Awkward: Obama administration finally, excitedly begins selling solar leases, and nobody shows up to buy them

posted at 1:21 pm on October 25, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Obama administration has been pretty jazzed about their sweet plans to auction off leases for certain parcels of the one-third of the surface area of the United States they control, largely in the western United States, for the express purposes of developing wind and solar farms to which they hope they’ll be able to point as evidence of the success of their not-quite-”all of the above” energy agenda. The Interior Department has been working on fast-tracking this signature project for awhile now (while a bunch of drilling permits were gathering dust in the corner), and this week finally marked the exciting occasion of their first auction of land for solar development.

I think it’s safe to surmise that the day was something of a letdown for them, via the Denver Business Journal:

The nation’s first federally run auction for a chance to develop solar power projects on public lands was a bust.

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which was held Thursday in Lakewood.

“We did not have any bidders come to the sale and we did not receive any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said. …

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” she said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders.” …

“We will evaluate today’s auction as we look at future opportunities to offer lands in Solar Energy Zones for development, both in Colorado and other Western states,” the statement said.

Oof. While I’m sure that the Obama administration will find someone to take them up on their magnanimous offer in fairly short order (recent history would indicate that they have few qualms about further sweetening the deal for a potential buyer if necessary), I can’t say I’m surprised. The administration held the auction because they did get applications and inquiries earlier in the year, but this project’s initiation is happening while investment in renewables is dropping off sharply (and I do mean actual investment here, not “investments” in the way that Obama uses it to apply to his politically/ideologically-driven disbursement of public funds). Via Bloomberg:

Clean-energy investment fell 14 percent in the third quarter from the prior three months as Europe curbed subsidies and cheaper U.S. natural gas lured investment.

The $45.9 billion spent makes it “almost certain” that annual investment in renewables and energy-smart technologies will fall for the second consecutive year from $281 billion in 2012, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a statement.

Investment in the quarter was 20 percent lower than the same period last year as spending in China, the U.S. and Europe fell. The U.S. saw the largest decline, sliding 41 percent to $5.5 billion…

While the $45.9 billion is still substantial and greater than that invested in 2004, the “loss of momentum since 2011 is worrying,” he said.

It’s yet more evidence of a lesson that greenies seem so reluctant to learn: You can openly advocate for policies that run counter to positive economic growth, like higher utility costs, subsidies, and more intrusive federal regulation all you want; just don’t be surprised when a less-than-robust economy means that nobody feels inclined to spend their hard-earned dollars on further developing the new technologies and innovations that greenies claim to prefer.


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Kind of like….ObamaCare.

d1carter on October 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Ha Ha!
/Nelson Muntz

rbj on October 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which was held Thursday in Lakewood.

I betcha they were all trying to get on the website …

parke on October 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Oh my goodness! Can this day get any better? I’ve never seen so many progressive schemes failing so fast.

txhsmom on October 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Not that energy production isn’t important, but this country shouldn’t model its economy on Russia or Saudi Arabia. The US economy is driven by innovation and knowledge more than the extraction of raw materials from the ground.
 
bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

rogerb on October 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

We really need government investment in unicorn ranches.

Murphy9 on October 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Obama is always trying to sell ice to Eskimos.

Bitter Clinger on October 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

The emperor is naked, and his sycophantic subjects’ ears begin to burn a bit.

Axe on October 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

The government will end up selling the leases to green investment people then turn around and give them back the money in form of tax breaks or subsidies. Meanwhile the whole green energy goes down the tank and the American people will be out tens of billions of dollars …again.

jaywemm on October 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

leases for certain parcels of the one-third of the surface area of the United States they control, largely in the western United States,

Let’s see, parcels in the west like Utah, Wyoming, Montana, which have low population densities with lower power requirements as compared to say Los Angeles, NYC and Miami, which also happen to be long transmission wire distances away, hmmm. And you’re saying the parcels didn’t sell. Curious.

parke on October 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

We really need government investment in unicorn ranches.

Murphy9 on October 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

That’s just cruel. Unicorns are free-range by their nature.

Happy Nomad on October 25, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Usually con men go from one scam to the next after the previous scam is over, in this case trying to be president. Obama feels he can do 2 things at once, selling those useless panels at the same time!

The Nerve on October 25, 2013 at 1:35 PM

rogerb on October 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Leftists have a hard time with the concepts of cheap, efficient, and reliable.

NotCoach on October 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

While I’m sure that the Obama administration will find someone to take them up on their magnanimous offer in fairly short order(recent history would indicate that they have few qualms about further sweetening the deal for a potential buyer if necessary)

Like loaning them the money for this sorry bull$hit and shrugging after the inevitable bankruptcy??

BigWyo on October 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

What could have been.

Bmore on October 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

While the $45.9 billion is still substantial and greater than that invested in 2004, the “loss of momentum since 2011 is worrying,” he said.

Perfect response.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo0bYDUsTis

BuckeyeSam on October 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Obama should stick to selling guns and ammo.

HumpBot Salvation on October 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Here’s another.

These should appear on every Obama clusterphuck thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hckIjL7z5z4

BuckeyeSam on October 25, 2013 at 1:43 PM

An economic model based on less sales and higher costs results in a unit cost and price spiral that ultimately causes the extinction of the product. An economics lesson wasted on liberals.

pat on October 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I love it.

Cindy Munford on October 25, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Hell, I wish I had known about it. I’d have submitted a bid.

By the time I fessed up and pulled the plug in 2015, I’d probably be sitting on 8 or 9 figures of your dough, suckers.

HitNRun on October 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

BuckeyeSam on October 25, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I was thinking of this one.

MontanaMmmm on October 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

MontanaMmmm on October 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Flies gathering around the shite coming out of his mouth?

BuckeyeSam on October 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Funny thing about investors. They DON’T put THEIR MONEY into pipe dreams.

GarandFan on October 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Gee, I’d probably have to hire more than 50 employees, technically proficient ones, to run my crap shoot, so…seems too expensive and uncertain right now to start a new business venture.

Maybe if I bid on the lease just to keep leftists off the land, and opened a Christian camp for underprivileged kids, and allowed survivalists in during the fall and winter, it would be worth it.

winoceros on October 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Who has kidnapped Ezra Klein and who is doing his writing…Joan Walsh is livid again!

d1carter on October 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Joan Walsh should be writing for the Daily Worker. Oh wait, they went out of business because their business model was unsustainable.

NotCoach on October 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Shale oil and gas all over the place, and this bozo is trying to bottle unicorn gas. #CouldntEvenRunLemonadeStand

petefrt on October 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Heh, IDIOTS – if they were selling leases to drill and frack the feds could clean up……

redguy on October 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

“The Interior Department has been working on fast-tracking this signature project for awhile now.”

Huh?

Tsar of Earth on October 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Oh my goodness! Can this day get any better? I’ve never seen so many progressive schemes failing so fast.

txhsmom on October 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Agree. We’ve been getting gut-punched with these serial shiite-sandwiches for some time now. An equal and opposite reaction would be quite karmatic. Right, Schadenfreude?

Tsar of Earth on October 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal , which was .

Oof.

Akzed on October 25, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Just because you buy a lease, it doesn’t mean that some proggie wackball will show up and find a rare wildflower on your lease that they will use to tie you up in court for years.

slickwillie2001 on October 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM

MontanaMmmm on October 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM
Flies gathering around the shite coming out of his mouth?

BuckeyeSam on October 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Reminds me of a joke my brother sent me a few years back:

A cowboy from Texas attends a social function where Barack Obama is trying to gather support for his Health Plan. Once Obama discovers the cowboy is from President Bush’s home area, he starts to belittle him by talking in a southern drawl, speaking in single syllable words.

As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The cowboy says, “Y’all havin’ a problem with them circle flies?”

Obama stopped his drawl, and said, “Well, yes, if that’s what they’re called, but I’ve never heard of circle flies.”

“Well, sir,” the cowboy replies, “Circle flies hang around ranches. They’re called circle flies, because they’re almost always found circlin’ around the back end of a horse.”

“Oh,” Obama replies, as he goes back to rambling.

But, a moment later, he stops and bluntly asks, “Are you calling me a horse’s ass?”

“No, sir,” the cowboy replies, “I have too much respect for the citizens of this country to call their president a horse’s ass.”

“Well,that’s good,” Obama responds.

After a long pause, the cowboy, in his best Texas drawl, says,

“Hard to fool them flies though.’

parke on October 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I love the concept of alternative energies. I love the concept of solar, wind, etc. power. I wish it made sense to develop them, but it doesn’t.
 
blink on October 25, 2013 at 1:54 PM

 
+1.
 
You don’t have to look any farther than the folly of all-items recycling, birthed from dramatic news images of a garbage barge decades ago, to see the outcome.
 
Laws intended to punish people are passed to prop up the system because it can’t sustain itself (Proof? Recyclers would pay us for our sorted trash if it were profitable. See metals.), and we as a nation waste a fortune in taxpayer dollars so people can feel like they’re accomplishing something special to save the planet.
 
The comical/sad parts are the additional associated costs that aren’t immediately apparent. Think of time spent sorting, fuel burnt idling in traffic behind the collection vehicles, fuel spent by the trucks driving to and fro with unprofitable materials, consumables like brake fluid, tires, etc…

rogerb on October 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Alternative headline:

No Takers for U.S. Permits Allowing Legalized killing of Eagles

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/07/21/wind-farm-bird-deaths-more-than-thought/

parke on October 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM

No one showed up because so many people where trying to get there all at once.
-govt.

StubbleSpark on October 25, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Like loaning them the money for this sorry bull$hit and shrugging after the inevitable bankruptcy??

BigWyo on October 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Yep.
Reminded of my lib sister-in-law who borrowed a significant amount of money and thinks she’s doing us a favor each time she makes a payment. [at least she's paying]

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Obama should stick to selling guns and ammo.

HumpBot Salvation on October 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM

It’s difficult for him to sell more when supply is dried up due to his great earlier success.

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Shale oil and gas all over the place, and this bozo is trying to bottle unicorn gas. #CouldntEvenRunLemonadeStand

petefrt on October 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Welllll – the leases probably would have sold if they were for bottling unicorn gas – assuming those parcels have wild patches of skittles growing – quite necessary to attract the free range unicorns of course…..

dentarthurdent on October 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM

It’s difficult for him to sell more when supply is dried up due to his great earlier success.

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM

I’ve been seeing the ammo supply coming back in Colorado. I just got a 1000 round box of .223 at Walmart for $394 – best price I’ve seen all year.

dentarthurdent on October 25, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I love the concept of alternative energies. I love the concept of solar, wind, etc. power. I wish it made sense to develop them, but it doesn’t.

blink on October 25, 2013 at 1:54 PM

For now, these are technologies best suited to specialized uses. Unfortunately, 0′s hobbling of our economy has made it difficult to make such uses possible. The first that comes to mind is space exploration. Whatever…

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Funny thing about the sun. It shines everywhere. So when you can put solar on the roof of a warehouse complex and not have to worry about federal rules, who in their right mind would apply for a lease?

But this go government is not known for common sense.

deadite on October 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I think this is his them song:

right2bright on October 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

them=theme

right2bright on October 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

For now, these are technologies best suited to specialized uses. Unfortunately, 0′s hobbling of our economy has made it difficult to make such uses possible. The first that comes to mind is space exploration. Whatever…

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I’m still trying to perfect a perpetual motion machine based on tying a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat.

Do I need to explain the theory?

dentarthurdent on October 25, 2013 at 3:28 PM

dentarthurdent on October 25, 2013 at 3:16 PM

That’s good news. I gave up looking a while ago.

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Oil, coal and natural gas are far more cost effective than solar energy. There is a place for solar energy but it is not yet ready for mass useage. Try telling that to the moonbeam idiots of the Obama Administration. And solar energy does not produce near as many jobs,

kemojr on October 25, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I love that the govt threw a party and nobody showed up.

freedomfirst on October 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Oil, coal and natural gas are far more cost effective than solar energy. There is a place for solar energy but it is not yet ready for mass useage. Try telling that to the moonbeam idiots of the Obama Administration. And solar energy does not produce near as many jobs,

kemojr on October 25, 2013 at 3:28 PM

The single best use of solar is where it is already used a lot, and where it pretty much started – spacecraft. Solar is ideal there because it relieves you from having to boost a big load of fuel or too many batteries into space. Not so ideal where you can cheaply and easily deliver electricity, natural gas, propane, etc.

dentarthurdent on October 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM

With REAL energy companies expanding our supplies and creating such great profits why would anyone want to throw money at pie in the sky green sources? As long as the money is greener in the oil and gas industry it won’t happen and that is how it should be.

MJBrutus on October 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” she said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders.” …

Because only the Obama Adminstration wants to throw money into this money rathole. Most people want to see a return on thier investment, not lose it in technologies that make no sense and are a waste of time.

logicman_1998 on October 25, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Schadenfreude, so much schadenfreude

neyney on October 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM

If the Government had offered leases on Federal land for in-situ development of shale oil, oil companies would willingly pay billions to the Government for the opportunity. There is an area of western Colorado, eastern Utah, and southern Wyoming which is estimated to contain about a trillion barrels of shale oil, or more than three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Thousands of new American jobs, increased revenue to the Government, and less dependence on foreign oil…this should be a no-brainer. So what is Obama waiting for?

Steve Z on October 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Erika, clarification please.

“the new technologies and innovations that greenies claim to prefer”

They claim? You’re saying they don’t really prefer green tech and inovations?

Scopper on October 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Ya know, O’bozo:

It’s not like Julia had to grow only arugala in that community garden you envisioned.

But you, being the blind ideologue that you are, won’t get it.

Even though the street bums in NYC did 20 years ago.

WryTrvllr on October 26, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Thousands of new American jobs, increased revenue to the Government, and less dependence on foreign oil…this should be a no-brainer. So what is Obama waiting for?

Steve Z on October 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Our new Muslim overlords. Duh.

WryTrvllr on October 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM

The new Indian casinos and oil leases.

http://investor.firstsolar.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=793411

(Hasn’t helped me any, and I’m more Indian that Elizabeth Warren.)

NoPain on October 26, 2013 at 11:21 AM