US Congress moving toward mandated “clean energy” standard

Mar 26, 2011


Glenn Schleede, Virginia

By whatever name—a national Clean Energy Standard (CES), Renewable Electric Standard (RES), or Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)—means trouble for electric customers.

In case you are not yet aware of it, on March 21, 2011 the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman (Bingaman) and Senior Minority member (Murkowski) issued for public comment, by April 11th, a “White Paper on a Clean Energy Standard,” along with a set of very specific instructions on how comments must be submitted, if they are to be considered.

I urge you to consider submitting comments—even though Bingaman-Murkowski (or their staff) have made it difficult to do so.   Further, I urge you to consider opposing any and all national CES, RES or RPS, rather than suggesting that a national measure, if “properly” formulated, might be acceptable.

The White Paper references President Obama’s State of the Union proposal for a Clean Energy Standard (CES) to require that 80 percent of the nation’s electricity come from “clean energy technologies by 2035.”  The White Paper then asks 6 “basic” questions and 36 “clarifying” questions about how the national Clean Energy Standard should be formulated.

In effect, the paper assumes that a national Clean Energy Standard will be passed by Congress, though one purpose of the paper is to ascertain whether or not consensus can be achieved.  

As you consider whether to submit comments, keep in mind that:

  1. Both the House and Senate (with support from Democrats and Republicans) have passed some form of a national RPS, RES, or CES, so there has been broad Congressional support for a national standard, though final agreement by both Houses has never been achieved on a specific requirement.
  2. The renewable industries undoubtedly recognize that:
    1. public concerns about government spending, deficits and debt may make it difficult to achieve extensions in the massive tax breaks and subsidies that have led to construction of wind farms,
    2. renewable technologies such as wind and solar are not commercially viable and, at least in the case of wind, are unlikely to ever become commercially viable.
    3. Some measures other than federal tax breaks and financial subsidies will be necessary if wind farms and solar facilities are to profitable.
  3. Therefore, the wind and other renewable industries will be pushing hard for the enactment of a national CES (or RES or RPS) that will force electric utilities to buy electricity from owners of renewable energy facilities, even at high prices.
  4. While some utilities have opposed proposals for a national CES (or RES or RPS), probably because they know that electric bills would be forced upward, they can’t be counted on to stay opposed if they are assured (preferably in law) that all the higher costs will be recovered from customers.
  5. The Congress cannot be trusted to avoid passing a national CES (or RES or RPS), since the high costs of wind and other renewables would then show up in customers’ electric bills which would be blamed on utilities—rather than in higher taxes or deficits which could be blamed on the Congress.

Undoubtedly, the wind and other renewable industries will be aggressive in responding to Bingaman-Murkowski and in favoring a national standard. A few hundred or, preferably, thousand replies from you and your friends and associates could help balance the scale.

Whether or not you respond to the Bingaman-Murkowski specific request for comments on their White Paper, I’d also urge you to tell your Senators and Congressman that you are opposed to a national CES-RES-RPS.

Please consider asking your friends to help in killing the proposal.

  1. Comment by UNCONSCIOUS AND SLEEPING! on 03/26/2011 at 1:52 pm

    WE KNOW the Giant Wind Turbine “Farms” are emitting ground-borne Industrial Low Frequency Vibration in addition to the air-borne constant variable levels of swooshing sounds from the blades, plus the incessant flicker shadows of the blades from the sun and moon.

    This is WREAKING HAVOC causing WIND TURNBINE SYNDROME SYMPTOMS which may or may not go away even when we are FORCED TO MOVE AWAY AND LEAVE OUR HOMES and lifelong investments.

    If the SYMPTOMS continue, they may ultimately lead to VIBRO-ACOUSTIC DISEASE (VAD).

    The adverse health and behavioral effects to Migrating and Roosting Birds, Aquatic Animals, Fish, Wildlife, and any Domestic Farm Animals are non other than INHUMANE!





    (1) GREEN ENERGY … JUST A MONEY-MAKING Government and Industry Conspiracy Scam

    (2) The USA and Canada have LOST MILLIONS OF MANUFACTURING JOBS. The PRODUCTS we are forced to accept are substandard. We spent a century making, perfecting and demanding QUALITY CONTROL of those products WE MADE once upon a time. Now we accept ALL KINDS OF PRODUCTS containing poisons like lead, off gassing and other banned chemicals that we import made in “OTHER” countries like China.

    (3) The Pharmaceutical Companies and their Lobbyists do not want us to be healthy. They want to SELL US MORE AND MORE DRUGS!

    I could go on, but I think you get the point!


  2. Comment by Brad Blake, Cape Elizabeth, ME on 03/26/2011 at 5:55 pm

    Everyone reading this needs to respond. Very few industrial wind projects are being stopped.

    The states want them because they bring economic activity. The wind shills in Maine have had the usual BS discredited by our activists, so the mantra is now “look at all the jobs and economic activity building wind ‘farms’ brings to a state with high unemplyment in rural areas!”

    Also, nobody is winning anywhere in court. Just this week, the Maine Supreme Court upheld the state’s decision to award permits for two projects that had been appealed: Record Hill in Roxbury and Oakfield. As far as I can see, the Maine situation accurately reflects what is happening all over the country.

    We need to cut off the source of this debacle. Not only must we vigorously oppose any form of CES-RES-RPS on a national level, we must stop regional ones like the RGGI in the Northeast.

    It is a carbon tax, folks, and we consumers pay for it and it is one of the two major reasons why industrial wind sites get built. The other reason is the subsidies, so when you write to Congress tell them that if they are serious about cutting costs to balance the federal budget, yanking subsidies for something that is unpredictable, unreliable, and ineffective is a “no brainer.”

  3. Comment by Glenn Schleede on 03/28/2011 at 4:51 pm

    If you decide to comment on the Bingaman-Murkowkski CES “White Paper,” please keep in mind that THE most important isssue is not addressed in the 6 questions. Instead, THE most important issue is the PRESUMPTON that some kind of national CES is in the national interest.

    It’s clear that members of Congress and their staff have forgotten their responsibility to protect the interests of citizens, taxpayers, and consumers—NOT the interests of the wind industry.

    There is ample evidence that “renewable” standards—by whatever name—contribute to higher electricity prices. Higher electricity prices take money from the pockets of ordinary citizens and hand it to owners of renewable energy facilities. THAT is the problem with the underlying Bingaman-Murkowski CES scheme.

    The overarching problem is the sheer arrogance of the Washington establishment!

  4. Comment by L. and R. Dockett (Michigan) on 03/30/2011 at 1:49 pm

    Everything we have read tells us the inefficiency of wind farms is fact. Adding the real disturbing effects of flicker, vibration and hum, makes these undesirable.

    The only people benefitting from them will be the landowners who have been bought with bonuses and promised income, and the manufacturers of the machines. Roads and fields will be torn up for months. Most importantly, we retired people on fixed incomes, and those who earn marginal incomes, will be the most affected economically, with unaffordable increases in our utilities.

    We need to look further for greening the planet into other alternatives. We have seen some wind turbines in France and Belgium, never in the numbers proposed here. It is unfathomable that our region will be disfigured by hundreds of towers, and there is no way that they will be able to keep proper distances from all inhabitants.

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