| The Ivanpah solar project burns
enough natural gas to be required to take |
part in the state's Cap and Trade program to reduce emissions.
Just goes to show, if there are cronies to enrich, more Government control and a left wing agenda to forward, conservation and environmentalism mean very little, if anything. .
A solar power plant at the center of the Obama administration’s push to reduce America’s carbon footprint by using millions of taxpayer dollars to promote green energy has its own carbon pollution problem.
The Ivanpah plant in the Mojave Desert uses natural gas as a supplementary fuel. Data from the California Energy Commission show that the plant burned enough natural gas in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
That’s nearly twice the pollution threshold for power plants or factories in California to be required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.
The same amount of natural gas burned at a conventional power plant would have produced enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 17,000 California homes – or roughly a quarter of the Ivanpah plant’s total electricity projection for 2014.
The plant, which was developed by Oakland-based BrightSource Energy, was approved in 2010 amid questions about its cost to taxpayers and the facility’s effect on the desert environment.
The U.S. Department of Energy granted Ivanpah $1.6 billion in loan guarantees. As a green-energy project, it also qualified for more than $600 million in federal tax credits.
Just before the project broke ground, President Barack Obama praised it in his weekly radio address:
"With projects like this one, and others across this country, we are staking our claim to continued leadership in the new global economy. And we’re putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy that will help lower our reliance on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations."
And former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar freed up large expanses of public land for the plant despite environmentalists’ concerns about wildlife habitat and the loss of open space.
David Lamfrom, desert project manager of the National Parks Conservation Association, said information about the amount of natural gas used at Ivanpah shows that the plant is essentially a hybrid operation that requires both fossil fuel and sunshine to make electricity.
He said he doubts the project would have gone forward if it had been billed a hybrid plant.
“It feels like a bait and switch,” Lamfrom said. “This project was held up as a model of innovation. We didn’t sign up for greener energy. We signed up for green energy.”