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How ‘Green’ projects are looting the treasury


8 minute read

From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Elizabeth Nickson

All that money is wasted. Wind and solar and the various battery projects have not managed to support the electrical grid in any substantial way, hovering, on average, around 4 percent.

The most egregious theft of collective wealth and well-being — and it is flat-out theft — is the churn on “alternative” forms of energy production. Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said last week in an interview with Steve Bannon that the U.S. has spent some $7 trillion over budget in the last three years, and 25 percent of that went to “climate change” projects. They are all like Solyndra, massively subsidized and within a decade, massive failures. “The investors take a tax loss,” said Tuberville, “then move onto the next effort where they again loot the public.” This is salted through all the investment banks, retirement accounts. It represents all putative growth.

In June of 2023, the Department of Energy admitted that it had allocated $1.3 trillion for “clean energy” investment support since 2020, and that spending rose 25 percent from 2021-23. This is a fraction of what was really spent. Further, this money is not only based in debt, thus raising inflation, but it is also raising energy prices. It is the principal reason that almost 25 percent of us, according to economist Peter St. Onge, have been forced to choose between heat and food this winter.

What a choice.

$1,750,000,000, in an annual gift to the rich. The World Economic Forum projects that climate spending in the U.S. will triple over the next ten years. Biden’s “climate” budget is $5.7 trillion. Triple that to $20 trillion. No wonder the market is booming. The U.S. has pledged another half a trillion in “low carbon electricity” under this year’s Paris Climate Accord. And further:

  • Among all measures tracked since 2020, direct incentives for manufacturers aimed at bolstering domestic manufacturing of “clean” energy now total to around $90 billion.
  • Since the start of the global energy crisis, governments have also allocated $900 billion to short-term consumer affordability measures, additional to pre-existing support programs and subsidies. Around 30 percent of this “affordability” spending has been announced in the past six months, and despite calls to better target households and industries most in need, only 25 percent of affordability measures are targeted towards low-income households and most-impacted industries.

Much of this last $900 billion is direct subsidy to the wealthy in annual subsidies for clean energy. This is again, annual subsidy, so look at the last twenty years. President Obama started this program, therefore, we are looking at a $10 – $ 20 trillion gift to the rich since the Lightbringer took office. What is not counted in these budgets are the losses that accrue from the failure of “green energy” projects, which is the taxpayer’s loss.

Last year, investors in Spain’s green energy collapse took the government to court to claw back subsidies from a dead industry in a country with a debt 400 percent larger than GDP. No wonder millions on the street want to outlaw socialism. As is clear from Spain,  when the government runs out of money the first thing to go is the subsidy to green energy, after which the enterprise fails immediately.

In my neck of the Canadian woods, you can install a solar system for $20,000, and get a 25 percent subsidy, as does the installer whose business the government created via “free” “investment.” I live in a rain forest. Which means solar is not available during winter rains and not needed during the summers. Recently everyone with a few extra bucks has taken up the government offer to install heat pumps, also subsidized by between 50 percent and 75 percent. Rain forests mean hydro power, which is essentially, greenhouse-gas-free, and the most inexpensive “fuel,” but an almost-free heat pump? Again win/win for the upper-middle-class because no one in Canada’s increasingly massive working class can afford it.

This model was invented by politicians in power. The first person to notice it was Peter Schweizer; in Throw Them All Out, he details the billionaire investors who funded Obama and who were cashed out via various solar and wind projects. Hundreds of billions of dollars went missing on Obama’s various “clean energy” projects.

This year, every government department is “investing” in clean energy, vis, a quick Google search, will show. Pages and pages of boastful press releases follow. Every agency is in on the boondoggle. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Patent and Trade Mark Office have signed a collaborative agreement to advance climate technology. Putting aside the fact that “climate change” is neither imminent nor dangerous, the government should not be creating patents. Innovation should be carried out by the private market, where there are controls.

As we discovered during Covid, government patents on both the virus and the vaccine were not subjected to court challenge, double blind testing, or feasibility. There is no number attached to NOAA’s “initiative,” but this is representative of ten thousand such projects salted through every government bureau. All that money is wasted. Wind and solar and the various battery projects have not managed to support the electrical grid in any substantial way, hovering, on average, around 4 percent. Despite this mind-boggling waste of money, in September last year former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged another $500 billion to shutter the equivalent of 40 percent total electricity use of nine states, including California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas.

What has been the result of trillions of public money shunted into “clean” “green” “energy” on the actual energy grid? Robert Bryce, an acknowledged expert, shows that it is failing. A speech he gave at the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners showed astonishing, across the-board failure in every metric you can imagine.

“Climate Policy” is considered the most significant risk. As Bryce describes, “green energy” has meant Europe is deindustrializing, Ford lost $64,731 for every EV it sold, and the IEA states that global coal use will hit another new record of 8.5 billion tons. Coal use increased 35 percent in last summer’s heat wave. Wind dropped by 21 percent.

Climate policy breaks everything. It breaks communities, it encourages widespread theft of public money, it starves productive work and manufacturing, it has punched down on the less advantaged, and it is destroying the fabric of our lives. And for what?

First published in, March 24, 2024.

Elizabeth Nickson is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 

Canadian Energy Centre

Trans Mountain completion shows victory of good faith Indigenous consultation

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Photo courtesy Trans Mountain Corporation

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Joseph Quesnel

‘Now that the Trans Mountain expansion is finally completed, it will provide trans-generational benefits to First Nations involved’

While many are celebrating the completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project for its benefit of delivering better prices for Canadian energy to international markets, it’s important to reflect on how the project demonstrates successful economic reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

It’s easy to forget how we got here.

The history of Trans Mountain has been fraught with obstacles and delays that could have killed the project, but it survived. This stands in contrast to other pipelines such as Energy East and Keystone XL.

Starting in 2012, proponent Kinder Morgan Canada engaged in consultation with multiple parties – including many First Nation and Métis communities – on potential project impacts.

According to Trans Mountain, there have been 73,000 points of contact with Indigenous communities throughout Alberta and British Columbia as the expansion was developed and constructed. The new federal government owners of the pipeline committed to ongoing consultation during early construction and operations phase.

Beyond formal Indigenous engagement, the project proponent conducted numerous environmental and engineering field studies. These included studies drawing on deep Indigenous input, such as traditional ecological knowledge studies, traditional land use studies, and traditional marine land use studies.

At each stage of consultation, the proponent had to take into consideration this input, and if necessary – which occurred regularly – adjust the pipeline route or change an approach.

With such a large undertaking, Kinder Morgan and later Trans Mountain Corporation as a government entity had to maintain relationships with many Indigenous parties and make sure they got it right.

Trans Mountain participates in a cultural ceremony with the Shxw’ōwhámél First Nation near Hope, B.C. Photograph courtesy Trans Mountain

It was the opposite of the superficial “checklist” form of consultation that companies had long been criticized for.

While most of the First Nation and Métis communities engaged in good faith with Kinder Morgan, and later the federal government, and wanted to maximize environmental protections and ensure they got the best deal for their communities, environmentalist opponents wanted to kill the project outright from the start.

After the government took over the incomplete expansion in 2018, green activists were transparent about using cost overruns as a tactic to scuttle and defeat the project. They tried to make Trans Mountain ground zero for their anti-energy divestment crusade, targeting investors.

It is an amazing testament to importance of Trans Mountain that it survived this bad faith onslaught.

In true eco-colonialist fashion, the non-Indigenous activist community did not care that the consultation process for Trans Mountain project was achieving economic reconciliation in front of their eyes. They were “fair weather friends” who supported Indigenous communities only when they opposed energy projects.

They missed the broad support for the Trans Mountain expansion. As of March 2023, the project had signed agreements with 81 Indigenous communities along the proposed route worth $657 million, and the project has created over $4.8 billion in contracts with Indigenous businesses.

Most importantly, Trans Mountain saw the maturing of Indigenous capital as Indigenous coalitions came together to seek equity stakes in the pipeline. Project Reconciliation, the Alberta-based Iron Coalition and B.C.’s Western Indigenous Pipeline Group all presented detailed proposals to assume ownership.

Although these equity proposals have not yet resulted in a sale agreement, they involved taking that important first step. Trans Mountain showed what was possible for Indigenous ownership, and now with more growth and perhaps legislative help from provincial and federal governments, an Indigenous consortium will be eventually successful when the government looks to sell the project.

If an Indigenous partner ultimately acquires an equity stake in Trans Mountain, observers close to the negotiations are convinced it will be a sizeable stake, well beyond 10 per cent. It will be a transformative venture for many First Nations involved.

Now that the Trans Mountain expansion is finally completed, it will provide trans-generational benefits to First Nations involved, including lasting work for Indigenous companies. It will also demonstrate the victory of good faith Indigenous consultation over bad faith opposition.

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Biden signs suicidal ‘No Coal’ pact, while rest of world builds 1,000 new plants

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From Heartland Daily News

By  James Taylor James Taylor

The Biden administration has just signed an economic suicide pact that would require the United States and six other Western democracies to shut down its coal power plants by 2035, while China, India and the rest of the world currently have more than 1,000 new coal power plants in the planning or construction phase. The no-coal pact allows all nations but the Suicidal Seven to continue using as much affordable coal power as they like.

Climate activists often point to China as a climate role model, noting that China manufactures more wind and solar power equipment than any other nation. China, however, isn’t stupid enough to use much of that equipment. Realizing that conventional energy – and especially coal power – is more affordable and reliable than wind and solar power, China manufactures wind and solar equipment, sells the equipment to America and Western Europe, and then powers its own economy primarily with coal power.

In America, government intervention has already caused the shutdown of many coal power plants and the construction of expensive wind and solar projects. In more than half the states, renewable power mandates require a certain percentage of electricity in the state to come from wind or solar. Federal laws and regulations punish coal power at nearly every step of coal mining and utilization. Massive subsidies for wind and solar allow wind and solar providers to charge substantially reduced prices for their product at taxpayers’ expense.

Even with government tipping the scale so heavily in favor of wind and solar power, the so-called green transition is coming with an enormous price tag. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there was a 21 percent increase in wind and solar power since Joe Biden took office in January 2021 through the end of 2023. At the same time, electricity prices also rose by 21 percent. Prior to Biden taking office, the long-term electricity price trend was an increase of approximately 1 percent per year. The green transition has increased the pace of electricity price inflation by 700 percent. And that doesn’t account for all the wind and solar subsidies that are hidden in our tax bills.

There is little reason to believe we are on the verge of a climate crisis. A good resource documenting this good news is Yet, even if a climate crisis were imminent, unilateral coal disarmament is a foolish way for America to approach carbon dioxide emissions.

Since 2000, the United States has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions more than any other country in the world. U.S. emissions are down 21 percent, while the rest of the world has increased its emissions by 47 percent. Clearly, America “showing leadership” reducing carbon dioxide emissions is leading to nothing other than the rest of the world free license to jack up their own emissions. Even if the United States and the rest of the Suicidal Seven could somehow eliminate all of their emissions, it would have little impact on the global trend.

Ultimately, Biden’s pact to eliminate American coal use will further ramp up inflation. After all, energy is an important cost component in almost every product bought and sold in the economy. In addition to the inflation impact, Biden’s pact will force American businesses into a major competitive disadvantage versus businesses in China, India, and the rest of the world, which will be paying substantially lower energy costs than American businesses.

Under Biden’s plan, we will end up sinking vast economic resources into eliminating coal power and as much carbon dioxide as possible from the American economy. Even then, we will still be looking at global emissions continuing to rise. At that point, Biden’s plan is for America to assume the lion’s share of global “climate reparations” and financial bribes to induce China, India, and the rest of the world to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. After sabotaging our own economy with higher energy prices, we will literally borrow money from China in order to then bribe China to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.

It would be hard to think of a crazier domestic energy policy.

James Taylor ([email protected]) is president of The Heartland Institute.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

For more on the U.S. electric power system, click here.

For more on coal, click here.

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