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Energy Policy Bedmates

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Calling it a “religious fervor on the radical left” Representative Tom Mclintock of California is taking issue with a March 16th memo from DOE Secretary Steven Chu.

The memo deals with the cyber-security of the Power Marketing Administrations in the nation but also calls for those administrations to change rate structures to coerce users into being energy efficient, pay customers to use less energy during peak hours (where are they going to get the cash for that?) help facilitate the use of electric vehicles, and…wait for it…use more wind and solar power.

All indications are that bringing these “incentives” to bear would up the cost of power appreciably. In a story at CNS News, Mark Crisson, the President and CEO of the American Power Association commented that integrating renewables into the grid would increase costs on the consumer.

Republican Doc Hastings of Washington commented that the changes Chu outlined in his memo could adversely impact the price of energy, including energy provided by hydropower. Really? Hydropower? Isn’t that renewable? Doesn’t that have a small carbon footprint? What happened to the support for alternative forms of energy? What happened to the “all-of-the-above” to energy policy so recently touted by this administration?

By the looks of it, if your preferred form of energy, renewable or otherwise is not in bed with the administration it is out in the cold.

And if Secretary Chu has his way, many of us could be colder in the winter to come.

One bright note: Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey, was so exasperated by Republican objections to increased energy costs that he borrowed a page from the Tea Party playbook and accused the Republicans of being socialists, going so far as to say that those objecting to the forced implementation of Obama’s most favored energy sources are “…all socialists right to their core -- socialist power systems and restrictions to free competition.”

This from a man whose signature bill sought to drive energy prices up, hamstring free enterprise and provide more power to the federal government.

So apparently, Secretary Chu would prefer that we instead throw our support behind green energy companies such as Solyndra which took government money and subsequently took a powder, leaving a mess in its wake.

And by mess, I don’t mean badly kept books or even a few coffee cup rings on a desk.

I mean the kind of mess that would theoretically have every Disciple of Gaia screaming for the guillotine from the bottom of their Birkenstocks. 

CBS 5 in San Francisco discovered that Solyndra has not unloaded everything in a “Going Out of Business Sale”.

Namely heavy metals including cadmium, solvents, and lead-contaminated tools all used to construct solar panels are still not disposed of. And the station even found buckets containing unidentified liquid, and barrels marked “Hazardous Waste”.

The materials are in a building leased by Solyndra in Milpitas. A similar site in Fremont is being cleaned but here is the punch line- the building in Milpitas is not being cleaned because Solyndra is not interested in paying for it.

It only makes sense; Solyndra didn’t pay for the start-up, why should it pay for the clean-up?

So the taxpayers bankrolled the start-up. The taxpayers lost their money in the bankruptcy, and now the taxpayers will probably have to foot the bill to clean up the building in Milpitas.

I say fight government with government.

Have the EPA declare it a Superfund site and send the bill to Steve Chu. 

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