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Wasted resources

More from the "green" front.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claims the hundreds of millions of tax dollars he is pouring into green energy technology in Nevada will result in 3,000 new jobs. That’s welcome news to the more than 190,000 unemployed here, unless they’ve read Mr. Green’s report or the economic analysis out of Britain that estimates "for every job created in the UK in renewable energy, 3.7 jobs are lost."

Closer to home is a recent investigative report by the Los Angeles Times. It tells of a plan to convert Los Angeles community college campuses into green energy generators, using taxpayer and electric ratepayer subsidies. Proponents claimed the scheme would generate so much electricity the colleges could disconnect from the grid. It wound up costing taxpayers $10 million and produced very little in energy or savings.

There were grandiose plans to erect solar panels and wind turbines on the nine college campuses. According to the Times, the "plans" alone cost $4 million, but most never made it past the blueprint stage.

As for the windmills, "To date, a single wind turbine has been installed, as a demonstration project. It spins too slowly in average winds to power a 60-watt light bulb."

The big plans ran into an inconvenient reality, as the reporters described it: "With the technology now available, the cost of renewable power exceeds that of energy derived from burning coal and natural gas."

That report out of Britain by Verso Economics and titled "Worth The Candle?" challenges the green energy backers’ assumption that cleaner air is worth the expense.

"In conclusion, policy to promote the renewable electricity sector in both Scotland and the UK is economically damaging," the study says. "Government should not see this as an economic opportunity … but should focus debate … on whether these costs, and the damage done to the environment, are worth the candle in terms of climate change mitigation."

Is it worth it? Ask the unemployed.

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