Vox: Popular Clean Energy "is toast" Without Government Enforcement


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Vox has written a hilarious article about how giving people who love clean energy a choice about whether to use renewables would destroy the industry.

Ohio clean energy standards are toast unless Gov. John Kasich steps in to save them

The legislature wants to make them voluntary.

Updated by David Roberts david@vox.com Dec 13, 2016, 9:30am EST

Renewable energy is extremely popular with the American public, across partisan lines. The evidence is found not only in polls, but in tangible action at the state level: 29 states and Washington, DC, have passed some version of a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires state utilities to get a minimum percentage of their power from renewables.

Despite many attempts from fossil fuel companies, big utilities, and conservative groups, no RPS put in place has ever been repealed.

The closest any state has come was in 2014, when Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a law suspending the state’s clean energy mandates for two years.

Now that two years is up. But the Ohio legislature has just passed a bill that would make the RPS voluntary, effectively extending the suspension, for two more years. The bill is on Kasich’s desk; he will either sign it into law or veto it soon.

Kasich has said he wants to end the suspension. “I think we should embrace these renewables,” he told reporters on November 30. “We think these goals that were established for renewables, both solar and wind, can be met.” He added that “I just would hope the legislature will not have a headline that Ohio went backward on the environment.” However, he stopped short of saying he would veto the bill.

Now he’ll have to make that decision.

Read more: http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/12/13/13915236/ohio-clean-energy-mandates-kasich

Why does “popular” green energy require rigid government enforcement? Why can’t people be free to make their own choices? Surely if renewables are as popular as Vox claims, people don’t have to be coerced – they will embrace clean energy of their own free will?

164 thoughts on “Vox: Popular Clean Energy "is toast" Without Government Enforcement

    • Obama did the same with health care. Normally, big government programs take a few decades to fail, but Obamacare failed in just a few years.
      These “elites” that think they know better than the average American are the reason Trump won. And to think that Kasich, whom I once considered as a viable presidential candidate, thinks he’s an elite!
      I’d never vote for him as president and I hope Ohioans never re-elects him.

      • “these goals that were established for renewables, both solar and wind, can be met.”
        Never work in Ohio. Not enough Sun nor wind.

      • When Kasich was in the House, he was a budget hawk, and I had respect for him. I was happy when he became the Ohio Governor. But now I think he’s a suppurating pilonidal cyst! Sure hope he loses the next election!

      • Kasich is in his 2d therefore last term as gov. Voted for him 2x for gov and 1x for pres, but he has disappointed me once too often, hope someone can reach him on hi cost/hi maintenance/intermittent production renewables. Thinking back, one of the first signs of Kasich’s retreat from conservatism was 2010 or so when he would not let fracking for ng go fwd, while western PA had an energy boom. He’s now to the point where he’s against it if R’s are for it. A yr ago I would have been hoping he’d run for senate, now anybody but Kasich.

      • Some of the AEE members also have Canadian operations.
        Offshore Ohio Lake Erie has the wind resources and proposed up to ~ 1,000 turbines in Lake Erie.
        And northwestern Ohio is said to have enough wind resources for wind turbine land installations.

      • rogerthesurf wrote –
        “Renewable energy is extremely popular with the American public, across partisan lines -“
        Yeah right! Of course! Because the government AKA tax payers are paying for it.
        roger, I don’t understand your comment because “the government AKA tax payers” ARE the American public. The correct comment should have been , “Yeah right, that’s why it is always last on the list of things that need to be done in the polls.”

      • Tom O,
        The point I was trying to make with the phrase was to point out that most normal people simply do not understand that governments money is actually their taxes.
        Why else in western societies would people, especially those who are inclined left, lobby for government expenditure on their particular pet project?
        I might add that their is nothing to stop them raising the money amongst the public, but of course it is easier to lobby those who are not spending their own money.
        In my country for example, something like NZ$43 Million comes from the government (AKA the tax payer), for Team NZ America’s cup, who since this began have yet to win the America’s Cup whereas it was won twice on privately raised donations and sponsorship.
        I m quite sure that if everyone in my country realised that their tax money was being poured into such a minority sport there would be an outcry, but almost every day one hears on the news, requests for government/taxpayers money for some project or other.

    • national anthem of the United States
      what they asked for:
      “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
      what they got”
      “the land of the regulated and the home of the bureaucrat.”

      • The land of the foreclosed upon as well. A country can’t just keep printing money to keep up with a decreasing GNP.

  1. Has anyone checked out this stupid site for millennials? Not one of the people, writing about things that they have no clue about, have been on this planet for more than 35 years. The guy running the site describes himself like this, Ezra Klein
    Head vegetable chef.
    Oh yeah, I’d take anything he say’s as reliable. Sarc! He’s a whopping 32 years old.

    • Bobby D
      Are you ex Breakspear – about 1959 to 1965?
      My era.
      I hear what you say.
      No catastrophe is inevitable, until the last worker to remember the last one like it retires.
      Stock Market. Shipping. Fads in education. Doubtless myriad others.
      Rather makes a case for keep a few of the – compos mentis – old on the payroll.

    • Voters do love clean energy. Do they love it enough to pay a significant premium for it? No.
      If you poll people, they will tell you that hybrid and electric vehicles are wonderful. results What is the market share of such vehicles?

      Hybrid sales in the American market achieved its highest market share ever in 2013, capturing 3.19% of new car sales that year, and dropped below 2% by April 2016. link

      Nuff said.

      • There is no need to pay a premium for it. I picked up a used 2011 Nissan Leaf with 21k miles in like new condition for $9k. It costs me about $0.05/mile. My big 3/4 ton Suburban costs over $0.25/mile. The Leaf is great around town and I now use it for most errands. Even better, I can charge it for free at the dealer! The Suburban is great when I’m hauling Scouts to campouts or materials. With the low miles I put on it now it will last forever!
        I get flyers weekly from the solar wholesalers advertising name brand panels for $0.40/watt and some modules as low as $0.29/watt! A 5Kw system will cover the average US house so that’s $2000 for the panels, add racking, inverters, and installation. If you switch to LED lighting and improve the efficiency of your appliances and computers and watch your usage, you only need a 3Kw or 4Kw system.
        This stuff is going mainstream, and fast. Even better, prices are continuing to drop.

      • Greg – I currently have 5 inches of snow on my roof. Care to guess how much energy a 5Kw system would be producing for me right now if I had one?

      • Greg, I bet when your local tax assessor sees those panels, he’ll raise your home value and you’ll loose all your savings in higher property tax.

      • Greg,
        So, you have two vehicles to do the job of one? So how much is the extra insurance, maintenance and storage cost on the second vehicle? At least you were bright enough to buy it used since Leaf’s are famous for their rapid depreciation, imagine the cost per mile to the original owner.

      • Prices are dropping fast for used ones Greg, not for new ones.
        Of course your tiny little leaf costs less per mile than does your Suburban. A small gas powered car would save you just as much money.
        PS: Your biggest savings is on gas taxes. It won’t be long until governments shift over to miles driven rather than gallons used in order to pay for roads, then you will be paying what the rest of us pay, probably even more.

      • T’was in 1962 when my 1st car was given to me, ….. a pretty rough shape 1951 Henry J, …. 4-cylinders, … standard shift …… over-drive transmission ….. and it averaged 42 mpg.
        Just what a poor college boy needed for driving to n’ from school. It was nice driving, plenty of room for 4 adults and trunk space for luggage, etc. and looked like the one in this picture, to wit:

    • well we learnt that the polls are reliable but that people do not understand them. In general the
      national polls all gave Clinton a lead of about 3 percent with an error of about 1 percent or so which
      correct. The state polls were closer but there were less of them so the errors were larger. Which is why
      Nate Silver for example gave Trump a 33% chance of winning. For which he was widely ridiculed since
      people on the whole failed to realize that a Trump victory was within the margin of error of the polls.

    • Michigan where the governor an both the house and senate have Republican majorities.
      Crain’s Detroit, Dec.16, 2016
      ‘Utilities: Energy policy rewrite brings certainty to planning for power plants’
      Gov. Snyder, R. is expected to sign this new legislation.
      Much more on this topic online.
      All kinds of laws and regulations can be written/passed but if businesses can’t survive under these imposed conditions they will have to either close or move.

    • Yes, we did learn something about polls last month. We learned they are untrustworthy because of oversampling of Democrats and other tricks political partisans play with them.

      • We’ve entered an age where intelligent folks let unknown callers leave a message and call them back if it’s legit. I had several calls from out-of-state callers every day during the week preceding the election and it suddenly stopped afterwards. The people who are not dupable don’t take unknown callers. They also think that how you vote is not a public question. That was part of the error in the poles- the segment that refuses to play the game as expected.
        The lamest manifestation of this failure of the progressives to garner support is the blame of ‘insufficient control of the internet’ and a purported ‘Russian influence’ upon voters. Why would folks who are voting against the progressives and a global socialist takeover listen to the bloody communists?

      • TA,
        There’s probably more to it than that. People can be influenced by the way a question is worded. Pollsters have long known that and can purposely bias a poll. Also, if a particular answer appears to be politically incorrect (the Media was telling everyone that Hillary was a shoe-in and Trump was a miscreant), people are reluctant to appear stupid. That’s a reason voting is done privately. I also have a suspicion that the pollsters were trying to influence the vote by taking advantage of a tendency for people to get on the Band Wagon and be with the winning team.

      • “The people who are not dupable don’t take unknown callers. They also think that how you vote is not a public question. That was part of the error in the poles- the segment that refuses to play the game as expected.”
        I think you are on to something, Pop.

        • Caller ID rocks. No name I recognize? I don’t answer. That simple. Polling is easy to understand, you go to a “pollster”, tell them what you want, pay them, they give you what you paid for. That is why politicians are so befuddled about polls, they bought what they wanted to hear, not what people actually think.

      • I agree with you, Clyde. There’s how the poll questions are worded, and then there is how the answers are interpreted. Lot’s of leeway in there to shape the poll results.

      • Polls of likely voters are pretty much limited to those who have voted in the past.
        There was every indication that Trump was bringing in lots of new voters.
        Many of Trumps voters would have been excluded from traditional polls.

    • Click through to the pdf describing the poll. The questions are very leading questions, phrased to get the result that they did. You could get the opposite result by using a different question set such as:
      1. Do you like you home to be powered by intermittent unreliable forms of electricity such as wind and solar?
      2. Do you like birds being fried by solar thermal power stations?
      3. Would you like to pay 3 times the price of electricity, as a result of clean energy, over traditional forms of electricity?
      4. Do you want manufacturing to leave your state, as a result of energy prices doubling or tripling as a result of ‘clean’ energy?
      5. Are you concerned about the elderly suffering as a result of energy poverty as a result of high energy costs?
      6. Do you worry about your children not being able to find jobs, as a result of high energy costs, causing business to shut down, and relocate?
      7. Do you like endangered birds being killed by wind turbines?
      8. Do you think that major corporations such as General Electric should be receiving large corporate subsidies, to produce generating machines, which kill birds, force up the cost of electricity, and are an eyesore?
      9. Do you support the development of our Natural gas resources to provide in expensive reliable electricity?
      10. Do you support hydro fracturing to provide reliable supplies of oil, to produce gasoline from, to run you car on, and in the process create many well paying jobs for Americans.
      11. Do you support the use of clean coal technology (whatever that may be), to produce reliable inexpensive electricity?
      Run this poll, and you will find 70 percent of the population supports coal, gas and hydro fracturing!

    • Rovingbroker, well spotted. The ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ idea is alive and kicking. The question is, who? It seems that anything claiming to have detected, with statistical significance, broad support for renewables is as suspect as a Mann-graph.
      I expect that those few pollsters who correctly called the election will be using it to boast of their capabilities.

  2. It would be interesting to see how many people would select ‘clean energy’ if they were charged for it based wholesale price and only supplied energy when their particular selection was up and running.

    • Exactly. How much they love clean energy will be shown when none is available – do they shut off their appliances to wait til clean energy is available? It’s easy to tell a stranger on the phone, “Oh, me? Yeah, I LOVE clean energy.”

      • Love it, yes, but define “love”. As the old joke says, “I feel like a woman, but my wife won’t let me have one.” I feel like an electric car, but my wallet won’t let me buy one.

  3. OT but worthy of posting…
    Skowhegan-area propane dealer won’t deliver to Trump voters
    A phone message at Turner LP Gas Service says they should find someone else to deliver their gas.
    On the coldest day of the season, a Skowhegan-area propane dealer has a pointed message for would-be customers.
    “If you voted for Donald Trump for President, I will no longer be delivering your gas, please find someone else,” is the message left for customers that call Turner LP Gas Service, on Canaan Road in Skowhegan.
    The message goes on to say that the cost of gas remains $110 a bottle, payment on delivery. A voicemail message left at Turner LP Gas Service was not returned.

  4. You have to have little to no regard for the welfare and self-reliance dignity of the elderly and others living on fixed incomes to support higher electricity and fuel costs that come with mandating to utilities to use expensive renewables. The utilities (and their shareholders) don’t care, as they are not only encouraged but in fact told to assess the renewables taxes in addition to higher rates and fees on the monthly utility bills. Meanwhile the government gets a new tax collected by the utility companies.
    It’s win-win-win for the green industry, the utility companies, and the government. The losers are the fixed income groups who look at the electric bills rising.
    And then there’s the reality that wind and solar renewable energy sources don’t replace a single KW of generating source for the electrical grid operators. But that’s another story.

  5. Because the way they sell it is by lying, twisting, and omission..
    Of course it’s extremely popular….until people find out the truth
    ” electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,”

    • Another way they sell it is through telemarketers making illegal calls to people on the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry. I suspect that our utilities are funding these pests through some of the extra charges on our bills.
      The telemarketers appear to be focusing on senior citizen homeowners like myself. Every time one calls I ask for the state contractor’s license number. They always say that will be provided when they come to my house. I also suggest that we first meet in a Starbuck’s a mile from my house, but they never agree to that. They want to get into homes where they can use all their high pressure tactics on vulnerable people.
      I’ve contacted the California State Contractor’s License Board, my state assemblyperson, and my representative in the US Congress about this. The first two sent letters saying they couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t get any response from the representative.

  6. A small but important correction (suggestion): wherever “clean energy” is used, it should be in quotes. The types of energy production styled “clean” by the enviroprofiteers who promote them, are no more clean and often LESS so than conventional power generating industries — including coal.
    (also “renewables,” for they are not actually “renewable” to any degree — conventional sources are often much more renewable, with modern forest management, for instance, wood is highly “renewable”).
    The article, but not using the quotes, gives unwarranted credence to the false claim of “clean” and “renewable.”

    • Also, to clarify: “the article” I refer to above is Mr. Worrall’s. That is, he, a science realist, not using the quote marks, creates a false impression (the AGW cult member’s article quoted within his article does no harm to the truth, for it is red-clown-nose-obvious, non-scientific, propaganda).

      • John Harmsworth I don’t think so. Surely you aren’t lumping such a large proportion of voters into the monolithic lump of unthinking AGW useful fools that you belong to. On a list of concerns, a large majority placed GW at the bottom of the list. Most of your fellow Americans clearly have more sense. Also, including other candidates the right actually won a majority.

    • “A small but important correction (suggestion): wherever “clean energy” is used, it should be in quotes. The types of energy production styled “clean” by the enviroprofiteers who promote them, are no more clean and often LESS so than conventional power generating industries — including coal.”
      Yeah, and how can you call it clean energy when you have dead animals laying all over the landscape, killed by the windmills and the solar thermal? They should be calling it “deadly energy”.

      • Personally, I call them “unreliables”
        That is a more succinct description when they are used to power the grid. On the consumer end of the grid they categorize as “supplementals”. They are only as renewable as the energy and resources needed to produce them.
        They have a definite market niche and it needs to be established naturally.
        It is fundamentally wrong in a capitalist society for the public money to be used to prop up or artificially stimulate any private enterpise.

  7. So popular they have to be mandated. So economic they have to be subsidized. And so reliable that South Australia blacked out and UK likely will thanks to intermittency and absence of grid inertia.
    Vox, like most other ‘new media’, are just propaganda machines largely devoid of fact and logic. No different than old media like NYT and WaPo.

  8. Communist countries are like that. The people rejoice when a new edict is issued. Mandatory of course ! The good governor wouldn’t want to offend the rulers of America, the environmental social paths who would like 95% of the world’s population to die. It’s for the good of the planet ! Yeah! .. that’s sarc by the way… extremely popular, so popular it has to be mandatory …

  9. If people want it people would freely choose it. Instead government has to use the armed force of law to compel people to “choose” it. Seems rather clear and easily understood, without armed force from government “green energy” is a failure. Period. Full stop.

  10. I personally think voluntary is the way to go. People can pay 30% – 100% more if they want their electricity to be green. The power utility passes on the premiums to the green energy producers. Win – Win, right. There actually people and companies who choose the option where it is available.
    But the risks then become much higher for the investors in green energy projects and they would rather just lobby the politicians to make the subsidies mandatory and thereby have a guaranteed profit margin. We need to lobby the politicians to only have voluntary programs.

  11. Maybe it is time for someone in power to point out that the patient isn’t improving, isn’t likely to get better, and maybe it is time to pull the plug.

  12. Renewable energy is extremely popular with the American public, across partisan lines.

    As long as they don’t have to pay for it. Free money is even more popular; why don’t they try that?

    Despite many attempts from fossil fuel companies, big utilities, and conservative groups, no RPS put in place has ever been repealed.

    None of the rules put into effect by Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez have been repealed either, so this proves what exactly?

  13. Why does “popular” green energy require rigid government enforcement? Why can’t people be free to make their own choices? Surely if renewables are as popular as Vox claims, people don’t have to be coerced – they will embrace clean energy of their own free will?
    About these ads
    The simpler answer:
    “Because it is a dud, and a very expensive one at that.”

      • Leo
        There are jobs there, in renewables.
        Someone has to grow, harvest, transport, process [and document] the wood pellets that give the UK such impressive ‘watermelon’ status.
        Those are real jobs – even if they don’t ad one erg to the USA’s renewable use.
        To our shame, they are paraded as being ‘Green UK plus One’ [or whatever the mundane brain-clogging slogan is . . . .].
        And tomorrow – I again resume battle with Southern Railways, described, with wild exaggeration, as a ‘SERVICE’. No Sarc; it’s true.
        God* help hundreds of thousands of other poor sodding commuters, too.
        * God or your pertinent deity or quasi-deity or responsible and certified substitute or quasi-substitute, or legally mandated and certified placebo.
        For example: –
        an inapposite belief in gilled gilded unicorns,
        Microsoft handing out a million dollars for special emails [even if on Goobermail],
        Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, and
        not walking under (properly secured) ladders.

  14. It would help their cause if they replaced the meaningless “renewable” tag and substituted “low (or no) carbon,” since most of such energy comes from nuclear plants, not windmills. Considering the amount of untapped energy that can be recovered by gen 4 reactors, there is no meaningfull distinction between renewable (meaning “forever”) and nuclear power.

  15. The gov could kind of have it both ways- eliminate all installation/running/maintainence subsidies for renewables, change the RPS law so that the power companies can only pay their current fossil fuel/nuclear/hydro rate for electricity generated from systems owned by customers, and go ahead and sign it. Virtuous green advocates would buy their own solar or whatever installations and use them, offsetting some or much of their own electricity usage. That would reduce power costs, eliminate all the rent-seeking lease/buy/sell programs that siphon off the benefits, and make everybody happy.

    • I agree with the proposal, but that isn’t how the constitution works. The Governor can either sign the act into law, or veto it. He can’t modify it.

  16. I would love to see enforcement applied to those who flaunt their intention to use only renewable electricity, such as Google, and the Australian Capitol Territory. Other search engines and teams of useless bureaucrats are readily available.

    • I have long advocated for all citizens who strongly support “green/renewable” energy be compelled to use only that. No fossil fuels, no hydro-electric, no nuclear, no products derived from petro-chemicals. Courage of their convictions and all that. Of course they would have to be marked and tracked, a sliding scale of punishments for each time they are caught using anything other than solar or wind produced energy. Hmmm, maybe we could hire all those fired civil service drones from DoE,EPA,IRS,FDA,USDA,DeptInterior,BOIA,,,ya know, the useless eaters in government. Give them something useful to do, snitching on their fellow leftists. Yea, thats the ticket.

  17. Socialism is the fraudulent and deadly ideology that humanity will be better off when we each are force by the government to live at the expense of everyone else. A common thread in the thoughts of socialistic planners is that part of this improvement comes when humanity is also forced back into a far more primitive and agrarian existence, as if this will somehow cleanse humans of the desire to work hard and receive the fruits of their labors.
    This would be a curiosity except that it sometimes reaches a level of the other-worldly like we saw when the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia and forced city dwellers at gunpoint to live in the country, working on farms that were not prepared to feed, clothe or house them. This is one of the cause of the deaths of over a million people. I suspect that were social conditions different, today’s Greens in the west would be happy to oversee the deaths of millions in order to bring about their long awaited secular progressive Utopia.

  18. Who would not love clean energy? Who would not love free healthcare, affordable housing, good weather and so on.
    You could also ask who would not love reliable electricity 24/7 and reliable heating of your house.
    The problem is that the cleanliness of the energy hardly differs except for CO2, which is not a poison, but the price tag is very different. All the fuzz is because the clean energy advocates say those who not buy it destroys the lives of others. A strong argument as old as all religions.

  19. Eric asks: Why does “popular” green energy require rigid government enforcement? Why can’t people be free to make their own choices? Surely if renewables are as popular as Vox claims, people don’t have to be coerced – they will embrace clean energy of their own free will?
    Back in the 1960’s (before the environmental movement), we allowed people discharge whatever they wanted into the air, water and landfills. That didn’t work so well: I moved to LA in 1970, where it hurt to take a deep breath of polluted air for the first few days and native Angelenos had smaller lung capacity than others. The Cuyahoga river was burning in Ohio. Toxic waste in the Love Canal probably produced birth defect in the people living above.
    We have an EPA because people NEED to be coerced to prevent them from doing things that harm their neighbors. We have tried doing without regulations and it did NOT WORK.
    The question is not whether we should regulate or not; the question is what regulations are worth their COST! Is the money we are spending on regulation providing REAL VALUE for citizens. What type of regulation produces the most value?

    • And the first step of that is criminal investigations and prosecutions for all the evironazis infesting EPA. Running all the regulations EPA has passed as laws through Congress for elimination or ratification is the next step.

      • 2hotel9 wrote: “And the first step of that is criminal investigations and prosecutions for all the evironazis infesting EPA.”
        How many environazis infesting the EPA have you personally dealt with?
        2hotel9 also wrote: “Running all the regulations EPA has passed as laws through Congress for elimination or ratification is the next step.”
        Congress already can’t complete its own work in a timely fashion, much less take on all of the minor rule making going on at the EPA. That is why Congress delegated rule-making authority to specialists in the executive branch. I do think Congress has delegated too broad an authority and progressives have been pushing past the boundaries of that authority. For example, when ozone destruction by CFCs, Congress amended the clean air act to define ozone-destorying substances as pollutants. The haven’t done so for CO2. The Supreme Court said that the early definition of pollutant made CO2 a pollutant.

        • Congress creates and ratifies laws, not EPA. And why are you defending the environazis infesting EPA? You one of them? You profit from the fake laws they put in place? Yes, prosecution and punishment, you seem to fear both.

    • Agree Frank.
      But how do you balance the evil of dangerous pollution against the evil of dangerous abuse by the environmental bureaucracy? My own prejudice is that we have now tilted way too far in the direction of bureaucratic abuse and it is time to push back.
      At the same time we need to listen to the environmental lobby and weigh their arguments because sometimes they are right.

      • Allanj: But how do you balance the evil of dangerous pollution against the evil of dangerous abuse by the environmental bureaucracy?
        I think the only way is to convert benefits into dollars and measure regulatory costs in dollars. And then have political appointees who resolve disagreements (there will be many) using common sense, not preconceived political prejudice and input from many sources.

      • Jeff: The top managers should think of themselves as venture capitalists: A new proposed regulation is an opportunity to earn a great deal of money (benefits to Americans) if they work as expected. (Investing in projects that will barely break even is a waste of time and money.) How sure are we that those benefits can be obtained for the amount of money we will need to invest? Is a demonstration project the right place to start?
        To ensure this kind of thinking, I’d put a cap the number of pages in the Federal Register of Regulations and demand that the bureaucracy spend half its time eliminating regulations that have failed to achieve their goals and focus only on the minimum new regulation needed to solve a problem,

    • That is too simple, need to have a complete historical analysis. Work, not as fast as it got, was in progress to clean up the Houston Ship Channel in the 1950s. We sampled it, metabolically dead, best we could tell. Still not perfect, but fish now swim the length. Oysters in Galveston Bay sometimes tasted like oil which was part of the pushback. They were only some of the neighbors.

  20. Anthony, a bit of housekeeping. I keep getting a security warning when I come to your webpage about “mega.vast.mega-tags.com” and occasionally I get a redirect to a page claiming to be a survey from my local internet service company and my security flags as malware. My supplier, CenturyLink, says it ain’t them and I should let you know in case it is something you can squash from your end.

      • Yeah, whenever you get a strange website or program wanting to do things on your computer, you should do a search on it and you will probably find you are infected with a virus of some kind.
        The reason I use the Firefox browser and NoScript is to prevent these programs and rogue websites from executing anything on my computer.
        NoScript first blocks all scripts from executing on a new webpage, and gives me a list of all the websites that are trying to put stuff on the website I am visiting and I can enable them, if I need their functionality, or leave them disabled. Leaving them disabled significantly speeds up the loading of the webpage usually.
        I also have a program that runs all the time and prevents anything from being installed permanently on my harddrive. It saved my bacon one time when I accidentally got some ransomware on my computer while running Internet Explorer.
        The Ransomware took over the whole screen and would not allow me to do anything to remove it. But when I rebooted, my little watchdog program noted the new installation and asked me if I wanted to keep it or not, and I said NOT!, and that was the end of that. No more problems. 🙂
        Internet Explorer is unsafe. I guess they have a new browser out now, but I’m not using Windows 10, so I don’t use it. I suspect the new browser is probably a lot like the old one. I would do Chrome, but I don’t trust Google. 🙂

        • Yep, they get blocked, well, the redirected page I have to close and start over with a new tab. Firefox has been pretty good for me, and ESET is working well. I have had a couple of problems with NASA pages wanting a strange login or being blocked as unsecure, usually I just close the page and start over and it loads. The vagaries of Algore:Thegoreacle’s intratubes thingy.

      • Thanks, I’ll check that out. It does not come up on any other webpages, it has popped up here 4 times in as many seconds just now. ESET anti-virus blocks it, I just have to hit the block tab. The redirect page does not happen as often, still, only here. Quite annoying.

  21. The EU includes hydro in its green energy mix and the US should too. It would become equal with others in mandated purchase and even given reason for priority being affordable. Removal of subsidies for solar and wind would let free markets work.

    • Jon, the organized greens in the US hate hydro, and are on a dam removal kick, so therefore, hydro cannot be “renewable” as it is not sufficiently green.

      • Perhaps we could see a new ecology movement form which is more focused on actual environmental problems in specific localities which can be remediated by engineering or changed practices.
        There is also the ecology of the humanist.

        • It would be an interesting organizing effort. As a curiousity, the first environmental degradation articles I ever read were a series in “The American Rifleman”, the NRA magazine that my grandfather subscribed to, against stream channelization by the Army Corps of Engineers on the basis it ruined hunting habitat. There are people other than watermelons who care about the environment.

      • “There are people other than watermelons who care about the environment.”
        Watermelons don’t care about the environment. It’s just a tool to bring them power.

  22. Jeez, you’d a thunk that Gov. John Kasich, after getting his ass handed to him by Trump in the Republican primary, would have learned a lesson about being bold. Nope, he’s right back home in play-it-safe land, and can’t muster enough balls to tell the economically stupid politically correct class to shove it where the wind don’t blow, er, correction, where the sun don’t shine.
    No Kasich for president in the future, for me.

  23. What the hell is “renewable” about crappy wind and solar? You have to use fossil fuels to mine the materials, manufacture, transport, erect and scrap them.

    • In believers’ heads they seem to just ‘pop up’ all around the countryside. Cool whirligigs that actually make a little power sometimes. Boy, they look novel for a while…

  24. The EU are going to use DIESEL generators for back up in order to keep the lights on across Europe once they are completely “green” and the idiots in Brussel’s fail to see the irony. Now would be a good time to buy shares in a diesel generator manufacturing company in the USA.

  25. (I know this site has an international audience. “Liberal” in this quote is not about a political party but rather a mind set.)
    This reminds of a quote, “A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to their fellowman and is determined to pay that debt using your money.”
    Americans, people, just like the rest of the world, have shown their willingness to voluntarily donate to those in genuine need. Those with the means have done so time and time again.
    The problem is when those liberals with authority have decided to make “donations” involuntary. (Welfare, “Entitlements”, Obamacare)
    This is a similar situation. “They” don’t want to give people the choice. They want to mandate it. “They” know better.

  26. 60 million voters cat ballots for Hillary and green energy that was/is subsidized by the other 240 million that did not. Let’s see if any of those 60 million will put their money where the politics are and voluntarily pay 3-4 times higher electricity rates.

  27. In Australia, the electricity retailers provide an option for customers to choose “green” sourcing for their power (no explanation at all on how this would be achieved with a single grid). The uptake is now about 0.5%.
    Renewables extrememly popular? I cannot believe that Americans are so radically different from Australians. These “progressive” idiots live in a closed thought bubble.

  28. The real explanation:
    Because 99.99% of people don’t care about electricity or where it comes from. When is the last time you even read your bill? What are the units of electricity called? How much of your electricity bill is actually charges for natural gas?
    Voluntary programs to buy wind have been around for decades. They’re very cheap. Nobody participates because they don’t know the programs exist – because they don’t open their bills.

    • “They’re very cheap.” Maybe so, but still more than not buying wind.
      Right now my local electrical provider is selling electricity for $0.04167/kWh. Wind( or ‘green’) power is sold for an additional $0.0167/kWh (sold in 300 kWh chunks, so if you don’t use the whole 300kWh chunk at the end of the month, the actually /kWh cost goes up). That is a 40% mark up. I wouldn’t call that cheap.
      I would be interested to see how many people actually signed up to pay more for there electricity.

  29. “………Why does “popular” green energy require rigid government enforcement? Why can’t people be free to make their own choices? Surely if renewables are as popular as Vox claims, people don’t have to be coerced – they will embrace clean energy of their own free will?….”
    Good questions. In my mind, the first thing the followers of this website should do when you encounter a greenie fossil fuels basher is to ask him/her if he or she has eliminated the demand for fossil fuels in his/her life. Chances are the answer will be ‘no’. They almost have no choice but to admit to their hypocrisy. And why is that? Because they are not enlightened enough to realize that they are doing things bass ackwards. A post-fossil fuels era will only come into being someday AFTER the technologies (one of which we have now—–nuclear) are found and phased into widespread use. A simple look back at history helps us to understand this….
    We humans phased out the horse-and-buggy days AFTER the automobile was invented and came into widespread use, not before. We ushered in the current widespread age of commercial air travel AFTER we invented the jet engine and jet aircraft, not before. We ushered in the age of space travel and artificial satellites AFTER we invented the rocket engine, not before. We ushered in the age of information technology AFTER we invented the computer and digital technology, not before. We ushed in the age of wireless personal communications AFTER we invented cellular technology, not before. And on and on and on…….
    Whether the fossil fuel bashers like it or not, the generation of energy in any form is and always will be a scientific, engineering and technological issue, not a eco-religious one. The invention of an anti-fossil fuels religious movement appears to have been created in the absence of any of this really being understood or taken seriously. Hence we have the fossil fuel bashers’ hypocrisy where they cannot deny a dependency on fossil fuels in their own lives. When one adds in their failure to understand or accept that “clean energy” technologies like wind and solar cannot be realistically and economically scaled up to meet our electrical energy needs, the dunce hat on their heads gets even larger.
    It is truly both funny and frustrating when “clean energy” writer-advocates at VOX and other greenie websites pitch their snake oil to us in a vacuum that seems to be significantly devoid of science, engineering, economics and acceptance of this lesson from history. Whether Trump will enlighten the masses in any these areas remains to be seen.

  30. It’s all rather simple. If you want to be green for whatever reason then you can pay for it. In the meantime stop forcing it on everyone. It’s abusive.

  31. “Renewable energy is extremely popular with the American public, across partisan lines. The evidence is found not only in polls, but in tangible action at the state level” Just because the states pass such garbage doesn’t automatically translate into the American public finding it extremely popular especially if said state is lead by liberals. And again I don’t recall polls showing the American public in love being forced to pay higher utility rates to support alternate energy. The only acceptable approach to solar or wind energy is for the individual property owner to purchase the system for their own use and sell excess back to the local utility.

  32. Why does “popular” green energy require rigid government enforcement? Why can’t people be free to make their own choices?
    Simply, it can’t. ‘Green energy’ doesn’t exist in any real way. Not without stupid governments taking your cash in order to keep the scam going.

  33. “he AEPS says Ohio’s utilities have to get 25 percent of their energy from “advanced” sources by 2025. Advanced includes nuclear, “clean coal,” and combined heat and power (CHP), among other things.”
    Public utilities are regulated and provide power as directed by state legislatures and the PUC. If people in Ohio demand it, the utilities will pass the cost along the cost.

  34. LENR is on track to start becoming commercial next year. Rossi in February and BLP at the end of 2017.
    When this surfaces to debate will disappear and solar and wind will die..

  35. Renewables are “extremely popular” with the portion of the American public who don’t understand the issues. That is until they are asked to pay for them. Everyone likes the concept of renewables, but no one wants to pay.

  36. I believe there is a fair amount of fracking happening in Ohio. Further, I believe that fracking has significantly helped the economy in Ohio including jobs and tax revenue. And the differences between Trump and Clinton on fossil fuels were a significant reason why Trump carried Ohio.

    • Griff probably try reading the article rather than just the headline. I don’t see any win for renewables 🙂
      There is also a warning that if Trump axes the incentives even that small change is probably dead.
      Do you really just spend all your time internet searching headlines for random articles you clearly haven’t read? It is pretty obvious you only read the headlines never bothering to actually read the article.
      That is why you make stupid mistakes like trying to tell us that the EPA was the one who discovered the Volkswagen scam. The headline was the EPA prosecuted them but they had absolutely nothing to do with the discovery.
      So before you post anymore stupid articles we would like you to give us a brief of why you think it is good or bad so we know you have read the article. Start with you article above what do you consider good about it? Sorry I really do doubt you read it.

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