Renewable energy – by royal decree – meanwhile, the poor suffer

The St. Louis city council has unanimously passed a resolution decreeing that by 2035 the city will somehow, almost magically be powered by 100% “clean, renewable” electricity. Or at least by paper certificate, as St. Louis city council raises electricity costs for poor families

City of St. Louis skyline in September 2008. Image: Wikimeda

Guest essay by Paul Driessen

In 2016, Missouri generated 96.5% of its electricity with fossil fuel and nuclear power, 1.6% with hydroelectric, and just 1.5% with wind and solar. The St. Louis Metro Area did roughly the same.

But now, by royal decree, the St. Louis City Crown has made it clear, the climate must be perfect all year – and by 2035 the city will somehow, magically be powered by 100% “clean, sustainable” electricity.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution calling for this to happen – via tougher energy efficiency measures and a transition to wind and solar power. The decision was supported by “environmental, advocacy and religious” organizations, which cited “sustainability and climate consciousness” as major concerns, an effusive article noted. The decision was simply “smart business,” they claim, because renewable energy is becoming “cheaper and cheaper,” and businesses want to move to cities that rely on renewable energy.

City officials have promised to launch an immediate “transparent and inclusive stakeholder process,” to develop a “plan of action” by December 2018. Who will actually be included in this “inclusive” process, and who will not be invited to participate, they did not say. However, recent marches, rants, dis-invitations, property destruction and physical assaults around cities and campuses offer helpful clues.

The following observations may help initiate the St. Louis review process – and similar discussions about renewable energy in other communities.

The local utility company (Ameren) already has a Pure Power program that lets St. Louis residents and businesses voluntarily purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). When a customer signs up for 100% renewable energy, Ameren charges an extra penny for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. That increases utility bills by 10-20% and on average adds about $150 to annual residential bills; $850 to commercial bills; and $20,000 to industrial electricity charges.

However, it does not mean customers are actually getting wind or solar energy. Each REC simply represents “environmental attributes associated with past renewable energy generation” and proof that “renewable energy was generated by an eligible renewable energy source.”

In other words, an REC merely means electricity was generated somewhere, sometime in the past, and sent somewhere, along a transmission line, whether or not it was really needed at the time. It simply pays wind developers for every kilowatt generated – transferring wealth from customers to developers.

All this raises intriguing questions. If wind and solar are getting cheaper, and more affordable than fossil fuels, why does Ameren charge a 1-cent-per-kWh premium for them? Why do they to be mandated? How many times might certain wind operators sell the same certificates? How many counterfeits will con artists sell? How many “certificate cops” will be needed to police the lucrative trade?

Once St. Louis makes renewables mandatory, the involuntary wealth transfers will become huge. Worse, the system will be enormously regressive – falling hardest on poor and working class families, small businesses operating on slim profit margins, and major energy users like hospitals and factories.

Missouri currently has relatively low electricity prices; St. Louis rates are even lower. Imposing renewable energy mandates will send city electricity rates into realms now “enjoyed” in California and Connecticut: 19 cents per kWh for families, 17 cents for businesses and 13 cents for industries. They could even reach the punitive rates now paid in Germany: 35 cents for families, 18 cents for all others!

How might that affect a vital energy-intensive customer like the 635,000-square-foot Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Advanced Medicine? At today’s rates, it pays around $1.4 million a year for electricity. A 13% Pure Power REC hike would increase that bill by $180,000. At CA-CT-German rates, that bill would skyrocket to $3.3 million annually – a massive, unsustainable $1.9 million increase.

How many employees would the hospital have to lay off, to make up for that spike? How many services would it have to eliminate or reduce in quality? How badly would patient care suffer?

How will poor and blue-collar families fare if their electricity rates nearly double? United Way recently found that 56% of St. Louis families are already unable to pay their basic living expenses: housing, food, clothing, transportation, taxes, healthcare and child care. How much worse will this situation become?

Then why are the city and its allies (especially religious groups) so intent on implementing these renewable energy mandates? Perhaps because that is easier than tackling real city problems. Missouri high school students as a whole have an 85% graduation rate; in St. Louis only 46% graduate. The city ranks #12 among “worst US cities to live in,” #4 for murders, and #2 for “most dangerous.”

Instead of trying to improve on this dismal record, the Aldermen & Allies want to be at the forefront on “disastrous manmade climate change” and “sustainability” (or at least “consciousness” about the issues).

Average global temperatures have dropped back to where they were before the 2015-16 El Niño. Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the US mainland in a record 12 years. Tornado, drought and storm frequency and intensity are on par with historic records. Where’s the disaster or human connection?

As to clean and sustainable, wind and solar are not. The enormous installations require vast amounts of land and raw materials, plus more for ultra-long transmission lines. (The wind installations Anheuser-Busch plans to use for its 100% renewable PR stunt are 350 miles away – in Oklahoma.) Still more land and materials are required for backup fossil fuel power plants or ginormous battery arrays – so that families, hospitals and businesses have electricity when they need it, instead of when it’s available.

For the wind option, just generating the 3.5 billion megawatt-hours of electricity the United States uses every year – and storing power in batteries for just seven windless days – would require some 14 million turbines! That’s because more turbines force us to go to lower and lower quality wind areas, which means instead of generating electricity 33% of the year at best wind sites, they’d only do so half of that time. Using Tesla-style 100-kWh battery packs would require something on the order of 600 billion units!

Have the Aldermen & Allies run those numbers – and costs – for the St. Louis share of all this? Will Gov. Greitens and the state legislature go along with all this – and help pay the costs?

More to the point, all of this would require unfathomable amounts of mining, processing, smelting, manufacturing and shipping: concrete, iron, copper, fiberglass, lithium, cadmium, rare earth metals and more. Since St. Louis and other environmentalist groups generally oppose mining (and foundries, refineries and factories) in the USA, most of those materials will come from someone else’s backyards:

Places like Baotou, Mongolia and the Democratic Republic of Congo – where men, women and even children dig them out and process them under horrific environmental, health and safety conditions. Their risk of dying due to cave-ins or exposure to toxic, carcinogenic materials is intense and constant.

Some claim renewable energy is nevertheless sustainable, and moral. It must be an interesting group of religious leaders who’ve come to the fore in St. Louis (and elsewhere) to reach that conclusion, support major wind and solar energy programs – and denounce fossil fuels and investment in oil and mining companies.

People in impoverished and developing countries have little interest in wind and solar power, except as a stopgap for distant villages. They want abundant, reliable, affordable electricity. That’s why they have built hundreds of coal-fired power plants and have 1,600 more under construction or in planning.

One has to wonder if those who promoted and voted on the St. Louis program (and others like it) ever considered these hard realities. Too often, they seem content just to feel righteous, at least among their peers and certain stakeholders – even if most big renewable energy programs are really just pixie dust.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and other books on public policy.

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Nigel S
November 6, 2017 2:39 pm

I hate’s to see that evening’ sun go down
Hate’s to see that evening’ sun go down

Reply to  Nigel S
November 6, 2017 7:18 pm

Then Joshua spoke to the LORD ….. and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.…
New American Standard Bible

I doubt that St. Louis has the power of Joshua. Renewable power will not magically appear.

Reply to  donb
November 9, 2017 9:06 pm

Maybe if they put all their money into a good witch-doctor to supply all their energy…no they need their money for drugs, guns and hookers.

Reply to  Nigel S
November 7, 2017 6:28 am

Interestingly, St. Louis is only ranked low when East St. Louis (across the river in Illinois) is included
as part of St. Louis. Take away E. St. Louis, and suddenly St. Louis jumps to the top 30 in a number of categories and is no longer ranked high on murder/crime lists. At least that’s the way it was a few years back. I don’t think anything has changed.

Robert Ballard
November 6, 2017 2:45 pm

Once it gets out that the price of Budweiser will go up due to this “tax”, the program will end.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Robert Ballard
November 6, 2017 2:54 pm

Or Miller sales will rocket. Go Milwaukee.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
November 6, 2017 7:09 pm

On my second now! A reward for landscaping.

Reply to  Robert Ballard
November 7, 2017 1:09 am

Anheuser-Busch is already a large user and purchaser of renewable energy:

“this renewable energy output will be capable of meeting up to 50% of Anheuser-Busch’s total annual purchased electricity, a substantial increase on the less than 2% currently generated by the 7.5 MW of solar and wind facilities installed on-site at its major US operations2

(nearly all UK whisky distillers and many breweries use waste grain which would have gone to landfill to generate power and heat by anaerobic digestion)

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Griff
November 7, 2017 5:04 am

Griff – November 7, 2017 at 1:09 am

(nearly all UK whisky distillers and many breweries use waste grain which would have gone to landfill …….

DUH, are those English distillers and brewers also into raising livestock for “fun and profit”?

FDA Threatens Brewers’ Feed For

This proposed rule — part of the FDA’s attempt to revamp its food safety rules by identifying potential problems before they occur — has major implications for breweries, which have been providing local farmers with free or discounted grain for centuries. And the looming FDA regulation — while not as controversial as originally anticipated — could still stifle the tradition of recycling spent grain.

When brewers make beer, they’re left with massive amounts of leftover “spent” grain. The majority of brewers have arrangements to either give or sell it to local farmers — who welcome it as cheap and nutritious feed for their animals.

Read more @

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Griff
November 7, 2017 7:25 am

Sure. AB figures the subsidies, the good PR, and greenwashing make it worthwhile. The extra cost goes under Marketing.

Reply to  Griff
November 8, 2017 7:03 am

Maybe St. Louis and Anheiser Busch should be disconnected from the national grid and allow them to develop their own micro-grid with all generation on city land only. Leave Oklahoma out of it!

If they are so proud of their commitment to renewables, let them show the city how they’re doing it. Maybe the city of St. Louis could put a wind turbine under the arch! That would show their pride and commitment to renewables.

Allowing St Louis to (claim) achieve 100% renewable using paper to achieve that goal is flat out lying and IMO should be criminal. These paper certificates are nothing but a ruse and virtue signaling.

Brian McCain
Reply to  Robert Ballard
November 7, 2017 9:16 am

The City of St Louis is a small part of the Greater St. Louis Metro area. You can actually have a St Louis address and not live specifically in the City of St Louis. IIRC the Budweiser plant is not actually in tCoSL. Be fun to see also because tCoSL is also landlocked. They will be having to “import” electricity from the surrounding cities which are currently laughing their a**es off watching that small liberal city shoot them selves in the foot over and over.

Reply to  Brian McCain
November 7, 2017 3:29 pm

Actually Brian, the Anheuser Busch brewery is quite well established inside the City of St Louis, for more than a century.

November 6, 2017 2:50 pm

Sounds like you gots the st. Louie blues.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ken
November 6, 2017 3:26 pm

Perhaps the Blues will move when the cost of maintaining ice becomes prohibitive.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 6, 2017 6:04 pm

The Rams moved because the cost of tickets to see losers was prohibitive. We still pay to keep the Bluenotes.

Reply to  Ken
November 6, 2017 5:58 pm

“One has to wonder if those who promoted and voted on the St. Louis program (and others like it) ever considered these hard realities. ”

The answer to that inquiry is “No, not a bit. They don’t have to, they don’t have to care, it means nothing to them because it has nothing to do with them.”


November 6, 2017 2:50 pm

It has been decreed — unroyally — that the sun will shine on St, Louis all day every day and the wind will blow in St. Louis all night every night. But even then, would photo cells and wind turbines be able to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of the city’s businesses, government agencies, households, and the few factories that haven’t either closed or left town? And there are a lot of other jokes that aren’t really very funny.

Mumbles McGuirck
November 6, 2017 2:52 pm

Much of this same nonsense is going on in California and on a much larger scale. That is only going to make the economic crash all the greater. Fortunately, the city will be brought up against fiscal reckoning much sooner and hopefully with less bad impact on the citizens. It’s up to them to take out their displeasure at the voting booth. But lying politicians are very good at deflecting the blame for their own bad decisions, at least with the help of the news media.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
November 7, 2017 6:10 am

Politicians are a dangerous species when they are allowed to congregate. When scripted and working off teleprompters they can destroy economies and plummet whole countries into poverty. When nourished by media microphones and cameras they can wipe out civilizations.

November 6, 2017 2:53 pm

When I saw the title, ‘Renewable energy – by royal decree – meanwhile, the poor suffer’, I was fearful that Prince Charles has got his Royal Megaphone out again and was letting us have another piece of his mind.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  ntesdorf
November 6, 2017 2:55 pm

Thankfully, HRH is a gelding.

Reply to  ntesdorf
November 7, 2017 1:11 am

The UK Royal Family already has their own renewable generation – e.g.

Walt D.
November 6, 2017 2:55 pm

comment image
Now I understand where the term renewable comes from.

Reply to  Walt D.
November 6, 2017 4:00 pm

It’s a vicious cycle. Man ruins the weather and then when man tries to use the weather to recover from his misdeeds the weather takes revenge. Oh the humanity!

Reply to  Walt D.
November 6, 2017 5:25 pm

Didn’t I see a picture of what a solar field looks like after a major hurricane?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 6, 2017 6:48 pm

You weren’t supposed to. They were not for press release.

Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 7, 2017 1:29 am

See it here:comment image

Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 7, 2017 6:42 am

What was the solar installation’s location?

edi malinaric
Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 7, 2017 8:00 am

Mmmm – interesting – some might claim that at least 20% of the panels might have survived.
Others would claim that 80% were displaced/
The reality is that the ouput from that array is now zero.
sobering – cheers edi

edi malinaric
Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 7, 2017 8:53 am

Why didn’t the MSM show the total destruction of the solar farm of 88000 solar panels and the de-bladed wind turbines?


What size mini nuclear power plant could be built into a 20 foot hurricane-proof container/s?

cheers edi

edi malinaric
Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 7, 2017 8:56 am

That solar plant was in Puerto Rico – aftere a visit by Hurricane Maria

cheers edi

Reply to  R2Dtoo
November 8, 2017 2:40 pm

I’d say 97% of those solar panels are just fine.

Ian W
Reply to  Walt D.
November 7, 2017 1:57 am

“Of course it’s realistic,” she said. “We’re a tropical island. We receive sun 365 days a year.”

But not of course for the 365 close to 12 hour nights a year.

Reply to  Ian W
November 7, 2017 7:59 am

So they have outlawed clouds?

November 6, 2017 3:03 pm

Time to cut all power lines going into St. Louis. They are on their own with their utopia of renewable from here on out.

Duncan Smith
Reply to  Sheri
November 6, 2017 4:55 pm

If explosive charges were placed at the based of all incoming power lines, set to detonate 12:01am Jan 1st 2035, would that be considered a terrorist attack or saving the planet?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Sheri
November 6, 2017 6:53 pm

What about the Ameren plant just north of downtown that has coal boilers converted to gas? Can that count as a bye?

Duncan Smith
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 6, 2017 7:43 pm

No, not “renewable”, sorry. It would have detonation charges too (to save the planet)

Mark from the Midwest
November 6, 2017 3:08 pm

“businesses want to move to cities that rely on renewable energy” … yeah businesses say things like that, but it’s the bottom line that matters

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
November 6, 2017 3:28 pm

Only the completely naive or the completely dishonest would take what a company’s PR department says about what it wants to do with salt-free seasoning.

Tom13 - the non climate scientist
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
November 6, 2017 3:32 pm

skeptical science banned me when they posted the study that showed 80% of the US public was in favor of “renewables to help reduce the POLLUTION that causes global warming. ”

I pointed out the survey question was a very biased and leading question – they all agreed that the question was neutral – It got me banned.

Amazing that those who lack even basic analytical skills somehow possess the superior intellect to ascertain the validity of climate science.

Bruce Cobb
November 6, 2017 3:11 pm

It’s 100% virtue signalling, powered by Belief, emotionalism, and 100% pure grade A BS.

Jonny Scott
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 6, 2017 3:35 pm

A better description of the Emperors New Clothes I did not hear in a long time! Bravo!

Evan Jones
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 6, 2017 5:06 pm

100% pure grade A BS.

Sounds renewable.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Evan Jones
November 6, 2017 6:56 pm

It has powered history as we know it in ways yet undiscovered.

November 6, 2017 3:11 pm

Let them eat [nonexistant] cake! – St. Louis city council

Pop Piasa
Reply to  sciguy54
November 6, 2017 3:30 pm

This latest mayor should be living in CA. She is all about progressivism. Clueless to the consequences, but wishing good on everyone while stirring the pot..

November 6, 2017 3:27 pm

With modern computer systems, it is possible to allow anybody who wants renewable power to get it, or at least be designated as getting it. If the users utility is, say, 20% renewable on average, then all who sign up for renewables only will continue to get electricity until 20% of the total available electricity supplies are taken. Then they get shut off. Of course the cut off point will vary second by second, sometimes 20%, sometimes 10% and sometimes zero. Who gets shut off at the saturation point could be based on many different measures such as first in-last out or smallest consumer gets cut off first. I vote for smallest. That way, the poor who use very little electricity will get theirs cut off first. That’s what these guys want isn’t it?

Reply to  DHR
November 6, 2017 3:43 pm

I like your idea. The way it works now, virtue signalers pay their $0.01/kWh and go on with their life. If they truly want renewable power, the network needs to limit the cohort of renewable customers to the minute by minute renewable power being generated. That is the only way to let them truly use renewable power, and the only way for them to experience what they are trying to impose on the rest of us.

Reply to  DHR
November 6, 2017 3:52 pm

DHR, please tell me with the existing infrastructure, how the electric utility can “shut them off.”

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 6, 2017 4:27 pm

It’s real easy to install a meter switch that can be triggered remotely, used them all the time doing work for D.O.D.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 6, 2017 4:29 pm

Ok, shutdown the whole neighborhood. Same difference.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 6, 2017 4:29 pm

They’re called “smart meters”, and power companies across the US are installing them like mad. They can selectively turn off any one or group of meters any time they choose.

Walt D.
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 6, 2017 4:54 pm

Robert – the same way they can cut you off if you do not pay your bill.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 6, 2017 5:34 pm

It’s just like sending the lineman to pull the meter, except it’s done by virtual reality. No fuel to drive to the account location, no man-hours to pull the meter. Hopefully nobody will hack the software and hold everybody’s water as ransom.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 6, 2017 5:38 pm

Yikes, that should be power, not water. I guess that’s coming too, though.

CD in Wisconsin
November 6, 2017 3:27 pm

“……But now, by royal decree, the St. Louis City Crown has made it clear, the climate must be perfect all year – and by 2035 the city will somehow, magically be powered by 100% “clean, sustainable” electricity…..”.

It is both comical and frustrating to see state and municipal govts continually being sold on the idea that solar panels are “clean” energy. There is never a word about the toxic waste produced at the mining and manufacturing stages, not to mention at the end of their useful lives…..

“…..Discarded solar panels, which contain dangerous elements such as lead, chromium, and cadmium, are piling up around the world, and there’s been little done to mitigate their potential danger to the environment….”.

The more all of these brilliant light bulbs at all levels of govt keep trying to scale up solar without any thought to the toxic waste issue, the worse the problem has the potential to get.

If everyone else is doing it, it must be the right thing to do. Environmentalists and solar advocates cannot possibly be wrong—it makes me feel so nice and warm and fuzzy about myself inside.

Jonny Scott
November 6, 2017 3:31 pm

Just Smoke and mirrors….. and the happy clappy believers smile and clap and hug and virtue signal waving their certificates to demonstrate their piety as they blindly follow the pied piper of Gore-on into the darkness..

November 6, 2017 3:34 pm

Missouri: No longer the ‘Show Me State’.

Reply to  TDBraun
November 6, 2017 3:54 pm


F. Leghorn
Reply to  TDBraun
November 6, 2017 5:38 pm

The “screw me” state?

F. Leghorn
Reply to  TDBraun
November 6, 2017 5:38 pm

The “screw me” state?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  TDBraun
November 6, 2017 5:55 pm

How about (with wind power) the ‘blow me state’?

November 6, 2017 3:43 pm

When unable to address the life and death issues that plague St Louis, why just change the subject and pass a law about irrelevant renewable power.

Reply to  arthur4563
November 6, 2017 3:45 pm


Joel O’Bryan
November 6, 2017 3:47 pm

The people of St Louis deserve the Aldermen/women they elect.
So Let them have their higher electricity prices.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 7, 2017 5:01 am

“So Let them have their higher electricity prices”

What’s next will be the outrage over the burden high energy prices push on the poor. Those same Aldermen/women will promise subsidies to balance that extra cost, closing the loop on perpetual voters.

Reply to  Paul
November 7, 2017 8:01 am

Until those who are paying both higher prices and higher taxes so that others can be subsidized decide they’ve had enough and leave.

Pop Piasa
November 6, 2017 3:51 pm

The odd thing is that STL has no real pollution problem anyway. The heavy industry that flourished before the EPA dominion has disappeared and the only refineries are to the NE, usually downwind. I have seen the area improve much in air and water quality since the 1960’s, and greatly degrade fiscally as factory jobs dwindled.

The only smoke that hangs in the air is from vacant buildings set afire by vagrants keeping warm.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 6, 2017 3:56 pm

I forgot to mention that in the suburbs it comes from all the folks burning wood to save on utilities.

November 6, 2017 3:54 pm

Senator Merkely, of Oregon, proposes that it is reasonable to do the same across all States by 2050 (“The Solutions Project”, which references the failed Stanford study by Mark Jacobson).

I don’t know if he is just being a weaselly piece of crap politician, or if he really is just plain stupid. Help me out Griff … with people like this, which is it?

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  DonM
November 6, 2017 4:10 pm

False dilemma fallacy. Merkley is both a weaselly POC and hopelessly stupid. That combination plays well in the coastal cities of Oregon.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 6, 2017 4:25 pm

Coastal cities less than Willamette Valley cities of Portland and Eugene. Presidential election for 2016 not much different from his 2014 election:
comment image

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 6, 2017 8:53 pm


Oregon went Blue on Hillary because of 3 counties. Multnomah, Washington, and Lane.

Oregon used to be an agricultural, timber state — a God, family, and guns kind of state. The California hippies found it in the 60’s and 70’s and took over the urban areas, and turned rural agricultural towns like Bend into deep blue zones.

California liberals spreading to Austin, to Denver, to Seattle, to Portland, are like a cancer. Their municiple victims die a slow death of exploding taxes.

I got a chuckle out of recent news reports on how Seattle and Portland are having homeless population explosions creating a crisis in those cities. $15/hr min wage will do that.

November 6, 2017 4:01 pm

This should be a doddle to achieve.

I note that the population now is less than half of its 1950’s size. Expensive power will drive even more away.

So the aim of creating renewable power for what is likely to be a much smaller metro area looks achievable.

Mind you the demographics appear to show it is a majority black area who on the whole ate not wealthy so presumably any price increases will affect them disproportionately


Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  climatereason
November 6, 2017 4:21 pm

It is how Democrats create dependency on government support. The Democrats use identity politics to get a foot hold in minority areas. Then come the policies that result in loss of good paying jobs, rising unemployment, and poor schools as K-12 public education becomes a job program for the teachers union. Then the dependency on government welfare sets in. Public housing projects, rent subsidy, utility payment support, EBT for groceries. Then the pols that created the dependency have the voters for life. Elect the other side, and the gravy train welfare gets pulled back to force people to find jobs. But of course there are no jobs. The Dems took care of that first thing. So the Dems get the votes to stay in power. They get Aldermen who virtue signal with renewable power decrees knowing it will require more government subsidies to offset the costs to low income families.
The cycle continues. Chicago, Detroit, St Louis, Providence, Hartford… all Democrat strongholds. Abysmal cycles of failure.

Reply to  climatereason
November 6, 2017 4:30 pm

St. Louis, like Detroit and some other once large Midwestern cities, is in a death spiral. It has even lost its National Football League franchise, the Rams. And its famous brewing company was bought by the Belgians.

Reply to  climatereason
November 6, 2017 6:18 pm

got to find those climate refuges somehow. Price them into moving–how novel.

November 6, 2017 4:17 pm

Virtue signalling, posturing, and another reason to tax. Nothing more. A bunch of bureaucrats in a room trying to be relevant. None of them has a clue what it would take to realize this goal and who would be hurt in the process. They’ll create a position ….. probably filled by some environmentalist schmuck …. and tell them to make it happen. Come December 2018 “The Plan” will reveal that it would take more money and acreage to realize this goal than the city has available and they’ll waste the money on something else.

Timo Soren
November 6, 2017 4:19 pm

One should point out that the Kenyans refused the clean energy of the Swedish development of VR holding
because no matter how you sliced it: it was too expensive, too intermittent and offered nothing to the people of real value and the bribes where not high enough. So St. Louis, claims to be way smarter, need less reliable electricity or one could argue they were bribed? could we?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Timo Soren
November 6, 2017 4:31 pm

They’re just trying to keep the brothers from tearing stuff up from what I can see, the renewables stuff is fluff for the media.

Reply to  Timo Soren
November 7, 2017 1:12 am

Kenya is busy rolling out electricity to all its citizens under a world bank funded project… and renewables are a large slice of the provision

Reply to  Griff
November 7, 2017 8:02 am

Mostly coal plants, built by China.

November 6, 2017 4:20 pm

Being from Kansas City I can honestly say that St. Louis is the epicenter of virtue signaling in the galaxy.

Pop Piasa
November 6, 2017 4:27 pm

Ameren has a pretty good environmental footprint from the perspective of renewables, I think they will stave off any pressure from something as relatively insignificant as the city council of STL in their total service area. I have inquired of a friend of mine in Ameren management and the present scrubbed coal plants will continue through their economic lifespans. He said their engineering studies show that the region is not conducive to wind or solar power, but hydro is more reliably supported due to sufficient rainfall.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 6, 2017 4:56 pm

Let’s just say that if the city adopts this it will eventually drive more folks to St Louis county and further the ‘ghost town after business hours’ syndrome.

November 6, 2017 4:38 pm

A bit like Canberra ACT Australia.

They say they are aiming for 100% renewables , but I cannot remember seeing a single big wind turbine within the ACT borders. There may be a small solar farm though.

Reply to  AndyG55
November 6, 2017 7:10 pm

There are a couple of solar farms, all well to the south of the city and definitely away from where the governing politicians live but nowhere near enough for our “clean energy”. A private business would be prosecuted for such a scam but hey this is the government, would they lie to us? We deplorable south Canberrrans did not vote a majority for the government so we are to be punished by paying for a white elephant tram that we will never get to see but our taxes are required for and a solar farm near Hume that is a road hazard late afternoons as the light bounces off straight into drivers” faces.

Pop Piasa
November 6, 2017 5:19 pm

STL has bigger survival problems than from where they get their electricity, that speaks for itself.

November 6, 2017 5:36 pm

How is it that these ubiquitous mentally ill nut-jobs are in charge of every damn thing in the Western world? What will it take to get rid of the plague? In the remote possibility we ever got out of this intact as a coherent civilisation liberalism will be as illegal post-Renaissance as holocaust denial currently is in Germany. And nowhere will it apply more than Germany.

November 6, 2017 5:38 pm

An additional item to ponder. Let’s say it costs 12 cents/kwh off peak as it does where I live. 5 cents of that is generation cost. 7 cents is utility overhead: trucks, crews, poles, wire, equipment, etc. Every kwh the utility does not sell, but is required to deliver, costs the utility 7 cents. For a 1000 kwh/month home, the utility loses $70 in unreimbursed overhead. Their only option is to either raise customer rates to cover that loss or send a bill for $70 to each “solar/wind” generating home. The only value of the alternative power sources is to offset generation costs. The overhead costs still exist, no matter how that power was generated. If the renewable people want to be honest, they either need to pay for that lost overhead cost or disconnect their home from the grid and live with their choices. Bear in mind it takes 25 KW to start a 4 ton air conditioner/heatpump, and their rooftop solar produces 5-7 and their inverter is capable of maybe 10. Without the utility connection for motor load startup, they are in a pickle. These are reasons why I like synchronous, reliable, affordable, robust, utility supplied energy. It works. All this other stuff is fantasy.

November 6, 2017 5:40 pm

I assume that the council, churches and other advocates who support this suicide pact are comprised of the 50% of residents who never graduated from HS.

November 6, 2017 6:04 pm

Just a question, because I don’t think it’s been addressed. Or maybe it has, and I missed it.
Is there any acknowledgement in any of these that these wind turbines and their related stuff are subject to severe weather impacts, or that the migratory birds on the flyways (Mississippi River, et al.), which include whooping cranes (endangered) and several other endangered species will be endangered by this utter nonsense?
Or are these proposals mostly just politicians talking through their hats, with no intention of putting these things up anywhere near St. Louis proper?
Thanks for the feedback.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Sara
November 6, 2017 7:16 pm

The only big wind turbine in STL is at the Alberici Construction building by I-170 between Page and Woodson. I haven’t seen it operating much.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Sara
November 6, 2017 9:00 pm

Watch this only if you have a strong stomach.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 8, 2017 6:08 am

Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico:

Reply to  Sara
November 7, 2017 5:03 am

Thank you. I’ve seen that video some place else. It is just plain worrisome, that anyone is dependent on something like that for electricity.

Ironically, I got my electric bill yesterday in the mail, so I’ve checked the per KWh charge, which doesn’t vary a whole lot at $0.05798/KWh. The rest of the charges are what change the most from summer to winter and back again.

There IS a renewable portfolio charge of $0.00189/KWh, which started showing up a very long time ago, and I don’t know if it means that the ComEd is outsourcing to a wind power company, or just investing its bazzillions of gross income dollars in companies like that, as it is not defined and was never announced. Nor do I know, since it showed up with no notice, what this “renewable portforlio” consists of, but as long as the charge remains low, at less than one cent per KWh, but it is listed under “Taxes and Fees” with no defining reference. For one month’s “tax/fee” charge, $0.45 is not unreasonable. $0.45/month from a network of 8.5 million households is +/- $4.25 million, never mind what the company gets from businesses and highrises in Chicago proper. Note: the “renewable portfolio:” tax/fee may be higher in the city itself, and probably is. I could look back through my old bills. I still have a pile of them.

I don’t think there is a wind or solar farm anywhere around here, although I do know that a lot of cell towers outside the big cities (e.g., Chicago, Milwaukee) in farmland rented from farmers is powered by solar cells, not propellers. Or it was the last time I drove through the cornfields. But those are individual setups, not part of a power grid. I’ll see if I can get some time over the winter to get that far out of town and get some pictures of that.

What the article does not say is that St. Louis, Missouri, is separate from St. Louis, Illinois, directly across the river, and not a particularly pleasant place to live. However, there is absolutely nothing barring the Missouri residents from moving across Ole Miss to Illinois, where their electric rates may be a lot cheaper.

Missouri’s other large city is Kansas City, MO, which is across the state line from Kansas City, Kansas. Same thing: if KCMO becomes untenable, the residents can move out of state to some place else not run by #—–#. (Anthony gets mad at me if I use terms like blithering idiots, so I’ll avoid that.)

This is just an excuse to scam money out of people without really accounting for it, and not much else.

November 6, 2017 6:06 pm

“Religious organizations”. Just how much religious organizations money has been invested in renewable energy through their pension funds and/or church endowment funds? Vested interest?

November 6, 2017 6:13 pm

Is anyone on the City Council receiving campaign contributions from the green blob, with major donors like Tom Steyer?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 6, 2017 7:52 pm

They just want to show the world that they can keep up with what’s popular in the rest of civilization (where a wikipedia picture from 2008 would be too old to be current).

John in Oz
November 6, 2017 6:28 pm

In South Australia I am paying 38c/KwH and getting 60.3c/Kwh feed-in tariff (therefore a profit over the year – unfortunate for all those without solar panels but the Government made me do it).

John of Cloverdale WA
November 6, 2017 6:33 pm

As they are finding out in South Australia, the ‘clean energy’ State, industries & businesses are closing and people are hurting with the most expensive electricity in the world.
“Food handouts increasing with skyrocketing power bills in South Australia”:

Robert of Texas
November 6, 2017 7:40 pm

Politicians are rarely the brightest lamps in the house – local politicians are often more like broken bulbs. To even pretend they understand the issues with energy or climate change is silly. They will have convictions, faith, and certitude – but no understanding.

I have no problem with cities declaring they are going to achieve 100% sustainability – as long as the federal tax payers are not stuck with the bill of the messes they create. If St. Louis ends up bankrupt over this ridiculous decision, then it should be left to fail utterly. The reason progressives keep trying this stuff over and over is because there are no consequences for failure – the feds always bail them out.

Same with ridiculous government retirement benefits – if California ends up bankrupt over it then let it fail. Maybe the other states will start seriously looking at their own bank sheets.

Any government official involved in policies that result in bankruptcy should be permanently barred from office. Oh wait, I guess you can’t ban an entire political party…

Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 6, 2017 7:28 pm

Wikipedia: Detroit bankruptcy

Chapter 9 bankruptcy July 18, 2013

Largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history by debt estimated at $18-20 billion.

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Retired Kit P
November 6, 2017 7:54 pm

Paul D and the St. Louis city council have something in common. It is all about agenda.

Seattle also claims claims to be 100% renewable. First off Seattle City Light is a small utility. The city of Seattle is a small part of the larger metropolitan area. Their hydro production can meet the demand on average.

Second, the large coal plant south of Seattle is still pumping out power the last I checked. While the city of Seattle sold their interest, they did not close the plant.

Fourth, the mayor of Seattle like to come to eastern Washington State to protest the nuke plant and hydro on the Snake River.

Finally Seattle City Light has not partnered in any new renewable energy projects.

The bottom line is that it is only about addenda.

There are things that make places a better to live. It is mundane things like good schools, well managed sewage treatment, low taxes, and public safety.

November 6, 2017 8:36 pm

“Why do they to be mandated?”
should be:
Why do they have to be mandated?
Just sayin…
(good article though..!!)

Leo Smith
November 6, 2017 9:45 pm

The answer is to build a nuke underground and plant a big propellor on top as a virtue signalling device.

The greens are stupid enough to believe that.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 6, 2017 10:06 pm

+97% in accordance with IPCC

November 6, 2017 10:05 pm

Why delay this only after their elected mandate is over? There seems to be plenty of interesting choices already.

November 6, 2017 10:24 pm

Hands up!

Don’t heat!

Bruce Cobb
November 7, 2017 7:31 am

Renewables are definitely for the terminally math, physics, and reality-challenged.

Coach Springer
November 7, 2017 8:31 am

Sounds like rationing coupled with punitive prices, punitive taxation and pretend sustainability. Because that’s what is smart and what businesses (that sell power, wind turbines, solar panels, and “smart” meters) and Big Government control obsessives want.

Barbara Skolaut
November 7, 2017 12:56 pm

“One has to wonder if those who promoted and voted on the St. Louis program (and others like it) ever considered these hard realities”

They. Don’t. Care.

Tony Murtha
November 7, 2017 5:02 pm

Be interesting to see the power drain on the proposed system by the dc transit LRT.

Snarling Dolphin
November 7, 2017 8:48 pm

When did urban renewal morph into urban renewables?

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