government, held in trust for ALL of the citizens of the United States. Kind of like how all of the United States Navy’s Aircraft Carriers belong to ALL of America’s citizens.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

That’s going to happen regardless of these bogus projects. I see this as their final chance to spread the wealth to their friends.

Flange on October 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

As a bird watcher, I wonder if they realize how many birds they kill each year with their wind farms. Wind farms are placed in sites that get a lot of wind. That just happens to be where the birds migratory paths are. Oil wells couldn’t do as much damage to a species as the wind farms do. Where is the environmental outrage?

COgirl on October 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

We live in the AZ desert with three solar plants planned nearby. It is nearly always windy and dusty in our little community of about 3000. These plants will use huge amounts of groundwater to keep those panels clean, and we expect that we will all have to drill deeper to keep our domestic wells operating….and that won’t be cheap. No one from DC is going to reimburse us for that! As for Salazar, as we say here, “all hat & no cattle”.

jones4az on October 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Oh yee of little faith! Fear not, for there are still plenty of environmental wackos who, while violently opposed to coal, oil and nuclear, will protect Gaia from the devestation wrought by acres and acres of solar panels upon her delicate and fragile skin.

Can you say lawsuits o’plenty?

Hill60 on October 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

But, but .. This is NOT a private, non-subsidized enterprise !!
All but predicting full-speed-ahead (and any endangered species found will merely be stomped on, and ignored.

pambi on October 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

These solar projects will be subsidized with money saved by cutbacks in the Middle East diplomat security budget.

petefrt on October 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

We live in the AZ desert with three solar plants planned nearby. It is nearly always windy and dusty in our little community of about 3000. These plants will use huge amounts of groundwater to keep those panels clean, and we expect that we will all have to drill deeper to keep our domestic wells operating….and that won’t be cheap. No one from DC is going to reimburse us for that! As for Salazar, as we say here, “all hat & no cattle”.

jones4az on October 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Yup, like I said, there are places where solar energy is a viable alternative energy source for private citizens and small to mid sized commercial business, but it will never be a viable alternative for large scale public energy. The mitigating factors such as you describe that will affect your community are systemic across the board for public application of large scale solar power.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

There was a case some years ago, on the Oregon and Washington border, involving windmills. The clean-air types went to court with PETA advocates about building those eagle killers.

I don’t know who won the case, but I find fun when liberal activists go against each other.

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Have to agree with Certif,Salazar is more despised than the Taliban in these parts.Please Ed could you find another picture of him to post next time(without his phony cowboy hat).Everytime I see it I want to put my fist through the monitor.

jeffinsjvca on October 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Yes, you read that correctly — even with all of the many types of subsidies and special government treatment the solar industry receives, they still can’t compete, so the government affords the domestic industry protectionist tariffs… purportedly because China gives its own industry unfair government help.

Is this real life?

Ericka dear, love you much, BUT. Believe it or not this is actually the truth. Solyendra, everybody’s favorite whipping horse was actually driven out of business by Chinese anti-competitive practices.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Not to put words in Ericka’s mouth, but I think what she was pointing out was the supreme irony here:
1) The US Federal government is providing subsidies and loan guarantees to solar energy companies because without government subsidies, those solar energy companies cannot compete with conventional energy sources
2) The Chinese government is providing subsidies to the solar panel manufacturers in China because those solar panel manufacturers aren’t competitive unless they are subsidized by the government.
so:
3) The US Federal government then turns around and slaps tariffs on solar energy panels produced by China because China is subsidizing production of solar energy panels and that is an unfair trade practice.

While your analysis is correct, the irony of the above facts is just eye watering. Kind of a “No fair! Your subsidies are making your products more competitive than our subsidies can make our products!”

AZfederalist on October 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I’ll pass on the tuna casserole: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57531800/worker-cooked-to-death-at-california-tuna-plant/

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Then they charge us to go into Natl Parks that are supported by our tax dollars.

Kissmygrits on October 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Imagine what it would cost if Romney eliminates Romney actually started raiding discretionary spending in order to fund his $2 trillion defense build-up without increasing the deficit (while — as he has pledged — keeping benefits intact for current SS and Medicare recipients).

Fortunately, hes probably lying about that, too.

As for the solar panels? When Interior stops subsidizing roads for the timber industry, renting public land to ranchers at below market rates, leasing land to extraction industries at $5/acre, regardless of the value of the minerals beneath, and gets market-rate royalties for offshore oil (rates that were cut in the 90′s when oil prices were low and never raised when they rose again), I’ll worry about this project.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

While your analysis is correct, the irony of the above facts is just eye watering. Kind of a “No fair! Your subsidies are making your products more competitive than our subsidies can make our products!”

AZfederalist on October 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

ROTFLMAO… Gotcha… While I’m pretty sure that the Chinese subsidies came first you are correct in noting that the irony is indeed eye watering, the kind of irony you can only get when socialist bureaucratic types get their panties in a wad over other people doing what they do.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

The Interior Department set aside about 285,000 acres for commercial-scale solar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

Where is that teary-eyed Indian, sitting atop his horse, gazing out at the hideous trashed-out landscape when you need him ???

Another reason to vote ROMNEY-RYAN

BigSven on October 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Do you somehow need to be a douche all your life?

Sure–let’s cut ALL Federal subsidizing across the board. I’m in; you can bet the farm on that.

No more money for PP, NPR, the ‘arts’, small business, farmers, foreign aid–all of them; the whole Kassaba.

But you liblets wouldn’t go for that, would you?

Here. Have a drink on me…~passes you a shot of Massengil with a vinegar-and-water chaser~

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

This only works if state legislatures pass laws that force utilities to buy energy from these companies. The bottom line is you will pay a lot more for electricity.

Wigglesworth on October 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Ok.. the enviro lobby whines that building roads and putting oil rigs on public land is too destructive and bothers the squirrels…

is ok with this?

The same access roads, and solar farms which will eat up hundreds of acres disrupting the same squirrels favorite nut picking grounds?

So tearing up small tiny parcels of land to gather oil is evil..

but tearing up 285,000 acres for solar is not?

-

-

Liberals are halfwits..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

The Leftists here in New Hampshire have their Pampers in a bunch over a proposal to bring cheap hydropower from Quebec to New England, because they’re upset that the transmission towers will be (gasp) 100 feet tall each.

Yet at the same time, they have absolutely no objection to a Spanish firm building a huge wind farm right on the southern boundary of the White Mountain National Forest. Said wind farm is directly across the valley from one of the only nesting sights in the state for Peregrine Falcons, and is also right near military airspace, not to mention being in the approach pattern for at least 2 airports.

And the towers for that wind farm? 4 times as tall as the ones proposed for the Quebec hydro project.

Nope, no double standard there!

Del Dolemonte on October 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

The belief in man-made global warming is a religion. We should insist on the separation of church and state in these spurious investments.

John the Libertarian on October 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Solar Power the energy of the future… since the 1970′s.

Say, if it so ready-to-go and cost effective, then why does it need help, price supports, subsidies and tariffs?

Just more cronyism, from Big Bird to Big Solar to Big Agriculture to Big Banks to Big Labor: Obama is the backer of Big. Anyone on the Left would vilify all this stuff if there was a different party next to Obama’s name… the silence of the crickets is deafening from the Left.

ajacksonian on October 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Do you somehow need to be a douche all your life?

Sure–let’s cut ALL Federal subsidizing across the board. I’m in; you can bet the farm on that.

No more money for PP, NPR, the ‘arts’, small business, farmers, foreign aid–all of them; the whole Kassaba.

But you liblets wouldn’t go for that, would you?

Here. Have a drink on me…~passes you a shot of Massengil with a vinegar-and-water chaser~

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Foreign aid isn’t a subsidy, it’s a tool of foreign policy and deserves it’s own discussion.

And, I think that there’s still a place for government subsidy of basic research and emerging technologies. The market under-invests in knowledge that can’t be immediately monetized.

However, throw in charitable contribution write-offs (I don;t want to subsidize your church, you don’t want to subsidize my contribution to the ACLU) and maybe the home interest deduction and I’d sit down at a table with you.

As a general rule, entrenched interests benefit far more from subsidies than lefty causes do.

Can we keep museums?

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

This only works if state legislatures pass laws that force utilities to buy energy from these companies. The bottom line is you will pay a lot more for electricity.

Wigglesworth on October 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

It doesn’t even work then. Bottom line, solar energy facilities only generate electricity during the day. The problem with large scale public electrical generation is… Electricity on that scale is not a storable commodity. There are no battery system on the face of the earth capable of storing 1000 megawatt hours of electricity.

Night time electrical consumable power must be generated the old fashioned way, which means that the electrical transmission grid has to be expanded and switching equipment has to be integrated so that the load from daylight generation to night time generation doesn’t crash the entire electrical grid.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Can we keep museums?

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Why? You leftest utterly refuse to learn from history.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

I have no problem with solar power. We could save money by having panels on every roof in the neighborhood.

But what do we do on a rainy day?

Liberals: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t legally exile them to North Korea.

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

The Interior Department set aside about 285,000 acres for commercial-scale solar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

Where is that teary-eyed Indian, sitting atop his horse, gazing out at the hideous trashed-out landscape when you need him ???

Another reason to vote ROMNEY-RYAN

BigSven on October 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ce/People_Start_Pollution_-_1971_Ad.jpg

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Can we keep museums?

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

If they are privatly funded.

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

As a general rule, entrenched interests benefit far more from subsidies than lefty causes do.

Can we keep museums?

urbane effetist on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Except that many lefty causes are also entrenched interests.

See “PBS” and “NPR”. Also the National Endowment for the Arts.

AMTRAK is an entrenched interest, but it’s also a lefty cause, as it’s the lefties who want to keep passenger train service.

As for museums, you don’t seem to be aware of all of the privately funded museums out there, many of which are world-class. See the Field Museum in Chicago, or the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

Del Dolemonte on October 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Can we keep museums?

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Yes, funded with private donations:

David Koch Gives National Museum of Natural History Biggest Donation Ever

mudskipper on October 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Hate those pictures where Obama is acting like he’s paying attention. Because he can’t even pull that off credibly. The guy with the cowboy hat is a nice cynical touch. Ironically the Stetson’s main purpose is to keep the sun OFF. Besides the crony boondoggle to comes from this, watch for the added taxpayer-funded expense padding that will be built into the “environmental impact” studies. These projects will have a huge footprint on those cherished habitats. Much more than drilling for oil.

I mean, it’s like they go out of their way to do the exact wrong thing. Hm.

curved space on October 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

There are places in the country however where Solar energy is a extremely viable private energy alternative, throughout the Southwest solar energy is extremely viable alternative for residential and small to mid sized commercial venture. It will never be a large scale commercial or public energy alternative, but that does not mean that it does not have it’s place in our economy.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Um, I live in the southwest, and this very spring evaluated installing a solar rig at my home – grid-tie, whole nine yards.

Even with subsidies, rebates, etc – the cheapest bid available priced the rig at around $14k and would net me a grand savings on my electric bill, by their estimates, of… $50 per month (at first, gets worse over time as the panels get less productive with age). Hell, the payback period on the deal was LONGER than the expected useful life of the panels, ffs.

Solar is not remotely *viable* as an alternative unless you don’t give a rat’s ass about how much it costs and are just doing it for the sake of doing it to ‘feel good’ about it or something. Even with panels being sold at ‘less than fair value’ apparently, it still is a terrible choice in terms of cost.

Midas on October 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

More bad news for wind farms…

Wind Power Can’t Cost-Effectively Be a Large Grid’s Main Source of Electricity

Cascade Policy Institute | October 5, 2012

Because of its variable nature, wind energy is not suited to be the lone or primary source of a grid’s total electricity, according to a new Cascade Policy Institute–Reason Foundation study. If used to produce more than 10-20 percent of a system’s electricity, wind power increases operating costs, due to the need for expensive storage facilities or continuously available CO2-emitting backup power generation facilities.

In the Pacific Northwest, the backup mostly has been provided by the Columbia River hydro system. However, since hydroelectricity has even less CO2 associated with it than wind power does, displacing hydropower from the electricity grid in favor of wind is actually a step backwards―if reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a policy objective, as it has been for Oregon legislators.

The new Cascade Policy Institute–Reason Foundation report uses a full year’s worth of hour-by-hour power grid data from PJM Interconnection, which manages the electrical grid in part of the Eastern United States, to simulate how wind would have supplied the necessary power to customers in 2009. The models show wind power would have failed to supply all the electricity PJM customers needed over 50 percent of the time.

Be sure to read the whole thing. Saw a story last winter from Texas; it was so cold there that the wind turbines stopped producing, and Texas had to buy huge amounts of power from Mexico, who kindly charged them 10 times the going rate.

Del Dolemonte on October 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Why? You leftest utterly refuse to learn from history.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Given that Romney appears ready to embrace the George Bush presidency whole hog — bellicose foreign policy and war threats, tax cuts that will magically balance the budget, and Wall Street deregulation, it appears that we are not the only ones who refuse to learn.

Besides, I meant art museums, of course.

I have no problem with solar power. We could save money by having panels on every roof in the neighborhood.

But what do we do on a rainy day?

Liberals: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t legally exile them to North Korea.

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Actually, the biggest use of electricity comes on hot, sunny days when the air conditioning is jacked and daytime generally when commercial facilities are open.

As part of the grid — not as the all the grid — solar power could help cut costs and pollution significantly. A number of my friends got solar panels on their roofs and are very pleased with how well its worked out.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The administration fired the most recent volley Wednesday by affirming tariffs on Chinese imports. The Commerce Department determined Chinese solar panels were sold below fair value and that its solar businesses unfairly received direct government support.

Hmm. I wonder what the Chinese thought about Solyndra?

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Can we keep museums?

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

We can keep anything and everything we want, long as we’re willing to donate out of our own pockets by choice.

Ever think that, if Washington wasn’t involved in everything so deeply, our taxes would be lower? I don’t mind spending a trillion or two on military defense. The world is a horrible place and we have to protect our country. Protecting America is also protecting you and me and our families.

But Federal money going to joke ‘art’ is putrid to me.

That sort of thing, I regret to say, is what thrills you liberals.

You liberals love making me and others like me pay, by force and under the gun of the tax code, for offensive things that should not be stolen from us. Then, you horrid liberals mock us for being offended by what you do and want.

Realistically–who the phuck are you to dare demand all the time from your neighbors? They don’t owe you a damned thing. Neither do we, as a whole.

Yet you and your ilk still think it’s your place to come here and presume to lecture us, being an invader who can’t leave like-minded people of good character to chat in peace.

No, UE. You and your kind are the disruption in the world. I bet that many of your friends, if given the choice to wipe out Islamic terrorism or American Conservatives, you would kill us instead of them.

In sum, UE, the world would be a better place without you phucking liberals.

PS–Apologies to the Conservatives and mods here for my rant.

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Are there windmills off of Nantucket yet? I’m betting not.

bflat879 on October 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Except that many lefty causes are also entrenched interests.

See “PBS” and “NPR”. Also the National Endowment for the Arts.

AMTRAK is an entrenched interest, but it’s also a lefty cause, as it’s the lefties who want to keep passenger train service.

As for museums, you don’t seem to be aware of all of the privately funded museums out there, many of which are world-class. See the Field Museum in Chicago, or the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

Del Dolemonte on October 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Feel free to eliminate all of Amtrak except the profitable northeast corridor.And not that the NEA budget, at about $154 million, and Public Broacasting, at $445 million are mere pittances compared to the oill industry’s famed $ 4 billion (not counting reduced royalty payments)that the oil companies get — not to mention Boeing and Ex-Im, $7 billion/year in crop subsidies, and whatever the feds lose in revenue when Mormons write off their tithes.

You do need to lighten up a little, you know. The museum thing: kind of a joke. But I do love my Smithsonian, thanks, all, for keeping it free for me.

(All jesting aside, the Smithsonian does serious research that private museums don’t and has certain national archive status that would earn it a stipend).

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Would it be too much to request them to show us how this is supposed to reduce electricity costs?

Just asking…

tarpon on October 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Thomas Peterffy gets in your face… And kicks your ass…

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

(All jesting aside, the Smithsonian does serious research that private museums don’t and has certain national archive status that would earn it a stipend).

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Always with thew special exceptions. Big Bird is a national treasure, can’t defund Big Bird…

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

285,000 acres at 43,560 sq. ft. per acre is 12.4-billion square feet.

To build a major pipeline, you need a right-of-way around 250 to 300 feet wide. The equivalent land use for a pipeline would be a pipeline that is a bit short of 8,000 miles long.

That’s almost four – FOUR – Keystone pipelines.

This isn’t even math; this is arithmetic. At exactly what grade in elementary school did the ‘reality based’ community drop out?

ss396 on October 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Given that Romney appears ready to embrace the George Bush presidency whole hog — bellicose foreign policy and war threats, tax cuts that will magically balance the budget, and Wall Street deregulation, it appears that we are not the only ones who refuse to learn.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

As we just discovered in Benghazi, a bellicose world is out there.

George Bush consulted and gained the approval of Congress before going to war in both Iraq and Afghanistan (and Smilin’ Lyin’ Joe Biden voted for both wars, has he discovered after his debate), while Barack Obama did nothing of the sort either before or after he went to war in Libya. So, from a Constitutional standpoint, which man followed our laws?

Wall street deregulation was not the cause of our economic meltdown — it was the Democratic efforts to pump up the housing market — to sue those companies which had conservative loan practices for discriminatory loan practices (think Young Barack Obama and Citibank), to make said “discriminatory loan practices” illegal, to build an entire Government infrastructure to indemnify the loan companies in the event that said nondiscriminatory loans failed, and then stood back and watched admiringly as what Maxine Waters called “100% loans” pumped the vaporous value of real estate to places far beyond anyone’s ability to pay — unless they were already in the real estate market.

Thank heavens we here in California have Prop 13 — for the entirely artificial pumping of real estate prices would have forced millions of retirees out of their homes, because they would no longer have been able to afford the homes they were living in. Instead, those homes would have been sold to what I would call “young serfs” — who would be tied for the rest of their lives into making payments on their FIRST house.

The evidence is in Connecticut — I saw a lot of “for sale” signs in Chester, CT when I visited there recently, and commented to a native (in typical conservative fashion) that the economy must really be bad for so many homes to be on the market. His response: It isn’t the economy. All of those homes are paid for, but their owners are all on fixed incomes and property taxes have gone up 30% over the past four years, so they can no longer afford to live here. They are selling and moving out of state.

Of course, any one of those houses counted as high class housing by my California standards, so I guess, by “urban elitists” standards the rich bastards got what was coming to them.

Now, with regard to raising taxes on the rich, even President Obama says that will fix nothing — and the evidence is in the numbers, which indicate that about three days of the deficit would be eliminated by the new taxes, leaving only three hundred sixty two more days to be erased by other taxes.

Well, the only other places to tax are the middle class (the only other group besides the rich with disposable income), or the poor (who supposedly have no disposable income, but a lot of shabby and ancient big screen TVs — oh, and NO Cash for Clunkers cars). Maybe the 47% who pay no income taxes might fork over a bit to cover the 363 remaining days, do you think?

Didn’t think so. So, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Why raise taxes when our money was frittered away on Solyndras and “100% loans” and such????

Besides, what is the Democrat definition of a million? A: 250,000.

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Now now unclesmrgol, you know that facts are to liberals like UE as sunlight is to vampires… You trying to make UE burst into flames?

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Now now unclesmrgol, you know that facts are to liberals like UE as sunlight is to vampires… You trying to make UE burst into flames?

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I, for one, would gladly pay to see that happen.

Liam on October 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Feel free to eliminate all of Amtrak except the profitable northeast corridor.And not that the NEA budget, at about $154 million, and Public Broacasting, at $445 million are mere pittances compared to the oill industry’s famed $ 4 billion (not counting reduced royalty payments)that the oil companies get — not to mention Boeing and Ex-Im, $7 billion/year in crop subsidies, and whatever the feds lose in revenue when Mormons write off their tithes.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Like all liberals, you seem to mistake the idea that not taking in taxes is equivalent to spending money.

The $4B oil company deduction has been widely debunked as being the same deduction all businesses get, basically getting to deduct a legitimate cost of doing business. Not going to bother finding the links for you, you wouldn’t follow them anyway.

Your equating tax deductions with government spending is just plain silly. For example, the charitable donation deduction is available to you as well. If you think that it is such a great deal, by all means, do take advantage of it, nothing to stop you from donating to the charity of your choice. You do realize that the charitable donation deduction actually makes sense because the work done by charitable organizations saves the government money because the government does not need to then do the work those charitable organizations do, right?

AZfederalist on October 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Always with thew special exceptions. Big Bird is a national treasure, can’t defund Big Bird…

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

You’re right, there are no national treasures. We should sell off Yellowstone, auction off the Emancipation Proclamation, and crash what’s left of NASA.

Actually, you can defund Big Bird and his buddies. Just don’t pretend that doing so counts as a deficit reduction strategy.

Wall street deregulation was not the cause of our economic meltdown — it was the Democratic efforts to pump up the housing market — to sue those companies which had conservative loan practices for discriminatory loan practices

Once you explain to me how the CRA forced mortgages companies which were not subject to it to write subprime mortgages (at least half of those written during the bubble); made Bear Stearns set up offshore hedge funds that overleveraged themselves to the point where they took down Bear and kicked the crisis into high gear; or made AIG enter into billions of dollars of credit default swaps that they couldn’t cover (to pick a few of the real cause of the crisis) I’ll just assume that you’re another conservative who knows nothing about the crisis that what he reads on dogmatic websites.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Once you explain to me how the CRA forced mortgages companies which were not subject to it to write subprime mortgages (at least half of those written during the bubble); made Bear Stearns set up offshore hedge funds that overleveraged themselves to the point where they took down Bear and kicked the crisis into high gear; or made AIG enter into billions of dollars of credit default swaps that they couldn’t cover (to pick a few of the real cause of the crisis) I’ll just assume that you’re another conservative who knows nothing about the crisis that what he reads on dogmatic websites.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

No force was needed. Once the Government was covering all the bets, all bets were on. It’s called Too Big To Fail, and we are still doing it — most recently for GM and Chrysler.

Of course, the big question was why those “offshore hedge funds” were so deeply intertwined with our economy that they caused a collapse, and the answer, I think, leads straight back to the real estate market. After all, those real estate profits — the ones which exited the real estate market — had to go SOMEWHERE, didn’t they?

It was, as you are admitting, a huge house of cards — but the foundation of that huge house of cards was the fake value of our real estate.

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

The $4B oil company deduction has been widely debunked as being the same deduction all businesses get, basically getting to deduct a legitimate cost of doing business. Not going to bother finding the links for you, you wouldn’t follow them anyway.

I think we’re eliminating all subsidies here, lazybones. The fact that other companies get them doesn’t justify them.

Your equating tax deductions with government spending is just plain silly.

AZfederalist on October 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

your ignorance is breathtaking. The federal budget doesn’t care if it gives Exxon a billion dollar check or a billion dollar write off. It has the same effect on the bottom line.

For example, the charitable donation deduction is available to you as well. If you think that it is such a great deal, by all means, do take advantage of it, nothing to stop you from donating to the charity of your choice. You do realize that the charitable donation deduction actually makes sense because the work done by charitable organizations saves the government money because the government does not need to then do the work those charitable organizations do, right?

Yes, thank goodness you’ve saved the government the expense of paying your minister’s salary, buying new seatcovers for the symphony hall and rescuing abused pets.

Not, by the way, that I’m against the any of those. Just that the justification of tax deductions for charitable donations as saving the government money is absurd.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

I’m guessing that urban elitist’s friends-with-solar are math-challenged. As another poster pointed out (with real numbers), these systems are not cost effective though I suppose to a smug enviro-weenie, that false sense of superiority for helping to save the planet from the rest of us is priceless to them. And, after all, feeelings are what matters to libs.

natasha333 on October 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

This is proof positive that the Federal Government is too large….too many Departments and Bureaus…too many people.
It is too big to be controlled by incompetant people, let alone people with ulterior motives.
It’s well past time to get it back to it’s core functions specified in the Constitution.
The states must band together and demand a return to a limited Federal intrusion; by revolt if necessary.
Refuse them access to this land….by force.
Without cooperation, the beast will die; as it should.
A good start is refusing to implement Obamacare….contact your Governor and State Rep’s.
We own the government, not the government owns us.
Until the states are willing to stand up, nothing will improve.

dirtengineer on October 13, 2012 at 1:58 PM

It was, as you are admitting, a huge house of cards — but the foundation of that huge house of cards was the fake value of our real estate.

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Which was driven by Fed policy, criminal lending practices at the street level, and greed and hubris throughout. Plus speculators and bubble psychology. The truth is that bad mortgages were being written because of pressure not from the CRA (since when did banks ever respond to federal pressure, anyway) but from big banks and similar institutions who thought they had created a risk-free way of making money. In response lenders like WAMU and Cuntrywide made it company policy to write mortgages without doing basic underwriting, because writing a sub-prime loan and selling it off to Bear Stearns was so profitable.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I’m guessing that urban elitist’s friends-with-solar are math-challenged. As another poster pointed out (with real numbers), these systems are not cost effective though I suppose to a smug enviro-weenie, that false sense of superiority for helping to save the planet from the rest of us is priceless to them. And, after all, feeelings are what matters to libs.

natasha333 on October 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I’m guessing that you don’t know your a** from a hole in the ground and that middle class people who pay the electric bill every month probably know what they’re paying.

And smug? You define it, honey.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 2:06 PM

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

You’re right, there are no national treasures. We should sell off Yellowstone, auction off the Emancipation Proclamation, and crash what’s left of NASA.

Actually, you can defund Big Bird and his buddies. Just don’t pretend that doing so counts as a deficit reduction strategy.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Like a retard you just can’t seem to grasp the obvious. What is a national treasure? Who decides and upon what criteria? When you are running a 2 Trillion dollar a year deficit 400 million a year seems like peanuts. But the problem is that maff is soo damned hard, 400 million here and 400 million there and pretty damned soon you’re talking about a billion here and a billion there and ya have 2 damned trillion dollars in deficits every year.

In the mean time you end up with the entire country falling into the California trap where taxes and regulatory fee’s eat up $.65 out of every dollar earned. American manufacturing and other business didn’t outsource offshore because they wanted to, those were hard made decisions by individuals who had a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders (Yea, those shareholders would be everyday people with 401k’s or other retirement plans) to maintain a minimum profit margin.

You do know what a fiduciary obligation is right? You do understand that the higher the tax level and the greater the regulatory burden becomes the lower the profit margin a company can maintain is right?

So yes, spending is the problem, we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem, it isn’t the 400 million a year that goes to NPR that is the problem, it’s the mentality of spending behind that 400 million that is the problem. Every special interest group in the country believes that their special interest is the one special interest that cannot possible be cut.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

your ignorance is breathtaking. The federal budget doesn’t care if it gives Exxon a billion dollar check or a billion dollar write off. It has the same effect on the bottom line.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Wrong answer dumb shit. I’m guessing you have never studied basic accounting or owned a business. One is accounts accruable, the other accounts receivable. Your analysis is akin to insisting that raising taxes 5% instead of the planned 9% constitutes a cut in taxes. It does not, it represents a decrease in the intended increase, not a cut in taxes.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Wrong answer dumb shit. I’m guessing you have never studied basic accounting or owned a business. One is accounts accruable, the other accounts receivable. Your analysis is akin to insisting that raising taxes 5% instead of the planned 9% constitutes a cut in taxes. It does not, it represents a decrease in the intended increase, not a cut in taxes.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

The federal government writes a check to Corporation XYZ for $1 billion.

The federal government allows Corporation XYZ to reduce its tax payments by $1 billion (Corporation XYZ is apparently very large).

Explain me the difference to the federal government’s bottom line.

Like a retard you just can’t seem to grasp the obvious. What is a national treasure? Who decides and upon what criteria?

Whenever a you say “retard,” little Trig Palin cries.

So yes, spending is the problem, we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem, it isn’t the 400 million a year that goes to NPR that is the problem, it’s the mentality of spending behind that 400 million that is the problem. Every special interest group in the country believes that their special interest is the one special interest that cannot possible be cut.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I already threw NPR under the bus, dipsh**.

And yes, governments do and should spend money and yes, sometimes on something besides roads and bombs. We decide how it’s spent through elections. And yes, special interests are a problem — figure that out yourself? However, targeting a few pennies from NPR and the NEA will not address the problem if you right-wingers won;t go after your own buddies in the extraction, hedge fund defense industries.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM

The federal budget doesn’t care if it gives Exxon a billion dollar check or a billion dollar write off. It has the same effect on the bottom line.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Seinfeld to Kramer: “You don’t even know what a write-off is.”

curved space on October 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Seinfeld to Kramer: “You don’t even know what a write-off is.”

curved space on October 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I wrote hastily. What I meant, as you know, is a “write off which reduces Exxon’s tax bill by a billion dollars.”

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM

The federal government writes a check to Corporation XYZ for $1 billion.

The federal government allows Corporation XYZ to reduce its tax payments by $1 billion (Corporation XYZ is apparently very large).

Explain me the difference to the federal government’s bottom line.

urban elitist on October 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM

It’s a difference you apparently are incapable of understanding. One is monies you actually have on hand, the other is monies that only exist as a potential income. Put a dollar in one hand and a denomination unspecified IOU in the other, which one actually constitutes revenue. I’ll give you a hint… It isn’t the denomination unspecified IOU.

Like I said, maff is hard, clearly you don’t get it.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Exactly right – conventional PV arrays are good for daylight only, unless you have a huge battery storage capacity. Of course battery storage opens a whole new can of worms (rare earth minerals, lead, acid, contamination, recycling, mining, blah blah blah).

I believe one of our local Arizona utility companies is looking at molten salt (?) to store the energy. But this type of solar system wouldn’t be PV – it would be many mirrors focusing energy at a tower for steam generation. The problem with the mirrors is that they’ll lose reflective efficiency here in our dusty deserts (you don’t want to see how filthy a car can get if left out during a dust storm) so the utility companies will need lots and lots for water (and de-ionizing stations) to keep the solar systems clean.

Hill60 on October 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

(you don’t want to see how filthy a car can get if left out during a dust storm) so the utility companies will need lots and lots for water (and de-ionizing stations) to keep the solar systems clean.

Hill60 on October 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

ROTFLMAO… I live in rural Southern California, I have a real good idea how dusty a car can get in that environment.

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

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