R-J conveniently forgets there’s no coal in Nevada2012-01-09 04:45:00
by Rocky Fernandez, CEP Communications Director
Just a few days into 2012, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s editorial board was already back to its old habits of nay-saying Nevada’s clean energy economy and obscuring the facts about the state’s polluting and clean energy resources. In an editorial praising Montana’s current economy, it says this about Nevada’s energy future:
In addition, energy development -- save the "green" kind that requires massive subsidies and rarely generates a profit -- has become taboo in the Silver State. While Montana isn't shy about touting that it's No. 1 in the nation in coal deposits, viable plans to build job-creating, coal-fired power plants that meet current environmental standards go by the wayside in Nevada thanks to political correctness regarding fossil fuels.
The fact is that while Montana has large coal deposits to extract, Nevada has no coal or natural gas to exploit, and only a small amount of oil. Nevada buys coal and gas from other states, sending over $1 billion a year into their economies, and out of ours. Those coal-fired plants would have had to buy their fuel from states like Montana!
For the Silver State, the only kind of “energy development” we can rely on for economic growth are is putting our solar, geothermal, wind, and energy efficiency potential to work, while keeping our ratepayer dollars here in our local economy.
The editorial also takes a potshot at subsidies to clean energy, while ignoring reports published last year (see them here, here, and here) showing that polluting fuels have enjoyed massive subsidies and tax breaks for decades-in coal’s case, for nearly 100 years. Without early, and seemingly never-ending subsidies originally granted to boost extraction and distribution, would those kinds of energies be as profitable as they are today, or competitive with cleaner fuels?
Last but not least, despite Montana’s coal deposits, they too are in a race with the rest of the West to win in the clean energy economy. With a Renewable Portfolio Standard of 15% by 2015 and several policies driving clean tech development, Big Sky Country's going to put their renewable energy to work, creating jobs and protecting their scenic areas and resorts from long-term pollution impacts.
As Billings, MT resident and energy consultant Russ Doty wrote in the High County News, “When it comes to subsidies, coal wins.”It makes one wonder how the R-J goes about picking its facts.