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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

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    The Problem with Green Energy Policy (none / 0) (#7)
    by Seth9 on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:00:59 AM EST
    Green energy sources are actually good ideas from both an environmental and economic standpoint. New green technologies are economically beneficial over the long term because new solar and wind technologies are now vastly more efficient than older models. They still require high initial investments, but over time they actually save money because there are no recurring fuel costs. The killer used to be that solar and wind plants used to incur expensive maintenance/replacement costs before they made back the initial investment. With newer, more efficient technologies, this is no longer the case.

    Now, green energy policy often fails to work economically or environmentally because it subsidizes technology that doesn't make sense. For instance, the federal government has heavily subsidized the production of ethanol produced from corn, as it can be used for fuel. This seems to be a great idea on the face of things, because we're growing fuel, as opposed to importing it. However, this ethanol is produced from corn grown using hydrocarbon-based fertilizers (i.e. oil-based fertilizers). This means that we use oil to produce ethanol that we then use to replace oil in gasoline, only we're replacing less oil than was used to fertilize the corn in the first place. This means that our government is subsidizing a process by which we throw away oil at great expense and calling it green energy policy.

    The point of this story is to illustrate that green energy is not necessarily a loser economically, but green energy policy is very poorly constructed. The question, in my opinion, is whether Snyder would push a sensible green energy policy, or follow in Granholm's footsteps of good intentions and failed execution.

    *In the case of "green" ethanol production, the primary backers of the subsidy are agriculture lobbyists, rather than environmentalists. And environmentalists consider the economy to be a secondary matter to safeguarding our planet, which isn't necessarily a terrible thing in principle (although they do go way overboard).

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