Tapping into alarmist rhetoric on climate change and peak oil, bureaucrats at all levels of gov’t are using this so-called crisis to their political advantage. Of course, this type of rent-seeking collusion is starting to give off an odor in North Carolina, too. Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guildford) and the renewables gang are crying wolf to pull the wool over our eyes (pardon the mixed cliches).
Legislators would like to insist that (the latest figure is 12 percent) of the NC energy portfolio comes from renewables like solar, wind, and – eh hem – hog waste. What this means is the government has a way indirectly to subsidize un-economical energy industries in our state and let you pick up the tab. Will this help to mitigate climate change? Absolutely not. Is the motivation climate change mitigation to start with? Hardly. If it were, the G.A. would simply ask that energy companies meet targets, not pick out specific renewables to be included in the “energy portfolio”.
When you start hearing about hog waste, firewood, and other N.C.-specific renewable sources, you know there are interest groups benefitting directly. And those interests groups will in turn help to ensure that the bearers of these government goodies – like Rep. Harrison – get re-elected. It’s a twisted game. And this statewide boondoggle is sure to drive up energy costs and create zombie industries of “renewables companies” dependent on these regulations and subsidies for their existence. (See more here.) Such zombie industries do nothing but pull resources from the real economy, not to mention energy consumers like you and me.
This is only the beginning. The climate change pigs (and N.C. pigwaste purveyors) are coming to the trough. Pricey Harrison and her ilk are priming the government teat. Why? Because there is nothing like a crisis to justify the existence of corporate welfare. And there’s nothing like special interests to help bureaucrats stay in power. (But what about stopping climate change?!?! intones the chorus of True Believers…Before we get too excited, let’s get a few questions answered first.) -Max Borders