Sad news: Sequestration might hamper more renewables projects and “investments”

posted at 5:21 pm on February 27, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I am mystified as to why I am supposed to interpret this as a bad thing.

Gains made in the last four years to build dozens of renewable energy projects on public lands and create a regulatory framework for offshore wind production in the United States could be stymied by the large federal budget cuts scheduled to begin Friday as a result of the so-called sequester, outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said Tuesday.

Speaking before a crowd of about 300 gathered at the opening of the Offshore Wind Power USA conference in Boston, Salazar said the effect of the cuts would be akin to an “almost 10 percent cut across the Department of Interior for this fiscal year” — but shoehorned into the next seven months.

“It’s almost the equivalent amount of money as what we have to power the entire Bureau of Land Management and all its functions,” Salazar said.

Salazar’s warning sounded an alarm similar to Energy Secretary Chu’s message to the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month, lamenting the effect the spending cuts will have on clean energy programs: We simply cannot let sequestration stand because we must protect our green “investments” at all costs, and failing to do so would be a national travesty. (Oh, trillion dollar deficits what? Meh).

The Department of Energy works across energy sectors to reduce the cost and speed the adoption of clean energy technologies. These efforts range from cost-competitive high-efficiency solar installations to carbon capture and storage to next generation biofuels and high-efficiency vehicle technologies. Under sequestration, funding reductions would decelerate the Nation’s transition into a clean energy economy, and could weaken efforts to become more energy independent and energy secure, while spurring overall economic growth.

Keep in mind, by the way, that the Department of Energy’s budget has ballooned by 43 percent… in just ten years:

In fiscal year 2002 (Oct. 1, 2001 – Sept. 30, 2002), outlays for the Energy Department were $17,772,000,000, according to the Final Monthly Treasury Statement for fiscal year 2002. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $22,681,180,000 in 2012 dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.

For fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 – Sept. 30, 2012), outlays for the Energy Department were $32,485,000,000, according to the Final Monthly Treasury Statement last September. That’s an increase of 43.2 percent for the last decade in real inflation-adjusted dollars.

Nevermind that the all that extra money that the Energy Department receives these days has been frivolously and/or cronyish-ly disbursed in the oh-so-noble mission of green venture socialism, nor that the Department of Interior regularly blows our money on spectacularly mismanaging the one-third of the United States’ surface area of which they refuse to cede any control. But, sequester or no sequester, I’m sure they’ll somehow manage to soldier on and keep their bloated bureaucracies’ eyes on the prize:

In a speech Tuesday to the Offshore Wind Power USA Conference, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar touted his department’s progress in approving solar, wind and geothermal projects “and transitioning from planning to commercial leasing for offshore wind.” …

The tax arguments are not new for a clean-energy resource. Onshore wind proponents lobbied hard for an extension of their prized production tax credit during the fiscal-cliff negotiations at the end of 2012. The agreement included a one-year patch for the investment tax credit — which is more beneficial to offshore wind developers because of their projects’ larger size — in addition to a modification allowing companies to claim the benefits once they begin construction, rather than when they start generating electricity. …

The Energy Department also is working to propel projects beyond the research-and- development stage, leading a competitive demonstration program that will fund up to three finalists to advance their wind farms to the commercial stage by 2017.

I suppose that permitting and leasing areas for really any energy development is the most innocuous thing the Interior Department can do, if the requests are coming from private-sector companies and they’re doing so unbiasedly (although I wish that oil-and-gas permitting processes got the same “streamlining” treatment these past four years, hmm), except that that isn’t all the Obama administration does — not by a long shot.

Again, I have absolutely nothing against wind energy, or any private company trying to invest in and compete with alternative energy ventures in the free market. I have everything against the federal government repeatedly using our money to go out on a limb for these ‘green’ energy industries and lobbies. It is not the federal government’s job to pick economic winners and losers — and the very fact that the federal government has to identify something as a winner, is probably a pretty good indication that it’s a loser.


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bho will see to it that foto’s will get funds when our military won’t if he is in charge of things?

bho does NOT need one more ounce of power to make decisions when he can’t tie his shoes and chew gum at the same time?
L

letget on February 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I’m within sight of one of those stupid wind turbines. It does nothing and serves no purpose.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Sad news: Sequestration might hamper more renewables projects and “investments”

Hmmm “investments”, yea, that means new increased spending, so, excuse me, but where is the sad news again? If Boehner and Old MacDonald cave on the Sequestration, then then need to be taken out on to Pennsylvania Ave and hung from a streetlamp right in front of the whitehouse.

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Bald eagles and other birds rejoice.

VorDaj on February 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Obama wants to play hardball.

Shut him down. No more debt ceiling hikes, no more continuing budget resolutions.

The time is now. Not just because of the fiscal situation Obama wishes to ignore, but because it is the only chance politically. He can’t make it last past the midterms if we act now, and we have plenty of time to recover politically by then – but only if we force the crisis right away.

Of course, it would require nerves and spines of steel which we’ve shown no real indication of forging yet. Still, the opportunity is here.

Adjoran on February 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Obama, the Chicken Little who may have gone to the sky is falling well once too often.

VorDaj on February 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM

“Again, I have absolutely nothing against wind energy,”

Neither do I, unless it’s harvested using wind turbines and reports of bird deaths are accurate. I’m just not sure the reports are accurate.

Dusty on February 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I feel as if a million unicorns cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Chuck Schick on February 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Liars.

How much were the budgets of Interior, EPA, Fish and Wildlife, et al increased due to the spending splurge aka the stimulus?

I’d wager that the increases were far more than the paltry cuts they’re crying about.

Charlemagne on February 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Now I really want sequestration to happen.

rbj on February 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

God damn all subsidies.

hillbillyjim on February 27, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Electrical utilities are being required to pay more for electricity that happens to be produced by wind.

laff

rate payers you mean.

tom daschle concerned on February 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Can someone explain a couple things to me. Ive been trying to avoid politics mostly since November.

1. Who makes the decision on these cuts? What do they have to choose from? Out of all the money we spend, are you telling me they cant find actual waste?

2. Why have we still not had an official budget in years? Is it Congress or the Senate that is supposed to draft it?

3. Why has Obama not gone line by line as he said he would 5 years ago?

bucsox79 on February 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

No matter what they say, wind (and solar) pork will be cut by this regime the day after hell freezes over. Never mind that wind is an inefficient, unreliable, dead end technology with no prospect of ever becoming financially self sustaining at affordable electricity prices.

Green energy is a religious dogma of the progressive zealots and a money laundering machine for Obama’s cronies, so it will be protected to the bitter end.

petefrt on February 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Again, I have absolutely nothing against wind energy, or any private company trying to invest in and compete with alternative energy ventures in the free market.

Erika,
Have you missed the news about the town on Cape Cod trying to get rid of their windmills because they’re making everyone in the area sick? The low frequency vibrations from these things cause severe problems with people.
And oh BTW – they cost too much, they cause electricity rates to go up, they kill millions of birds, and they create blind spots in FAA air traffic control radars.
Can you give me a GOOD point about these things that actually tips the balance in their favor?

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Sen. Casey today sent out a fear-mongering email to his mailing list claiming that Armageddon was being visited upon PA by the sequester. Shameless. Obviously orchestrated by the WH. Probably your Dem senators sent out something like this too.

petefrt on February 27, 2013 at 6:05 PM

3

. Why has Obama not gone line by line as he said he would 5 years ago?

bucsox79 on February 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Do you honestly think he is smart enough to understand what he would be reading?

chemman on February 27, 2013 at 6:07 PM

$44B sure goes a long way. Look at all of the terrible terrible things that will happen without it. Makes you think that we should be able to get by on a whole lot less than $3,500B.

besser tot als rot on February 27, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Looks the Kennedy compound ocean view is safe.

Mary Jo….not so much.

BobMbx on February 27, 2013 at 6:12 PM

I’m within sight of one of those stupid wind turbines. It does nothing and serves no purpose.

Well, for awhile, they serve as cheap viewing entertainment as technological marvels, until you’ve realized the sums of money squandered on them with little or no lasting value in return.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Why has Obama not gone line by line as he said he would 5 years ago?

That’s easy. He evolved into another line of reasoning…..about 10 seconds after he made that statement.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I’d like to “stymie” a lot of crap that this administration is pushing………for the benefit of “campaign contributors”.

GarandFan on February 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Why has Obama not gone line by line as he said he would 5 years ago?

That’s easy. He evolved into another line of reasoning…..about 10 seconds after he made that statement.

hawkeye54 on February 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

What budget? Without a budget, there are no lines to review.

BobMbx on February 27, 2013 at 6:32 PM

I feel as if a million unicorns cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Chuck Schick on February 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Ummm, can you do that again, I wasn’t paying attention and missed the deaths of the unicorns. I somehow feel that it’s very important that I be shocked to my very core by feeling a million unicorns crying out in terror just before being silenced.

SWalker on February 27, 2013 at 6:37 PM

This is on Eric Cantor’s page right now.
http://www.youtube.com/user/EricCantor

Obama saying he would cut line by line…many many times.
Enjoy

Fleuries on February 27, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Again, I have absolutely nothing against wind energy, or any private company trying to invest in and compete with alternative energy ventures in the free market. I have everything against the federal government repeatedly using our money to go out on a limb for these ‘green’ energy industries and lobbies.

Erika, you’re missing something.

Electrical utilities are being required to pay more for electricity that happens to be produced by wind.

This causes consumers to pay more for electricity than they otherwise would have to pay – all to prop up an industry that can’t make a profit on its own.

Disgusting.

blink on February 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Erika,
Have you missed the news about the town on Cape Cod trying to get rid of their windmills because they’re making everyone in the area sick? The low frequency vibrations from these things cause severe problems with people.

And oh BTW – they cost too much, they cause electricity rates to go up, they kill millions of birds, and they create blind spots in FAA air traffic control radars.

Can you give me a GOOD point about these things that actually tips the balance in their favor?

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Check out this video taken in Wisconsin a few years ago. Apparently the wind turbine blade shadows have been known to trigger epileptic seizures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbIe0iUtelQ

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Oh, that’s cute.
Bemoaning the possible loss of windfarms, at a Boston conference, due to the Sequester, while two (or three) windmills on Cape Cod are going to be torn down due to the pressure of the locals and the annoyance factor of the ‘mills.

Another Drew on February 27, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I’m file’n this one under ‘Itty-Bitty Damn Shame”

WestTexasBirdDog on February 27, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Sad news: Sequestration might hamper more renewables projects and “investments”

…not to worry!…stay tuned!…there is always the Chicago Way!

KOOLAID2 on February 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

People in Falmount MA are trying to get rid of their turbines. Can you imagine the noise each time one of those huge blades turns around?

Life Under the Blades

PattyJ on February 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM

I’ve read that in England the turbines freeze up, and people/homes have been injured by ice being flung off the blades.

INC on February 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Increase the size of the sequester!

Make it 10%! No 20%! Heck, just don’t spend more next year than you did last year!

No cuts are real until bureaucrats get laid off.

Talk to me when the first low level paper-pusher gets cut, wouldya?

ajacksonian on February 27, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Good. Less cronyism.

sadatoni on February 27, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Study: Wind power’s role overestimated

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Obama decided to make himself the nation’s personal Stock Broker & ‘INVESTED’ our tax dollars into 13 different ‘stocks’ (Green Energy companies in which his donors were heavily invested). They all went belly-up, Obama used our money to make sure HIS DONORS did not lose money, & we all lost our ‘investment’…..ot once but THIRTEEN TIMES!

The great thing about PERSONAL investing is that when some schiester / crook $crews you & takes your money – ONCE – you can FIRE him & not do business again with him…if not have him arrested &/or his ability to continue to act as a Broker revoked.

The problem with Obama being in charge of the $$/investing is you CAN’T fire him, CAN’T stop him from $crewing you, & CAN’T stop him from taking your money.

easyt65 on February 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Sad news: Sequestration might hamper more renewables projects and “investments”

QUESTIONS:

1. If “renewables” require subsidies, are they REALLY “renewables”??? I guess you could think of them the same way you think of magazine subscriptions: but if that’s the model, aren’t ALL energy sources “renewable” (i.e., given enough money, we can have more)??

2. If “renewables” require subsidies, are they REALLY “investments”??? I found the following definition:

in·vest·ment
/inˈves(t)mənt/
Noun

The action or process of investing money for profit or material result.
A thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future.

IMHO, neither windmills nor solar cells qualify as “investments,” because there is no profit or useful result in the forseeable future for either of these obsolete, inefficient, and scientifically inferior approaches to energy production. So far, the self-proclaimed “renewables” are capable of producing only about 15%-20% of current coal/gas/nuclear/hydroelectric generation output for any given “investment”: in other words, they are GUARANTEED LOSERS!!!

landlines on February 28, 2013 at 10:43 AM

More on the 2 Cape Cod wind turbines being torn down…

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM

I’ve read that in England the turbines freeze up, and people/homes have been injured by ice being flung off the blades.

INC on February 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

If you do a youtube search on “wind turbine ice throw” you will find some videos of ice accumulation on wind turbines.

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2013 at 11:59 AM

“It’s almost the equivalent amount of money as what we have to power the entire Bureau of Land Management and all its functions,” Salazar said.

Here’s an idea: turn over all of the BLM land over to the state that it is in, lay off all the BLM employees (the states can hire them if their jobs are actually necessary), Interior Department’s budget problem solved.

agmartin on February 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM