Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Obama Bluff - Speech, Copper Mountain Solar 1 energy plant, Boulder City, Nevada - $4 BILLION Oil subsidies?

President Obama touted his success in energy production and job-creation Wednesday at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 energy plant, a facility in Boulder City, Nevada that employs 5 full-time employees - according to the Nevada Journal.

Excerpts of the President's speech with additional footage and commentary can be seen in the video below. The video also debunks the President's factual distortions about a supposed $4 billion in tax subsidies for the big oil companies. For a more thorough refutation of the President's allegation, including additional information on Obama's disastrous policies with regards to domestic oil production, see the Scientific American.

The Nevada Journal reported that funding for the Copper Mountain solar facility [which is owned by San Diego-based energy company Sempra] included $42 million in federal-government tax credits and $12 million in tax-rebate commitments from the state of Nevada, which amounts to $10.8 million in tax-dollar subsidies per employee, a significant return on investment, indeed!

The Nevada Journal also notes that despite the President's assertion that green-energy investment will lower America’s energy costs and reduce the country’s dependency on foreign oil, renewables, in Boulder City, have produced no lower energy costs.
Instead, in late 2009, the city approved a 35 percent rate hike, while power generated by Copper Mountain is to go to Southern California — rather than serve Nevadans whose taxes helped finance the plant.

Nevada received over $1 billion in federal “stimulus” funds for energy and environmental projects, yet state ratepayers still pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country. Recently, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission approved yet another rate increase.

Solar plants aren’t the only government-funded energy projects in Nevada that haven't lived up to their proponents’ promises. The Reno Gazette-Journal recently reported that seven local windmills that cost taxpayers $1 million to install have only saved the City of Reno $2,785 in electricity costs over their 18 months of existence.

Nationally, solar energy is unlikely to help the president achieve his goal of lower energy costs. Geoffrey Lawrence, deputy policy director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, the free-market think tank that publishes Nevada Journal, noted in his Solutions 2013 report that, even according to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar-PV energy will cost three and a half times more than energy from traditional sources such as coal.