Promoters of expensive renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal, are holding a summit later this week to promote increased usage of these energy sources. A group of wealthy billionaire environmentalists that includes the likes of Tom Steyer and Nathaniel Simons are promoting states using more reliable energy sources in their Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). The 2015 National Summit on RPS will be held Nov. 5-6 at the Westin Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.
The Summit is hosted by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. As documented by the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works Minority Report from 2014 titled The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA, the Energy Foundation is a group that filters billions in funds from a few large foundations, including the Sea Change Foundation run by billionaire hedge fund investor Nathaniel Simons, to a network of environmentalist groups such as the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Defense Fund. It is no coincidence that the Summit is sponsored by both the Energy Foundation and the Department of Energy under the Obama Administration.
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These groups and the billionaire environmentalists who support them have a huge influence on policies regarding renewable energy and RPS that the Obama Administration Department of Energy imposes on the states. This is all clearly documented in the Senate Committee report on the influence of the billionaire environmentalists and the foundations they control. The Sea Change Foundation alone, in 2011, gave nearly $14 million to the Energy Foundation, one of the sponsors of this week’s summit in Virginia on RPS.
The very renewable sources these billionaires want more usage of are well above market prices for energy. One example is wind energy, well above market rates, such as the failed Cape Wind electricity generation project, which would have supplied electricity that was as much as three times the market rate. Likewise, solar energy is not yet competitive, as illustrated by the financial problems with major solar power companies like the Spanish-based firm Abengoa, which struggles for profit from its involvement in renewable energy.
Currently, 25 state legislatures have adopted RPS restrictions that will require increased usage of renewable energy sources, and some have suggested much more restrict national RPS requirements, it is clear these approaches will not work. Renewable energy sources are not always the most cost effective means to generate electricity with low CO2 emissions, when compared to using natural gas and nuclear generation of electricity. The locations of renewable energy is not congruent large population areas, causing further challenges for the transmission of electricity generated by renewable sources. Additionally, reliance on high percentages of electricity generated by renewable energy could increased risk of cascading blackouts.
Promoting increased reliance on renewable energy, that is simply not yet viable on the open energy market, will necessarily be very economically detrimental to lower-income Americans who are already struggling to pay their energy bills because of the high costs of these energy sources. Essentially, the promotion of renewable energy that will benefit the investments of billionaire environmentalists is a policy of reverse Robin Hood, taking from low-income Americans to benefit the wealthiest and most well-connected.
As the supporters of this RPS agenda meets later this week at the summit in Virginia, it should be remembered who benefits the most from federal regulations requiring more renewable energy sources. The well-connected cronies in the billionaire environmentalist club, and the profits they stand to make from costly renewable energy, should not be more important in this energy policy debate than the interest of the American people who make this country work.
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