On the 17th, I wrote about Four Questions For Democrats. On the 18th, I wrote the First Answer on Western Climate Initiative. Let's look today at the second question:
2.Would it stimulate new technology investment across the region, especially on carbon capture and sequestration technologies, so that the West can participate in, and benefit from, the deployment of these technologies?
I know that there's a rush on the national level to nationalize industries. The two currently under assault today are the banking and automobile industry. In Oregon, and the members of the Western Climate Initiative, there is a push to "nationalize" the energy industry. If you're old enough to remember, as customers of private energy companies--PGE and Pacific Power--we've had to fight off efforts to fight for these companies repeatedly from attempts to create Public Utility Districts (PUD). The PUD movement was closely allied with efforts to remove PGE's investment in the Trojan Power Plant.
The ultimate problem for folks like Governor Kulongoski and his band of Merry Men in Salem is that technology doesn't spring from the forehead. When you look at how and where money flows, investments take place when the investor views the possibility and probablity of higher returns for his investment. By taking increased baseload plants out of the equation, and relying only on more expensive and unreliable sources of energy, the emphasis of the Governor's plan attempts to avoid Greenhouse Gas (GHG) as the only available path for future energy investment. That is, by cancelling proposed baseload plants--including two previously planned coal plants in Oregon, the state, and "our" partners in the WCI have pre-empted the technology shifts that would allow us to take advantage of carbon capture and sequestration technologies. I am not going to argue here whether GHG or Man Made Global Warming claims are valid or not. It isn't important to attempt that argument here. If you are a Democrat and believe and are in a majority, you can believe in whatever it may be that you want to believe. I can't stop that.
What I can attempt to do is put out for you the following: by avoiding the reasonable investment in baseload power plants, you are creating a barrier to the development of reasonable technologies that would meet your goals for sequestration of GHGs...while providing for low-cost sources of energy. But the more curious observation is, are these same zealots--those who adhere to WCI--aware of their own inconsistencies? I cite, as example, the Klamath Cogeneration Project.
The hatred of private capital motivates many on the Left. When governments do a thing, no matter how big or small, from the national level to the community level, the things a government do are "good" things. Just as the advocates of PUDs and opponents of nuclear energy fought private investment, these same advocates support the efforts of public agencies to spend "our" money on projects that lack participation by private, greedy capitalists. The failure of these projects should redline such projects in the future. How is it that we want private companies to invest in technology when it is in fact a wall of stupid regulation and mandates that face companies that attempt to invest in energy production in this state?
Much of the opposition to technology and investment in Oregon is based upon ideology. Public ownership is good. Private ownership is bad. Creating incentives for carbon capture and sequestration technologies is a victim of this inconsistency of our Democrat brothers and sisters in Salem. Are they making investment in energy more attractive in the state of Oregon? Or, since money leaks to low-cost investments with higher returns, will those dollars instead find homes in states where energy costs and technologies are encouraged? Will Nevada and Idaho find themselves the beneficiaries of WCI idiocy?
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