September 7, 2009

Fiscal Non-Feasibility: Let's Focus on the Real Problem with the Green Jobs Czar (the Mission)

Monique Chartier

Stephen Spruiell over at The Corner on National Review brings up something that has troubled me for a while: green jobs cannot exist outside of the vacuum of government subsidies and mandates. In fact, he points out that their survival is dubious even with such props and cudgels.

To buy into the "green jobs" scam, you must have an unshakeable faith in the ability of the government to create a viable industry from whole cloth, because there is no commercial demand for the services these green-collar workers would provide. We don't have to guess about the future of green jobs; we can look to the ethanol industry.

In 2005, after decades of subsidization, the government finally mandated the consumption of ethanol. It upped the mandate in 2007. This, plus high gas prices, was the boost the industry was looking for. Ethanol plants started springing up all over the Midwest.

Corn prices went up to meet the government-mandated demand for ethanol. Then oil prices fell, bringing the price of ethanol down with it. The industry's profit-margins disappeared. VeraSun, one of the largest ethanol makers, is in Chapter 11. Last December, the industry asked Congress for a bailout.

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I worked with the NAHB Research Foundation on an energy conservation feasibility study for the Carter administration in 1974. We surveyed homeowners to determine which steps they would be willing to take to weatherize their homes to conserve energy. When oil prices decreased and supply increased (when the gas line disappeared,) the study went on the shelf. Recent events have mirrored this scenario.

Not until oil, gas, and electricity have risen to an unacceptable price for most people will the individual citizen sign on to green building or any other program to reduce energy demand. Current adopters are in it because of one of three reasons:
• They want to save money
• They want to save the planet
• It's the latest fad.

America only responds to a crisis, and to most people, we're not there even now.

Posted by: David Bourbon at September 8, 2009 11:50 AM


Ethanol replaced methyl tert-butyl ether, also known as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) which had been used to fulfill the oxygenate requirements required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAA).

MTBE was found to be a carcinogenic (cancer) groundwater pollutant in the U.S.A. and its use was banned by many states. Did you know New England states has one of the highest cancer rates in nation?

However there are problems with ethanol in that it attracts water and can lead to damage within the engines in the long run. E10 is the most popular blend being 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol

Problem was that after MTBE was banned there was a high demand for ethanol and a lot of corn growers on the mainland thought they were going to make a killing selling corn to the proposed ethanol refinery plants taking their crops out of market plus the proposed ethanol refinery plants that were to be constructed thought they would make a killing refining, selling ethanol to the gasoline companies.

It was nothing but pure greed driving up the price of corn making new ethanol refinery plants unsustainable and because so much corn was being removed from the normal feedstock and food markets, the prices of all the other goods, and services related to corn based products rose tremendously.

In Hawaii, the most imported oil dependent state in the nation with highest electric rates in the nation has been working on a plan to integrate alternate energy systems and also protect natural and visual resources to reduce its oil dependence statewide by 70% utilizing a number of state of the art and old school tried and tested alternate energy initiatives thereby creating a vibrant expanding green job sector without federal government funding.

State of Hawaii has a very large green industry that is growing without federal government funding. About 90% of electric energy generated in Hawaii is from imported oil. With the wild swings in oil prices the people of the state declared enough is enough to being controlled by high oil prices and demanded something be done to offset the wild swings.

Hawaii is the first state in the nation to require solar hot water system on all new residences built after 1 Jan 2010. Hawaii has an unbelievable enormous buy in by private investors, commercial entities, military and nonprofits to help the state meet Republican Governor and Democratic General Assembly goals of reducing total state-wide oil dependence 70% by year 2030 and the Hawaiian electric companies are the largest supporters of this goal!

Unlike Rhode Island Hawaii has refused to allow 200-300 ft high offshore wind farms covering miles of ocean waters instead opting for proven technology of offshore wave powered power buoys which extent out of water only 14 ft. providing constant power regardless of the wind and in Hawaii the first in nation low water profile OTEC power generating plant was constructed generating clean renewable energy during a proof of concept from temperature differential of ocean water to power an electric generator. A commercial 10-megawatt plant is slated to come on line in 2013 and shortly there after a 100-megawatt power plant will come on line with the side benefit of converting sea water to drinking water. Both these constant power sources operate close to shore(1-4 miles) meaning a shorter cable run and are not visible from shore

A proof of concept algae to biodiesel plant successfully passed production tests and is now moving into full commercial construction of a totally self-sustainable island-wide electrical generating plant powered by refined algae grown beside the power plant.

A major portion of commercial downtown Honolulu will be air conditioned via deep water ocean cooling reducing the need for air conditioning units on each building.

Of course we have private commercial customers farming their large roofs with photovoltaic panels and also privates residences are beginning to join in reducing electric costs by adding photovoltaic panels Over 50,000 residential solar hot water systems have been installed in Hawaii..

One Hawaiian island (three times size of RI) has reached 40% of its power generating needs via alternate energy and is expanding its green energy production. A second island just finished bringing online the states largest commercial photovoltaic generating plant at 1.2 megawatts and is starting construction of a 200 megawatt land based wind farm which when finished will provide more than 100% of the islands electrical needs allowing for the excess power to be sent to another island via a new smart grid underwater cable system tying the island together to share electrical energy.

State of Hawaii has partnered with a mainland company which will seed the islands with between 50,000 to 100,000 alternate energy electric car recharging stations in parking lots, parking garages and street meters along with 5 min battery swap out stations on the roads in preparation for introducing total electric cars in Hawaii (Each island is currently testing electric cars and trucks for average mileage). One U.S. made in America stylish five passenger 4-door seating 5 adults model gets est. 300 EPA miles per full 5 hr battery charge est. electric cost $4. The car does 0-60 in 5.6 sec and is limited to a top speed of 125 mph. The longest straight line drive in Hawaii is 100 miles shore-to-shore.

My current under $50 monthly electric bill will decrease due to green energy initiatives and switching from a $40 a month gasoline car bill to an all electric car at $8 a month mileage cost will save me money due to the green initiatives by the green private companies utilizing new technologies to create new alternate transportation resources, energy resources, doing business and creating over 3,000 new jobs in State of Hawaii without federal funding,

My saving might not be a whole lot but at least I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank to deposit the savings.

Posted by: Ken at September 8, 2009 6:31 PM
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