Monday, February 1, 2010

Are Green Power Programs a Scam?

"Are Green Power Programs a Scam?" ask journalist Laura McCandlish in the pages of left-wing journal Mother Jones. She concludes that if they are not exactly a scam, they do virtually nothing to produce green energy. McCandlish examines the green power program of Pacific Power and finds that for every dollar spend on green power, about 33% does not go to purchase power produced by windmills and solar panels but goes to support staff and publicity for the program and 19% goes for marketing. The remainder mostly goes to purchase renewable energy credits (REC's) which may or may not be double sold and double counted. It is a very expensive way to subsidize green energy. To learn more about why one may conclude that Green Power programs are a scam, follow the link above.

We have our own Green Power program here in Nashville and I have family members that pay higher than necessary electric bills in order to purchase green power. I don't know if our green power program is a scam or not but I would assume they all operate pretty much like Pacific Power. Those purchasing Green Power may not be doing much to promote green power, but they are making themselves feel virtuous and that may be worth the extra money they are paying for their electricity.

It is not easy being green. There is so much nonsense, suggestions for meaningless symbolic feel- good measures, green washing, and out and out scams that it is hard being green.

As I have said in a recent post, I don't know if global warming is real or not. The climate gate scandal, glaciergate, and recent reputable dissenting voices have caused me to become more skeptical. So, while I don't know if global warming is a hoax or not, carbon off set markets, green marketing, and green power is pretty much proven to be a scam.

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