Green New Deal Comes to the 2nd CD

by Jonathan Reisman

Last week, I vented over Senator Collins proudly bequeathing $541,000 to the Sunrise County Economic Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI, aka “Didn’t Earn It”) indoctrination efforts. Not to be outdone, Senator King (I-Brunswick) and Representative Golden (D-ME-02) announced $7.1 million in Inflation Reduction Act investments (aka inflationary spending for the green new deal) in renewable (aka as intermittent and expensive) energy (subsidized solar arrays). Here is their March 29th joint press release:

King, Golden Announce More than $7 million in Federal Funding for Renewable Energy Investments in CD2 Farms and Small Businesses

Senator Angus King and Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) today announced that the US Department of Agriculture has approved more than $7 million in funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments at 10 rural farms and small businesses in the 2nd Congressional District.  

“Our small businesses and farms are pillars of our rural communities,” Golden and King said. “These investments will create jobs, expand clean energy, and increase savings for Maine people. We are proud to have voted for the Inflation Reduction Act which provided more than $2 billion for the Rural Energy for America Program that made this funding available to Mainers.” 

The projects funded include: 

• $5.89 million in federally guaranteed loans for Belfast PV LLC., to build a 3.2 Megawatt ground-mounted solar system. 

• $260,600 in grants for WA Bean & Sons, a meatpacking plant in Bangor, to install a 204.4-kilowatt roof- and ground-mounted solar system. 

• $233,300 in grants for Green Thumb in Fryeburg, a third-generation family farm, to build a highly energy-efficient grain dryer, which will reduce energy consumed and create more than $28,000 in annual savings

• $184,600 in grants for Edenbrook Hotel in Bar Harbor, to install a 136 kilowatt roof-mounted solar system. 

• $135,600 in grants for Tide Mill Organics Farm in Edmunds Township to install a 93.6 kilowatt roof-mounted solar system.

• $119,000 in grants for Brooklin Boat Yard to install an 86.4 kilowatt roof-mounted solar system. 

• $77,000 in grants for Eye Center Northeast in Bangor to install a 54-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system.

• $65,000 in grants for Moorit Hill Farm in Troy to install a 40.95-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system. 

• $64,000 in grants for Airline Brewing Company in Amherst to install a 40.8-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system. 

• $32,700 in grants for Stonecrest Events Center in Waldo to install an 18.8-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy-efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.”

These solar array projects are advancing because of climate alarmism, tax credits and subsidies, and the “net metering” policy allowing on-the-grid customers/generators to sell their excess KWH at retail and with free shipping, as everyone else picks up the increased transmission and delivery costs. Climate alarmism has already driven up the cost of energy in general, and now is also driving up the cost of electricity transmission and delivery. The kicker is that none of these climate alarmist policies will actually affect global warming or climate. It is about fear, control, and virtue signaling, not saving the planet or human welfare.

Intermittent generation like solar and wind cannot be depended on for baseload and must have a backup, which is almost always fossil fuel. That will remain the case until some mythical amount of rare earth mining and technological advances allow for battery manufacture and storage. I would not bet against Prometheus, but I do not believe in unicorns, and even if I did, I would not hire and depend on the government to find or design and manufacture one.

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