TWO YEARS OF RUIN
A few nice government solar rebate images I found:
TWO YEARS OF RUIN
Image by SS&SS
With days to go before the Nov. 2 election, this quick, eight-question quiz will test your ability to think and talk Obamanomics.
1. In talking Obamanomics, when you say "tax cuts," what you really mean are: (a) transfer payments to people who pay no taxes, (b) tax reductions to actual taxpayers, or (c) the Marxist belief that in the fullness of time, the all-powerful state will "wither away."
2. Real tax cuts made to date by the Obama administration add up to: (a) .2 trillion, (b) zero, or (c) any number that pops into Barbara Boxer’s head.
3. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. economy has added or subtracted how many jobs: (a) plus 3 million, based on computer models not of what happened, but what was supposed to happen, or (b) minus 2.5 million, based on the actual data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
4. Over the next two years, "hundreds of thousands of new American jobs" are most likely to be created by: (a) the transition to a "green" economy (through heavy federal subsidies for new wind and solar plants, combined with ,500 income tax rebate checks for purchasers of the new Chevy "Volt" and other hopelessly overpriced electric cars), or (b) a normal cyclical recovery, if it is ever allowed to happen.
5. President Obama deserves personal credit for: (a) staving off the onset of the next Great Depression, or (b) presiding over the weakest recovery from an economic downturn in more than 60 years.
6. In adding coverage to 30 million uninsured and extending costly new health care mandates to all insurance plans, Obamacare will: (a) allow everyone who wants to keep his current health insurance plan to do so, or (b) play havoc with existing health care plans and lead to the elimination of the popular Medicare Advantage program for seniors.
7. As a result of placing a sixth of the U.S. economy under federal control, Obamacare will: (a) be revenue-neutral, not adding "a single dime to the deficit," or (b) cause premiums to soar and federal deficits to mount, and (c) give government bureaucrats ever-increasing power to ration health care as the only available means of containing government-contrived and government-mandated cost growth. (Hint: this question has two correct answers.)
8. The greatest threat to the future of the American economy lies in: (a) "blind faith in the market," or (b) blind faith in the failed policies of Obamanomics.
For spendthrift Democrats to go around claiming that they have "cut taxes" is to engage in the most deliberate and outrageous obfuscation — throwing dirt in the eyes of an American public. What Obama and the Democrats have done, in the course of running up .7 trillion in federal deficits and spending nearly 25% of GDP over the past two years, is to put checks in the mail to people who, for the most part, pay no income tax — meaning that these payments from the federal government out of borrowed money are indistinguishable from welfare checks. The Obama administration has not cut tax rates for real taxpayers and has no intention of doing so (with huge tax increases soon to take effect with the expiration of the earlier round of George W. Bush tax cuts).
But none of this stops Democratic Party stalwarts from playacting the part of favoring tax cuts. On CNN, California Senator Boxer made the laughable claim that she had supported ".2 trillion in tax cuts" through the stimulus bill — which would suggest that the entire stimulus bill, and more, was devoted to tax cuts. In fact, she began her interview with Wolf Blitzer in claiming she had supported .2 trillion in tax cuts.
Since Obama came to office in January 2009, the unemployment has risen from just under 8% to close to 10% — where it has stayed for the past year. There has been a net loss of about 2.5 million jobs. Even so, the Obama administration continues to claim that it has "created or saved" about 3 million jobs. That is a meaningless metric, which is not based on any evidence. It comes from plugging data on government spending into a Keynesian computer model and assuming (against a great weight of contrary evidence) that every dollar spent would provide .50 in economic growth and job creation. It is merely a restatement of what the target was at the outset of the stimulus program, as opposed to an objective measure of what the program has actually achieved.
In recent months, President Obama and Vice President Biden have gone about the country talking up a few Potemkin Village-type projects (mostly wind and solar energy projects) as shining examples of "the jobs of the future." But the cost per job created in these projects has been shown to exceed million — meaning that the expenditure has no doubt eliminated more jobs than it has created through the government-directed diversion of scarce resources to unproductive enterprise.
Not since the Great Depression has there been so little bounce to any U.S. recovery from an economic downturn. Not since the Great Depression has this country been saddled with a government with so little faith in the market economy and so much hostility toward private enterprise.
November 2, 2010 is not destined to be a date that will be celebrated by devotees of progressivism. Across the country, Democrats have gone silent on Obamacare. This is one part of Obamanomics they’d rather forget — at least for now. Obamacare includes a huge premium subsidy program, which would have the effect of taking money from those in the top quintile of earnings (beginning at ,000 for a family of four) and channeling it to those in the bottom four quintiles. That is how this government proposes to wage war on the "rich," which really means anyone who is even moderately successful in an economic sense.
Look for a quieter, gentler brand of progressivism between now and Nov. 2. You will hear of Obama’s support for "lean" and "efficient" government and "tax cuts" for people and businesses. Pay no attention to any of this. It is the voice of Obamanomics running scared; of Obamanomics that dares not speak its name. It’s not the real deal.
If you were able to man up and answer a) to all the questions posed in my quiz, you may advance to the head of the line — putting one hand over your heart (knowing you have done your bit to cause "the rise of the oceans to slow and our planet to heal"), and extending the other to collect a ,500 tax rebate against your purchase of the Chevy Volt from Government Motors. In the blind faith you have put in Obamanomics, you may even be forgiven for thinking you are responsible for saving someone’s job.
FULL STORY HERE —— spectator.org/archives/2010/10/21/obamanomics-101
Ontarios Electricity Subsidy Undercuts Conservation
Image by 350.org
Ontario’s Electricity Subsidy Undercuts Conservation
Toronto, June 14, 2011 – Ontario’s Environmental
Commissioner says the Ontario Clean Energy
Benefit (OCEB) is a perverse incentive that could
endanger the energy conservation savings the government is hoping to achieve.
In his Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report
- 2010 (Volume One): Managing a Complex Energy
System, released today, Gord Miller says "The 10
per cent rebate on electricity bills is an
artificial subsidy on the price of electricity so
it encourages consumers to use more." A study by
energy analysts estimated that the OCEB could
wipe out a third of the planned conservation savings over the next four years.
Miller praises the government for introducing
time-of-use pricing that encourages households
and businesses to shift their consumption away
from periods of high demand, but noted that price
subsidies undercut this development. Prices will
necessarily rise because of a backlog of
transmission investments and new generation
projects. "Unfortunately, the government hasn’t
addressed the issue of rising prices in a way
that prioritizes conservation," says Miller.
"Instead it has continued the failed policy
approach of the past where the government’s only
answer to higher electricity prices is to
artificially lower electricity prices."
If the government feels the need to help
consumers with the higher energy costs it could
make the benefit a fixed amount, instead of tying
it to consumption levels. "That way," says
Miller, "the Clean Energy Benefit would be less
of a disincentive to electricity conservation."
Miller is also concerned about delays in rolling
out Ontario’s important Conservation and Demand
Management (CDM) programs. Between now and 2014,
electric utilities, supported by the Ontario
Power Authority, are supposed to reduce overall
electricity use, as well as peak demand.
"Province-wide conservation programs were all
supposed to begin in January 2011," says the
Commissioner, "but the delays mean we will miss opportunities this year."
The Environmental Commissioner is also
questioning a recent decision by the Ontario
Energy Board to freeze conservation budgets for
Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution,
particularly at a time when the government has
cancelled its own conservation programs for gas
consumers. "The Board has too narrow a view about
the benefits that will come with increased
conservation. It is ignoring the avoided
infrastructure costs and reduced greenhouse gas
emissions that will come with reductions in consumption of natural gas."
To watch the Commissioner’s pre-recorded comments, please visit:
For more information, contact:
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
416-325-3371 / 416-819-1673
For French language release and bilingual support, please contact:
Jean-Marc Filion, 705-492-6997
The report is available for download at www.eco.on.ca
Aussi disponible en français
The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is the
province’s independent environmental watchdog.
Appointed by the Legislative Assembly, the ECO
monitors and reports on compliance with the
Environmental Bill of Rights, the government’s
progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and
its actions towards achieving greater energy conservation in Ontario.
Managing a Complex Energy System:
Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report – 2010 (Volume One)
Under the Environmental Bill of Rights,1993, the
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO)
reports annually to the Legislative Assembly of
Ontario on the province’s progress in energy
conservation. Managing a Complex Energy System,
the first volume of the 2010 energy conservation
report, reviews policy developments that occurred
over the year, highlights concerns with the
current policy agenda and outlines
recommendations to further conservation in Ontario.
The Long-Term Energy Plan
In 2010, the government restarted the development
of the Integrated Power System Plan by issuing
the Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) and a Supply Mix
Directive. The ECO is pleased the government
acted on a previous recommendation to establish
electricity consumption targets in addition to
peak demand reduction targets. This will reduce
the need for new generating stations,
transmission and distribution lines, and better
reflects the design of many of the conservation
programs available. However, the ECO feels the
LTEP did not adequately explain the difficult
trade-offs necessary when choosing among types of
generation. Furthermore, the LTEP is an energy
plan in name but is an electricity plan in
reality. Ontario needs an energy plan and a
multi-fuel conservation strategy that addresses all energy sources. (Page 11)
Several changes in fiscal policy have affected
the cost of electricity, including the 13%
Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). As a result,
electricity is now treated like other goods and
services, sending a more accurate price signal
about its cost. However, with the Ontario Clean
Energy Benefit the government has essentially
reversed the impact of the HST and restored an
artificial price subsidy on electricity, creating
a perverse incentive that undermines
conservation. Changes were also made to the
Global Adjustment to charge very high prices
during a few hours of very high demand for large
electricity consumers (more than 5 MW). This
change is essentially a form of critical peak
pricing. In general, the ECO supports this
incentive to reduce peak demand and urges the
government to expand critical peak pricing to
smaller consumers and adjust some inequities in
the allocation of costs in the Global Adjustment. (Page 21)
A New Conservation Framework
A new Conservation and Demand Management (CDM)
framework for electric utilities has been
implemented for 2011 to 2014. For the first time
utilities have been mandated to meet conservation
targets based on a provincial target of 1,330 MW
and 6,000 GWh. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
developed a CDM Code to govern the utilities’ CDM
activities. The ECO is concerned that the current
CDM framework may discourage co-operation with
other utilities or organizations and is
unnecessarily restricting the role of utilities
and their ability for innovation. The current CDM
framework is set to expire on December 31, 2014.
To ensure momentum is sustained a review and
preparation for the next CDM framework should be
completed before this end date. (Page 31)
Conservation Budget Freeze
On March29, 2011, the OEB announced that the
conservation budgets for Ontario’s natural gas
utilities would be limited to their existing
levels for the next three years. This was a
surprising decision as both utilities and Board
staff supported an increase in conservation
spending. In addition, the Minister of Energy had
also urged the OEB to consider expanding natural
gas conservation efforts. The decisions of both
the government and the OEB to restrict
conservation spending will stall needed growth in
conservation programs. (Page 39)
Smart grid is the term used to describe the next
generation of the electricity delivery system.
Fundamental to this initiative is a two-way
communication network that will allow consumers
to more effectively manage their electricity use
and also increase the opportunities for demand
response and distributed renewable energy
generation. If the smart grid is to succeed, the
ECO believes that one organization with a
perspective of the electricity system as a whole
should guide all organizations with grid-related
responsibilities to the common goal of
modernizing the smart grid. The ECO also feels
incentives should be provided to undertake
infrastructure investments that reduce
distribution line loss to overcome the higher
cost of efficient infrastructure and ensure that
appropriate long-term system planning occurs. (Page 43)
Barriers to Alternative Energy
Solar thermal systems, which use solar energy
directly rather than convert it into electricity,
are generally more energy efficient and deliver
greater energy and cost savings than solar
photovoltaic (PV)systems. The provincial
government’s cancellation of incentives to
install solar thermal systems for homeowners,
combined with the OPA’s enticing microFIT
program, has created a perverse incentive for
homeowners to install solar PV systems over solar
thermal. The ECO believes both types of
technologies have value and both should be encouraged. (Page 53)
The report makes the following recommendations:
1. The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy
clarify how the peak demand and consumption
targets contained in the Long Term Energy Plan
and Conservation and Demand Management Directive are measured.
2. The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy
build upon the work completed in the Long-Term
Energy Plan and produce a comprehensive multi-fuel energy plan.
3. The ECO recommends that the Ministries of
Energy, Revenue, and Finance improve the design
of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit so that any
transitional assistance on electricity bills oes
not act as a disincentive to conservation.
4. The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy
initiate the next Conservation and Demand
Management framework, which would include
guaranteed funding, by January 1, 2014.
5. The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy
clarify the appropriate roles of the government
and gas utilities in funding natural gas
conservation, with the goal of increasing overall funding.
6. The ECO recommends that the Ontario Energy
Board encourage and facilitate smart grid
investments that reduce line losses, putting
these investments on an equal footing with conservation investments.
7. The ECO recommends that the Ministry of Energy
adjust the relative financial incentives
available for solar thermal and solar
photovoltaic in residential buildings to
appropriately reflect the economic and
environmental benefits of each technology.
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CEO Dustin Gellman presents GreenPoint’s Austin Green Building Economics Course with CCIM
Image by GreenPoint Partners
Course material highlights included:
- Quantitative analysis for solar and energy efficiency projects
- LEED & Energy Star certification
- Project financing options
- Government & utility rebates
- Industry trends & best practices
- Action steps for launching a sustainability services practice at your company