EDITORIAL: Conserving cash

Government isn’t structured to run efficiently. It’s a rare moment when the private sector doesn’t outperform the bureaucrats who would purport to be our betters, even in areas dominated by government hype. Like being eco-friendly.

The Las Vegas Business Press highlighted nine local honorees for doing a particularly good job of being eco-friendly on several fronts, be it saving food destined for trash bins, conserving electricity or water, or finding creative ways to recycle myriad items — even cars and buildings. At the annual Business Press Green Awards, held July 18, the winners included Opportunity Village, Simple Environmental Service Group, SA Recycling,, sustainability advocate Jennifer Turchin, the Springs Preserve, Valley Electric Association, Three Square Food Bank and BUNNYFish Studio.

Of course, there are many more entities and individuals going green throughout the region, and all should be lauded for their efforts.

Equally as important, these businesses and advocates often do their good deeds without becoming another drain on the taxpaying public. We live in an era of of ridiculous government subsidies for all manner of unproven, inefficient or entirely impractical green energy or eco-friendly projects. Think about Solyndra, a solar panel production company propped up by a $535 million government loan — taxpayer money — that went bankrupt in 2011. The majority of that money went to build a $300 million plant in Fremont, Calif., for which the government recouped only $90 million when it sold the plant in 2012 — less than 30 cents on the dollar.

Massive solar plants, such as the one just south of Primm, and wind farms also vacuum up a boatload of federal subsidies — while being quite un-eco-friendly, killing all sorts of birds and creatures — while generating relatively small amounts of power the public is forced to purchase at an unaffordable price.

So as much as the Green Awards winners deserve kudos for their eco-friendly efforts, perhaps their greatest feat is conserving something green that we can all appreciate: money.

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