Published September 23, 2011
Gore is a very polarizing figure; the former VP’s message is lost because of his ability to make a lot of people dislike him. Meanwhile, President Obama has done more to hurt the green movement than help it. Spending over half a billion dollars on Solyndra, losing it a year later while losing over 1,000 jobs, is beyond just a deal gone bad -- it is either inept or criminal, and either of these choices are bad when you are talking about the folks who are trying to lead our country.
What gets lost in this is the Solar City deal to double roof top solar in this country with the hiring of 6,000 veterans. This deal will cost the taxpayer nothing.
This is an example of a perfect private/public partnership this country can use. Proven technology is being backed by the government. The backing of loans to Solar City allows them to get a lower interest rate to make this profitable; the loans are not used until the installation is complete.
Solar City has installed 16,000 rooftop solar installations in the first few years of its existence, and this deal will increase that to 160,000. This is being done on more than 120 military bases in over 30 states.
Solar City leases the solar panels, so the customer has no upfront costs. Solar City deals with the electric company, the subsidies and the customer pays Solar City an electric bill that is 10-20% lower. The costs of the subsidies will be made up in lower electricity costs since these are government buildings.
We can’t force adoption of new technologies by consumers -- just look at the electric car for proof. However, on federal and state property we can. This action pays for itself and creates economies of scale for the solar industry.
We could and should do the same for natural-gas cars, replacing government fleets with these cars when they are scheduled to be replaced.
I believe the future of electricity is micro generation with such things like solar, geothermal and the future sodium-cooled fast reactor that runs on thorium -- but these things rely on government to support them.
However, the way to support them is not to blindly give money to the best lobbyists and supporters but rather to proven technologies.
I am for drilling every where we can; I am for fracking for natural gas as well as nuclear. I am for “all of the above”, and I am against being so against the messenger that the message doesn’t get any chance to see if it is credible.
Our future depends on “all the above”, the cry of “drill, baby, drill” is a wonderful bumper sticker but by itself is not an energy plan and is akin to a whale oil salesman crying, “fish, baby, fish”.
We are the only country in the developed world with no energy policy, which shows how bad our leaders truly are. But any positive development such as Solar City should be embraced and not lost in partisan bickering.
John Layfield, formerly known as JBL, was the longest reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown television history, retiring after 17 years of pro wrestling. John, a former collegiate All-American and pro football player, is a lifelong entrepreneur who has worked as an investment banker, is series 7 and 24 qualified, and is currently an active private investor. His Internet radio show can be heard at www.JohnLayfieldShow.com.