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Rendell Proposes New Tax. Also, Pope Still Catholic.

Ed Rendell’s energy plan is looking great so far:

Gov. Ed Rendell on Thursday proposed a new fee on the sale of electricity in Pennsylvania to help finance an ambitious plan to promote alternative energy sources, increase conservation and blunt expected increases in utility bills.

Yay! New taxes. I always love new taxes. But what will they pay for?

The fund would finance grants to reimburse homeowners and small businesses for half the cost of installing solar panels.

Solar panels are a not a solution to our energy problems, because it takes years for a solar panel to produce as much electricity as went into making it. There are numerous engineering problems with solar energy. This ain’t a solution, Ed.

The largest share of the money would be invested in clean-energy projects that include solar manufacturing, advanced coal technologies and biofuels.

I’m not down with any of this, except for clean coal, because of the practical difficulties. We will not grow our way out of our energy problems. If you do the math, it’s just not going to work. The only reasonable alternatives to petroleum are coal and nuclear power. I might even be OK with Rendell’s plan if it proposed putting more into nuclear power, but that’s really more of a political problem than an engineering one, and one that will likely have to be solved at the federal level.

All in all, it looks like a tax that will transfer money to special interests. No thanks, Ed.

2 Responses to “Rendell Proposes New Tax. Also, Pope Still Catholic.”

  1. Brad says:

    It’s not a tax, it’s a fee. They’re just, you know…different.

    OK, so when I read this, I was thinking “OK, it’s five buck, big whoop,” and I think the majority of citizens will feel OK with this. It’s OK to fund R&D of clean energy products. However,l there absolutely has to be some oversight and goal-setting. There needs to be some pre-defined standards of better/faster/cheaper product that comes out of this, and if there isn’t the “fee” has to go away.

    Otherwise, it’s just another example of corporate welfare.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I agree with you there, and emphasize that solar energy isn’t a solution. To meet our energy needs as a nation, even if you had 100% efficient collection of solar radiation and 100% efficient conversion to electricity, you’d have to pave over an area the size of Maryland with solar cells. But it takes a LOT of energy to make a solar cell. It’s just not feasible. Maybe someday, but even then it’s only going to be a partial solution.

    It also seems to me that Ed Rendell just really likes to raise my taxes. I think I pay enough in taxes. Enough!

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