By Chuck Muth
In a recent op-ed entitled “The truth about clean energy in Nevada,” Sen. Harry Reid produced enough hot air with his green energy propaganda to power a small town in rural Nevada.
Having killed Yucca Mountain – a potential gold mine of revenue and jobs for Nevada tied to clean, reliable and affordable nuclear power – Sen. Reid now has his political phasers locked in on the clean, reliable and affordable coal-fueled power plant ironically named “Reid Gardner” located in rural Moapa.
According to Sen. Reid, Reid Gardner is “literally killing” residents who live nearby, without producing – you know – proof. Kinda like his unsubstantiated claim that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid federal taxes for the last ten years. You know, guilty until proven innocent.
Anyway, at his National Clean Energy Summit earlier this month, Sen. Reid demanded that NV Energy immediately close the Reid Gardner plant, calling it a “dirty relic.” But if the senator is going to talk about “truth,” then let’s get to some truths about Reid Gardner.[list type="arrow"] [li]
- Reid Gardner is one of the cleanest coal-fueled power plants in the country today.
- The number of visible emissions incidences has dropped from 825 in 2005 to just 7 in 2011.
- Electricity produced by Reid Gardner is 3 to 4 times less expensive than from Sen. Reid’s “clean” energy sources.
- Reid Gardner wasn’t even operating for the first five months of this year. It is generally put into service only during periods of high energy usage which, in southern Nevada, is obviously summertime.
- Reid Gardner has a peak generating capacity of over 500 megawatts. Now, I don’t know exactly what a megawatt is, but I do know that Sen. Reid’s highly-touted the Nellis Air Force Base solar plant cranks out only about 13 megawatts.
- Unlike solar, Reid Gardner is capable of producing electricity 24/7 – even on cloudy days and at night.
- Immediately closing Reid Gardner would kill about 150 jobs at a time when Nevada still leads the nation in unemployment.
And here’s a final truth for you: It’s not called “green” energy for nothing; because it costs a fortune. But Sen. Reid apparently doesn’t care how much it costs you, as long as he makes the enviro-extremists at the Sierra Club happy.
Look…maybe someday solar, wind and bio-mass energy will be reliable and inexpensive enough to make Nevada energy independent. Maybe. But the real fact is, blind pursuit of green energy with little to no consideration of market demand and cost is simply not responsible, especially in the present economic times.
Like it or not, inexpensive and reliable coal-fueled electricity allows us to enjoy an affordable standard of living not possible with unreliable, extremely expensive “green” energy alternatives. And that’s the truth.
The Minority Report welcomes the following Op-Ed by Thomas Pyle
Not since the days of President Carter’s self-imposed “Gas Crisis” and the long service station lines of the 1970’s has energy been a more important election year issue in the minds of voters. New survey results indicate that voters in this election cycle clearly want more energy production in the United States and that large numbers of voters believe that the federal government can do much more to help our energy industry moderate gasoline prices.
The American Energy Alliance has just launched a robust campaign to educate citizens, policy makers, and the news media on a wide variety of energy and manufacturing issues and the impact of over-regulation. “American Products. American Power.” will take the story of the benefits of increased domestic energy production and manufacturing directly to the American people.
A recent survey of one thousand self-described likely voters reveals that a majority of Americans believe that increasing domestic energy production can have a meaningful effect on gas prices, that a strong energy manufacturing industry is important to the U.S. economy and our future, and that our country is stronger when we make things here in the U.S.
The April survey commissioned by the American Energy Alliance reveals that 77% of Americans agree that increasing U.S. production would put downward pressure on gasoline prices. Even 52% of moderates and 38% of liberals think that additional production of oil would help gas prices “quite a lot.”
Further, 62% believe that, with the right energy policy, gasoline would cost $2.50 per gallon. Even liberals agree (46% to 44%) with the proposition. And when asked if we should produce more oil from the United States or ask the Saudis and OPEC to produce more oil, 87% said they want to produce more oil here at home.
The survey also revealed some startling news for government policy makers and regulators. Voters believe that the federal government needs to properly balance the need for economic growth with the need for environmental protection. Indeed, America’s energy and manufacturing industries and government can work together to avoid policies that have created high costs and provided few benefits. Sixty-five percent of the people surveyed agreed that federal regulations result in more costs than benefits. 64% of moderates and 49% of liberals think that federal agencies sometimes demand changes that result in little or no environmental benefit. Less than a third of likely voters (28%) said that EPA properly balances the need for economic growth with the need for environmental protection.
Remarkably, 83% of total respondents agree that increased U.S. production would reduce our reliance on imported oil, and almost two thirds (64%) believe the President would rather focus on alternative energy instead of oil and gas. That is sobering news for this Administration regarding the direction of this administration’s energy priorities.
When 78% of self-described moderate voters and 55% of liberal voters think that the federal government must adopt a more reasonable approach to regulations, it’s time to begin reversing public policies that are undercutting energy production, job creation, and our economic growth.
As this Presidential campaign unfolds and the candidates fan out across the nation to discuss the economy, the job market, and their plans for meeting America’s energy needs, perhaps they should listen to what the American people want – very simply, more energy and manufacturing here at home.
(Thomas J. Pyle is President of the American Energy Alliance)