There is nothing more humorous for a weekend than watching Blue Virginia go for the underpants gnome theory of energy policy.
In short, the game runs as follows:
Step 1: Energy Efficiency
Step 2: ???
Step 3: PROFIT.
…only problem is, they have absolutely no idea how they are going to get from Step 1 to Step 3.
So when you see something like this where Blue Virginia is literally cheerleading a fantasy land where energy gnomes literally come up with 100% of Virginia’s energy needs through pure efficiencies… well, you kinda wish they would stop turning on their computers and start picking up a physics textbook.
Here’s my favorite line of crazy:
“ACEEE estimates that if the Commonwealth placed a cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or enacted another policy to reduce carbon pollution 30% by 2030, Virginia could realize 100% of pollution reductions through a suite of energy efficiency policies and programs.” (That’s right; all of Dominion’s bull**** about needing to build new power plants, run new pipelines and power lines through Virginia, etc. is…well, bull****, as I said. The first step for Dominion, before they even THINK about building new power plants, should be to max out on energy efficiency. After that, we should talk about adding solar and offshore wind power.)
By bull**** (we’re adults — it’s OK to say bullshit) one really has to suppose that Lowell Feld really intends nuclear energy.
…because frankly, there’s no other way to power the transition to sustainable energy other than creating a grid of clean and reliable nuclear energy to supplement wind, solar, and environmentalist pixie dust that the low-IQ set seems to think makes the lights go on and off.
Here’s something you might not know. Nuclear energy isn’t just a sustainable resource in the sense that it emits zero CO2 into the atmosphere. In fact, it is proving to be a renewable resources as well.
The idea of nuclear energy as part of the sustainable energy framework isn’t a one-off either — not only does solar and wind have a battery problem in terms of storage, nuclear energy is a perfectly compatible solution to maintaining a power grid until we arrive at a “smart grid” where battery transfers can occur during peak usage (i.e. when Blue Virginia writers get home and opine on energy policy) and slowly recharge during the day.
Here’s the real problem for “energy efficiency” as a solution: (1) the technology just isn’t there yet and (2) such a drive tends towards energy de-ficiency policies as we continue to exponentially develop.
If you look at nations such as China and India while looking at the explosive growth and development of sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, what the high-cost crowd is effectively telling them is that they must remain in a condition of poverty so that the West (America and Europe) can continue to enjoy the benefits of breaking up complex carbon chains — namely gasoline and coal.
Energy efficiency might as well be the 15-hour work week. Sounds great to the folks who can afford the astronomically higher prices, but is terrible policy for those struggling to afford to become liberals.
Which leads the high-cost crowd with only one alternative if they intend to struggle forward towards their dimly-lit energy efficiency (powered by kale) future: nuclear energy.
The other “solutions” put forward are all the same tried-and-failed solutions of the past. Balkanization of services only drives rates up (thank you, Ma Bell). Energy efficiency without a path forward only makes energy more expensive for the working poor. All the feelz makes great politics, but it’s terrible policy.
For one, I’m glad to see Lowell Feld and the anti-energy folks endorse either astronomically higher rates to fuel their tofu-driven dreamworld, or stand proudly and firmly behind a massive expansion of the Lake Anna Nuclear Plant along with five or six new locations — economics and all that.
Never quite been their strong suit, but what can you do other than point it out?