Marin County, land of holier than thou liberals, embraced the whole notion of climate change with the typical fervor rich, pampered people can apply to their pet projects. The local schools inundate the kids with “Green” messages (inducing fear along the way), and people slap various earth friendly bumperstickers on the BWMs, SUVs, and other Marin-approved cars. Those who are willing to put their money where their mouths are drive hybrids and have solar panels on their roofs. It’s all very nice.
Except that it’s also all very expensive. The local newspaper reports that three towns in Marin County are refusing to join the environmentalist-approved, PG&E sponsored Marin County Energy authority:
CORTE MADERA’s decision to not join the Marin Clean Energy authority is hardly a surprise given the recession and uncertainties surrounding local revenue.Even with the county putting up $330,000 to cover startup costs, Corte Madera council members decided the venture is too risky.
Novato and Larkspur also have decided to stay out of the local initiative that’s being touted as a major local way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
What’s even more bizarre than this explosion of common sense is that the Marin Independent Journal, which is the notoriously liberal local paper, approves of the towns’ caution:
If a city decides to be part of Marin Clean Energy, homes and businesses there automatically will receive their electricity from the new public power authority, which hopes to secure green electricity. PG&E will continue to deliver the power through its grid and take care of billing.
Customers can opt out and stay with PG&E. We have advocated an “opt-in” system, but supporters of Marin Clean Energy say that the business model won’t work unless power customers are automatically switched. Research has shown that too few people will switch from PG&E if given a true choice. So the plan is to have government make the choice for you.
Marin Clean Energy leaders say customers will have ample opportunity to opt out. Still, the essentially unilateral conversion of local customers to a new, municipal source of electrical power seems an overbearing use of political authority. We are in favor of developing more clean energy, but we believe voters should be asked whether they want their local government to get into the power business. This issue affects every resident and business in Marin and should not be decided by a few dozen elected officials who are being relentlessly lobbied by supporters of Marin Clean Energy.
In other words, green energy is expensive, and we don’t have the money right now.
As for me, I’m all in favor of cutting the economic ties that bind the Western world to such lovely places as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia. I also like being able to breath the air around me. I believe we achieve both those goals by (a) producing our own energy and (b) continuing to use our scientific genius to create cleaner and more efficient ways to burn fossil fuels (since those fuels are still the most effective energy providers around).