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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Green Meltdown

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

We have all heard in the past number of years how America needed to go “green.” That is, we need to convert to solar, wind and other renewable types of energy to power America. In fact, those who were against coal and in favor of “green energy” even passed laws against the energy source, which really hurt Wyoming.

I, like a number of others, have no problem with renewable energy. In fact, I had a number of acres leased for wind power before the sage grouse became so popular. Now, on the map, those acres are colored green and labeled sage grouse core areas.

In some areas of the state, there are numerous wind farms. There is also a company advertising in Wyoming, hoping to lease deeded land for solar panels. The two things Wyoming is known for are sunshine and wind, but we also like our coal, uranium, natural gas and oil, along with water, for generating electricity. We just don’t like one energy source forced on us over another. And that’s happened to Wyoming in past years.

You know, since the turn of the century, a number of countries, especially in Europe, have switched to “green energy,” and now, according to a column written by Stephen Moore from the Heritage Foundation, those countries are having a green meltdown. Renewable energy just costs these homeowners and countries too much.

In Sweden, they just announced that wind power is so expensive and inefficient the country is phasing out subsidies they have given the wind industry.

In Britain, to comply with renewable energy requirements, power stations are burning hundreds of millions of pounds of wood pellets, most of them imported from America. That could happen in a number of states, especially California, if they keep raising the renewable energy requirements.

In Germany, electricity prices are now three times higher than what America pays for electricity. They have been the world leader in green energy.

Australia’s electricity prices went through the roof this past winter. According to an analysis by the Institute for Energy Research, power costs rose dramatically, from $100 per megawatt hour to $10,000 per megawatt hour. The analysis said this was because of heavy dependence on an unreliable renewable energy source. Stephen Moore wrote that the government had to reopen a shuttered natural gas plant to keep prices from further exploding. This increase caused many energy-intensive businesses to relocate to Asian countries that provide a stable regulation and cost climate with cheaper wages and less red tape.

Moore said that, very quietly, Europe and other nations aren’t going so green any more. The European Union spent an estimated $750 billion on green energy handouts over the past decade, and all it bought them was a doubling of power costs. The good part is that it has given American steel, auto manufacturers, light manufacturers, agriculture businesses and technology firms a big competitive edge in the world markets.

President Trump has said he doesn’t want to go the route that Europe did – good thinking. Wyoming and other states can’t save the world and lose the farm. We do need renewable energy just as we need natural gas, oil, clean coal and other sources. It is time to keep a level head here.

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