Self-Serving Special Interests

I just loved Rusty Schmit’s article on the Environmental Improvement Board’s supposed “need” to cap carbon emissions. According to Schmitt, who happens to run a solar company based in Albuquerque, reducing carbon emissions to 25% before 1990 levels would have an undeniably positive impact on New Mexico’s economy. He cites a study from the liberal “Center for American Progress” to back up his claims.

I read through the CAP study and found nothing convincing to back up Schmit’s claim. Basically, it was a rehashing of optimistic national job growth estimates, most of which have been put together by supporters of wind and solar. What I’d like to know is this: “If the EIB cap of 25% below 1990 levels will be so good for the economy, then why the heck are we stopping at 25% below 1990 levels?” Why not really boost job growth by eliminating carbon usage entirely?

The fact is that carbon-based energy sources, coal, oil, and natural gas, to name just a few, are far more cost-efficient and, because they are cheaper and more reliable, they will raise our living standards far more effectively than a radical shift to “renewables.” There is simply no way for the special interests to refute the fact that doing something for 50% of the cost — and that is being generous to the renewable folks who will have to reach into far less optimal solar and wind sources to build necessary capacity — is worse for the economy than doubling costs.

Of course, when your business depends on government subsidies and intervention in the economy, you can do amazing tricks of logic.