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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Of all forms of energy, man made solar is the least efficient–most costly possible. The only time solar is beneficial is if other forms are not available and even then it is likely to fail to even keep a single car battery charged. So, ask yourself why a broke and nearly bankrupt Country would waste even a dime on solar energy.

aposematic on October 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

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

SWalker on October 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I think you two are going at this from different angles. Urban is looking at it from the standpoint of the Government, and you are looking at it from the standpoint of the taxpayer.

In one sense, the accounts payable vs. accounts receivable positions are reversed in each of your arguments.

Except we are talking about the Government, which has the ability to print lots of free money. That’s how the Government is able to spend, year after year, twice what it takes in — it manufactures money — either via the Federal Reserve, or as bonds to be redeemed later.

A house of cards.

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Of all forms of energy, man made solar is the least efficient–most costly possible. The only time solar is beneficial is if other forms are not available and even then it is likely to fail to even keep a single car battery charged. So, ask yourself why a broke and nearly bankrupt Country would waste even a dime on solar energy.

aposematic on October 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

That is true at the present. In the last heat wave, I spent about $200 extra for the month of September on air conditioning. Solar panels on my roof would have covered that extra.

I’m going to get them eventually, but only after they are cheap enough. Maybe by that time, we’ll all be using 12V appliances, so we won’t need to convert the DC emitted by the panels to AC.

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2012 at 3:16 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

 
All-money-is-government’s-first still again? I would’ve thought the points countering
 

When somebody takes a deduction from their taxes, that revenue has to be made up from other sources — you and I.
 
urban elitist on July 28, 2012 at 8:17 PM

 
in the July thread would’ve helped.
 
Funny, that. It’s almost like a religious/faith-based approach.
 

As part of the grid — not as the all the grid — solar power could help cut costs and pollution significantly.

 
See .gov below.
 

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

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

 
Nicely played. Especially the hole in the ground part. Dot gov, 2009:
 

Figure 1 indicates that the only areas where PV is close to or at breakeven is where there is a combination of high electricity prices and good solar resources (such as California), or a combination of high electricity prices and incentives (such as New York state and
Massachusetts).
 
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10osti/46909.pdf

 
We’ll wait and see if the religious aspect holds for this as well.

rogerb on October 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Salazar and his friends are idiots…foot on the boot idiots.

royalists like urban elitist get all tingly when the Feds direct national policy..

no doubt, in some small areas, for some applications, solar is great…but it is not a national policy.

the term to apply here is that barry/urban elitist love themselves some Malinvestment…it feels good…and if you are lucky you can skim some $$$$$$$$ off for yourself.

government R&D is important in some areas. For example, thorium nuclear power could be supported. But, the kicker is, that the government is almost always sub-optimal. Solar/Wind are bad solutions…supported by dumb people.

with people like urban at the helm, we will have brownouts and grid failures…thanx urban

r keller on October 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

This is just beyond all description. What do you want to bet those lands given to Solar, are also possible oil producing ares, as well. Kill 2 birds with one stone. It’s such an indecency, to throw away more Billions of tax payer dollars on this proven failure!
Update On:How to take on the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 13, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The Arizona desert cluttered with thousands of solar panels.

slp on October 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM

If I lived somewhere isolated, “off the grid”, I’d invest in a solar array and a small wind generator. So far that’s about the only application that pays for either technology. They’re OK for individuals. Both stink for mass generation. Just as with wind, when the subsidy and tax credit end, wind farms are abandoned and so will be solar farms. They cannot pay their own operating expenses or amortization that is beyond the life of the equipment.

ironked on October 13, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Thomas Sowell writes
“…It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism. What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.”

“…Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.”

This post is also about private ownership with government dictates and is about fascism. It is the new Krupp.

burt on October 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Ken Salazar should be banned to the coldest part of this earth. Not only is he pushing this agenda, I absolutely hate this man for what he is doing to the wildlife in that nation: He’s responsible for killing wild horses/burros, and/or shipping them off for slaughter in Mexico just so that the rich, welfare ranchers in those areas can use PUBLIC LANDS to graze their cattle.

The excuse is that the wild horses are “ruining the terrain” (typical liberal BS)…..Wild horses and burros are outnumbered at least 50-1 by privately-owned cattle and sheep on BLM lands. Wild horses are restricted to just 11 percent of BLM lands, which they must share with livestock. Yet even on the small amount of BLM land designated as wild horse habitat, the BLM allocates the majority of forage to private livestock, not wild horses.

He’s started a war on wolves in the same manner.

This man is a total disgrace, but of course is the typical bureaucrat that Bam is having in his administration.

I absolutely despise Ken Salazar for killing our beautiful wildlife.
https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6931/t/15385/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=10530

AND,
http://wildhorsepreservation.org/

avagreen on October 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Re:burt on October 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/socialist-or-fascist.html

burt on October 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

If Obama’s lies were farts every person on this planet would be wearing a hazmat suit to keep the vile stench out.

OR

We would have enough methane gas to burn for a million years.

Is farts considered green?

Sherman1864 on October 13, 2012 at 5:43 PM

How about old farts?

Then I suggest Sheriff Sloppy Joe….

Sherman1864 on October 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM

They’re trying to cram all this stuff down our throats, get it all in the pipeline & squeeze out all energy sources of which they do not approve.

BD57 on October 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

He should and will be in prison next year, along with his other partners in the tax scheme.

Amazingoly on October 13, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Barry my have doubled spending on green energy project (mostly gone belly up), but actual energy production from green energy remains stagnant.

booger71 on October 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM

If I lived somewhere isolated, “off the grid”, I’d invest in a solar array and a small wind generator. So far that’s about the only application that pays for either technology. They’re OK for individuals. Both stink for mass generation. Just as with wind, when the subsidy and tax credit end, wind farms are abandoned and so will be solar farms. They cannot pay their own operating expenses or amortization that is beyond the life of the equipment.

ironked on October 13, 2012 at 4:13 PM

You will also need about 30 deep cycle batteries to store this poor source of energy. They are not cheap

booger71 on October 14, 2012 at 12:35 AM

The Feds own one third of the U.S land mass. It is time to take it back and give to the States.

booger71 on October 14, 2012 at 12:38 AM

The Feds own too much interior.

Fleuries on October 14, 2012 at 9:45 AM

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?

Libs love some corporate welfare as long as it is their corporate welfare.

CW on October 14, 2012 at 11:27 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

No, it’s not just you.

I’m hoping when Eric Holder goes, Salazar goes with him.

TimBuk3 on October 14, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Atlas Shrugged in real time.

claudius on October 15, 2012 at 8:45 AM

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