Skip to comments.Virginia Goes Don Quixote
Posted on 11/18/2017 12:06:07 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
Democrat Ralph Northam had barely won the Virginia governors race when his party announced it would impose a price on greenhouse gases emissions, require a three percent per year reduction in GHG emissions, and develop a cap-and-trade scheme requiring polluters to buy credits for emitting carbon dioxide.
Meanwhile, liberal governors from California, Oregon and Washington showed up at the COP23 climate confab in Bonn, Germany to pledge that their states will remain obligated to the Paris climate treaty, and push ahead with even more stringent emission, electric vehicle, wind, solar and other programs.
Leaving aside the unconstitutional character of states signing onto an international agreement that has been repudiated by President Trump (and the absurdity of trying to blame every slight temperature change and extreme weather event on fossil fuels), there are major practical problems with all of this.
Attempting to abate, control or limit CO2 from electric power facilities has consequences. It means creating carbon capture and storage systems that dont work, are huge energy hogs, drive up electricity prices and leave us with the massive, unaddressed problem of where to put all the carbon dioxide depriving crop and habitat plants of this miracle nutrient, and risking sudden catastrophic CO2 eruptions from whatever underground storage facilities might actually get approved.
It means forcing the premature shutdown of fully functional coal and gas-fired power plants, with no viable alternatives to replace them. Virginia has two nuclear power plants, and it is unlikely that the current or incoming Democratic governor (or any of their progressive supporters) would support building new nuke units or even new pumped storage systems in the states mountainous areas.
The supposed wind and solar alternatives involve massive land use, environmental, ecological, economic, and human health and welfare impacts. Based on my previous rough calculations, using wind power to replace all current US electricity generation (3.5 billion megawatt-hours per year) and charge batteries for seven windless days of backup power would require some 14 million 1.8-MW bird-killing turbines, each one 330 to 410 feet tall, across some 210 million acres (twice the size of California). The backup power would require some 700 billion 100-kWh Tesla battery packs (also requiring vast acreage).
The raw materials required to build all these turbines, batteries and transmission lines would be astronomical; the earth removal, mining, processing, smelting and manufacturing even more so. And this doesnt even consider what it would take to replace todays vehicles with electric versions, or (in a true fantasy world) replacing the energy for foundries, refineries and factories with wind or solar power.
The USA has made virtually all of its mineralized areas off limits to exploration and mining. So this grand transition would make us 100% dependent on foreign suppliers for wind (and solar) energy.
Another net effect would be soaring electricity prices, forcing countless factories and businesses to close their doors, affecting livelihoods and living standards, especially among the poor, minority and blue-collar families that liberal politicians and activists profess to care so deeply about.
Right now, average Virginia families pay $1,500 a year for electricity. At California prices, their annual electricity bills would increase by $875; at German rates, by a whopping additional $2,900 a year!
At its current eight cents per kilowatt-hour, Virginias Inova Fairfax Womens and Childrens Hospital pays about $1.6 million annually for electricity. At Californias or Germanys business rate (18¢ per kWh), the hospital would have to shell out $3.6 million for electricity. That unsustainable $2 million annual increase in the cost of keeping lights, heat, air conditioning, surgery centers and diagnostic equipment running would result in employee layoffs, reduced services, higher medical bills and declining patient care.
At eight cents per kWh, the United States can power its homes, hospitals, businesses and industries for $280 billion annually. At German or California business and industry rates (18¢ a kWh), that electricity would cost $630 billion a year. At German family rates (35¢ a kWh), an economy-busting $1.2 trillion!
Equally important, California, Oregon and Washington are uniquely advantaged. Thanks primarily to Works Progress Administration dams, Oregon gets 43 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric projects; Washington gets 75 percent from hydro. California not only enjoys such mild climate that 40 percent of its homes dont have air conditioning, and a seventh dont have heating; it imports one-fourth of its electricity from other states. (And yet Californias electricity rates are the second highest in the Lower 48 States.)
Obviously, not every state can import 25 percent of its electricity from other states. As Margaret Thatcher would say, at some point, you run out of other peoples energy. Not every state has or can have hydroelectric (which rabid greens also hate). Not every state has abundant sun or wind and the best sites would likely be litigated until Hell freezes over. Few states have the topography for pumped storage.
As they demand de-carbonization (and thus de-industrialization) for the entire country, California, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and other We Are Still In (the Paris climate treaty) states, cities, businesses and organizations claim they now represent one-half of the US Gross Domestic Product. (They also call themselves the Under2 Coalition, claiming they can prevent Earths post-1850, post-Little Ice Age, industrial era average temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius (1/2 degree above todays).
However, amid all their demands and sanctimonious moral preening, these WASI members studiously neglect to mention what IPCC officials have said are the true primary goals of climate policy: replacing capitalism with a new, centralized world economic order, and redistributing world wealth and resources.
They likewise ignore the real reason all those developing countries signed the Paris accords and what all the rancor in Bonn has been about: poor nations were promised hundreds of billions of dollars in Green Climate Fund adaptation and reparation money from the very nations they demand must de-carbonize and de-industrialize. They want their loot right now, with no more delays or excuses.
The Paris Climate Treaty would have obligated the United States to pay over $20 billion per year initially rising to more than $100 billion per year by 2030! So if they love Paris so much, these half-of-US-GDP WASI members should be obligated, and happy, to pay one-half of the USAs Green Climate Fund obligations: $10 billion in 2017, rising steadily to $50 billion a year by 2030.
In reality, they wont try, want or be able to meet any of the Paris requirements. Its all Resistance, hype and holier-than-thou pixie dust. Thats why the WASI acronym is more accurately translated as We Are Still Ideologues Intransigent, Irresponsible and Insane.
Their we can opt into Paris attitude also raises the interesting question of whether communities in those states (especially rural counties that voted for candidate Trump) can opt out of their de-carbonization, cap-and-trade, pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable energy schemes. Especially if there was no debate and no statewide vote specifically on issues like those raised in this article why should those most severely impacted by these schemes not be able to opt out of them?
Net US greenhouse gas emissions declined 11.5 percent from 2005 to 2015 because the Obama EPA forced coal-fired power plants to shut down, more switched to natural gas, energy efficiencies increased, and a hyper-regulated economy used less energy. Indeed, the USA is miles ahead of any other country in reducing its CO2 emissions since 2000. The next closest is the UK, which reduced its emissions by barely a fourth of the US amount. But WASI/Under2 demands would have serious adverse repercussions.
Meanwhile, developing countries built hundreds of coal-fired generating units, have 1,600 more under construction or in planning, and are driving millions of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks. They will not give up fossil fuel electricity generation and rely on wind and solar though they will be happy to sell turbines and panels to WASI members. So all the US, EU and WASI sacrifices will achieve nothing.
WASI members are not just sanctimoniously tilting at windmills. They are demanding that others kowtow to their climate alarmism and imposing real harm on real people. America and the world cannot base energy, ecological, health and welfare policies on Don Quixote fantasies.
Did the voters in Virginia know this was his intention?
Or did the ‘Rats gruber another election?
I saw this story a few days ago and it just kills me.
As a life long VA resident I’ve watched my once very solid Conservative State turn. Flooded by folks that are not from Virginia, they have brought their 3rd World and Government first sensibilities to transform my State and Country.
Lower income families suffer the worst because electricity and heat as well as gasoline consume a much larger percentage of their income.
A political party that sells itself on taking care of the little man instead makes it much much harder on the little man.
And do not forget, both the hospitals and the grocery stores as well as all of their vendors will need to raise prices in order to pay their energy bills and stay in business.
Virginia was once a truly wonderful state in which to live, and in my case visit often. The crazy libs that have moved into Northern Virginia have ruined it.
I wanna move out of Washington.
I know I can’t afford to be retired here.
Boy, does your tag line say it all!!
The voters get the leaders they deserve.
My brother and his wife moved to Virginia from New Jersey forty years ago. For years I listened to them go on and on about how much better it was to live in the Old Dominion instead of the Garden State.
But I also heard complaints about “rednecks” and other aspersions, especially about the state’s history of segregation.
Well, after all these years, I guess my relatives in Virginia think they’ve finally “improved” it.
Yes it’s sad to see Virginia start the liberal death spiral. Being a native Californian and having helped the Gipper win 2 Governor races and 2 Presidential elections, you can imagine how I feel about the invasion in my home State. It is so bad that I had to leave 30 years ago.
I lifted it from Mark Levin a few years ago.
In what way was VA conservative ? Legislature ? local level ? Were RATS conservative ?
They’ve only had 9 Repubs lead the state since 1856 and 6 of them were in the last 47 years.
I feel your pain. I lived in New Hampshire before it was ruined by Massholes coming north to get away from the mess they made of their own state. It didn't take them long to ruin that state also. Even the Old Man in the Mountain slid away in disgust.
Your tagline says what many of us conservatives trapped in insanely liberal states feel daily. Like you, we’ll have to retire outside our present state of California because future taxes will destroy us. Liberals seem mentally divorced from the reality of fiscal cause and effect.
cover by: Cowboy Junkies
You are in a good situation then. Take the savings from your high Washinton salary, sell your high dollar Washington home and move to a lower tax lower cost state to retire. Or do like I did and move to a lower cost country, in my case Spain.
Deep blue Virginia bump for later.....
The VA GOP has to dump the establishment crap and start recruiting MAGA candidates. People want change. Not warmed over Rovean candidates.
Thanks for posting.
I'm sending the Townhall.com link to Anthony Watts at “Watts Up With That,” which is the highest rated Anti-Warmist web site in the world.
It seems that the Liberals/Progressives are attracted to States that offer opportunity and economic mobility.
In much the same way folks from the 3rd World are attracted to America.
They settle in and fall back to “their” foundations of trust in Government. They work to advance Government to “Help” others that follow them.
They have no faith in man, men or human nature.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.