McCrory sure knows how to pick 'em
By Jon Sanders
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Yesterday Gov. Pat McCrory made it clear that he is as adept
at picking energy sources for the state as he was at picking transportation
options for Charlotte. Which is to say, he's manifestly horrible at it.
More to the point, he manages to select highly ineffective and exorbitantly expensive options -- at everybody else's expense,
of course. It's a skill only a politician could have and yet be successful.
As mayor of Charlotte, McCrory championed rail transit as a way to solve
Charlotte's ongoing traffic woes and, not to be overlooked, improve Charlotte's
air quality. Charlotte's traffic woes are still ongoing, and its air quality is not
noticeably better, either. But the numbers for McCrory's rail transit are always
going up -- cost
As governor, McCrory has announced an energy plan. Wait, first, let's look at
the levelized cost of new energy generating technologies. These are projections
for 2016 from the Energy Information Administration as cited in Agenda
Click the image for the full size
Other than solar-photovoltaic, what is the most expensive
option? And there's a note at the
base of the graph, which states "The actual costs for wind power are
likely to be much greater than the above estimated costs for wind power,
because the cost estimates do not take into consideration the backup sources
that would be needed for wind power."
What that refers to is, of course, the fact that we can't
seem to make the wind blow in strict accordance with when people are
requiring electricity, so wind energy plants require an actually reliable source of backup generation to provide the needed
McCrory's announcement, as reported in The News & Observer's Under the Dome
in the headline "Gov.
McCrory embraces offshore wind power as energy alternative":
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory
asserted his political independence on energy policy this week by throwing his
support behind developing wind farms in North Carolina.
Not just any wind farms, but offshore wind farms, which are considered among
the most expensive forms of electricity, and generally denounced by
conservatives and libertarians as a subsidy-dependent boondoggle.
McCrory notified the feds that he endorses the Obama Administration's efforts
to develop offshore wind power. ... "This is an important step to develop
North Carolian's world-class wind energy resources," McCrory wrote to the
feds. "Development of commercial wind farms off North Carolina's coast
could stimulate factory development in the state to provide the necessary
equipment and bring jobs in that sector."
McCrory's letter cited several major industrial companies with roots in the
state that stand to benefit from wind power expansion. ABB makes cables for
power transmission, Nucor makes steel plates used in turbine towers, and PPG
makes fiberglass for the blades.
Indeed, companies will benefit; cronyism will abound. And very
expensive, unreliable electricity will be generated, but don't worry about
that, it's not like ratepayers will have a choice. They'll have to pay.
Wind energy is the Wally Pipp of energy sources, but unlike the first baseman
whose headache sent his backup into the starting lineup, who happened
to be Lou Gehrig, this Pipp has strong political connections, so he will
never be taken off first base, and the more productive Gehrig will always be a
backup. The politician will bloviate about how keeping Windy Pipp in our
electrical lineup is an important step in developing our world-class energy
sources or something. Which will come with world-class prices that the poor
will just have to take.
Monday, Jan. 28th, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Robert Childs, MPH
Reducing Drug Overdose Deaths through 911 Good Samaritan Laws and Naloxone Access
Monday, Feb. 4th, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
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"Right-To-Work: What Does The Law Do?"
Saturday, Feb. 16th, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
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