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Environment: Brown energy  

Credit:  By: Times-Dispatch Staff | Times-Dispatch | www2.timesdispatch.com 31 July 2012 ~~

Government at both the federal and state level has lavished billions on “green” energy, including hundreds of millions on biomass plants – some of which have had to turn around and pay back part of that money in environmental fines.

One green-energy plant in California, for instance, enjoyed the benefit of a “public good” surcharge on utility bills, reports The Wall Street Journal – to the tune of $6 million. Meanwhile, it was burning plastic and rubber. Another plant owned by the same company racked up almost $2 million in violations – after receiving roughly $3 million in state subsidies.

Not all of these biomass plants are burning “literally tons of illegal materials,” as one environmental regulator put it. Others were built during the last green-energy craze, in the Jimmy Carter years, and can’t meet today’s far more stringent regulatory standards. “You’ve got to pull a rabbit out of a hat” to generate power within current constraints on nitrogen-oxide emissions, says the owner of another biomass plant.

Meanwhile, wind-energy farms are turning birds by the thousand into red mist, and three environmental groups have sued the federal government to stop a major solar-power project in the Mojave Desert (it would be bad for tortoises and other wildlife, they say).

Green energy, it seems, is often rather brown. Yet Washington keeps throwing money at it, adding to the ocean of federal red ink. No wonder taxpayers are feeling blue.

Source:  By: Times-Dispatch Staff | Times-Dispatch | www2.timesdispatch.com 31 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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