Costly solar plants actually cost jobs

To the editor:

In her debate with Sen. Dean Heller Thursday, Rep. Shelley Berkley touted clean energy investment to solve Nevada’s job problem, and she said it would reduce energy costs. Sen. Harry Reid made the same pitch in pushing development of the Crescent Dunes solar plant in Tonopah and a Chinese solar plant near Laughlin. Same as back then, Rep. Berkley is hoping voters won’t look at the facts.

Electricity produced by these plants is so expensive, the drain on consumers actually results in lost jobs. Crescent Dunes electricity is 9 cents per kilowatt-hour more expensive than power generated by natural gas. That means about $90 million a year added to power bills, equivalent to a loss of a couple of thousand permanent jobs from our economy. Compare that to the half-dozen jobs added to run the plant.

Rep. Berkley said she would add jobs with clean energy and reduce energy prices. If the voters believe that, they’re in for a major disappointment.

TOM KELLER

HENDERSON

Airspace taking

To the editor:

President Obama has been staying in town for a campaign appearance and to prepare for Wednesday’s debate with Mitt Romney. Because of this, the Secret Service will be imposing airspace restrictions, rendering it impossible to operate air tours over the Grand Canyon.

Either the Democratic National Committee or the federal Treasury – preferably the former – ought to compensate the tour operators for lost revenue.

STEVEN P. HAVER

LAS VEGAS

Patients turned away

To the editor:

I’m a local physician who practices almost exclusively in hospitals. Last week I was involved in two cases where patients in my hospital could have been better served by being transferred to University Medical Center. Both patients were privately insured with Medicare.

Although there were no financial disincentives for accepting the patients (my hospital would have paid the transfer expenses) both were refused.

Doesn’t UMC lose tens of millions of dollars a year in uninsured, uncompensated care? Don’t the taxpayers of Clark County have to make up the difference? To me it seemed like a win/win situation for the patients and the county.

I’m just wondering if the upper level administration at UMC and the county commissioners, who oversee UMC, are aware of this practice.

MARK McKENZIE, M.D.

LAS VEGAS

Life without government

To the editor:

In Steve Sebelius’ Sept. 23 column, he observed that we all depend on government. We all know that’s wrong, but let’s assume he’s right. Don’t we then owe everything to the government? Shouldn’t we give all our money to the government and let them redistribute to us our fair share?

Mr. Sebelius pointed out that we depend on government to protect us and our property. I would ask how that worked out for our ambassador and the other three Americans killed at our Libyan consulate. We also depend on government to promote job growth, yet the Obama administration turned down the Keystone XL pipeline in favor of Solyndra and other solar companies that went bankrupt, costing us billions of dollars.

Tell me, Mr. Sebelius, how did the settlers who crossed the plains get their welfare and unemployment checks, and how did they survive without them?

JAMES LOEPER

HENDERSON

Symphony ignored

To the editor:

Each year at about this time, we witness the ignoring of the finest home-grown culture that any town or city should embrace and support.

I was embarrassed and insulted by the nearly empty concert hall at UNLV on Sept. 25 when one of the finest university symphony orchestras in the nation took the stage. Perhaps the performance of the UNLV Symphony Orchestra suffers from the attitude of many that it’s not the place to be seen.

Some patrons support the Las Vegas Symphony simply as a place to be seen by the elite, and they don’t give a hoot about the quality of the music. If they really cared about symphony music, they could not ignore a performance of this quality – which, incidentally, is provided at about 20 percent of the cost of the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Let’s be happy that we have two groups of such supreme quality and support them both.

JIM EMBREE

LAS VEGAS

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