Maynard: The wrong kind of green

Previously TNR reported on the renewable energy credits scam that Vermont was engaging in, with Burlington Electric Department leading the way. We also brought to you the story about the big money behind the environmental movement’s push for global control over the economy. That story also detailed how Bill McKibben’s 350.org was front and center in Vermont’s attempt to get in front of this parade and be a leading force behind what some environmental activists have called “the wrong kind of green.” With all the greenbacks at stake, it is no surprise that political leaders in Vermont seek to position themselves at the front of the line.

Tom Steyer, left, with Bill McKibben, center.

Perhaps the biggest fish in the world of political donors is Tom Steyer, who became very active starting in the 2014 elections. According to a ranking by Open Secrets, the hedge fund billionaire was by far the biggest donor to politics that year, and all of his donations go to liberals. In 2014 he gave a total of $75,424,834 to political causes. Charles Koch was No. 10 on the list at $5,308,400, while his brother, David Koch, was No. 25 at $2,515,900. So, Mr. Steyer donated almost 10 times as much money to politics as the two Koch brothers combined.

Besides dwarfing the Koch brothers’ political contributions, Mr. Steyer, unlike them, has a direct connection to Vermont politics. The Wrong Kind of Green is a leftist website that decries all of the big money driving the so-called “green” movement. One of its main targets is Bill McKibben’s 350.org, which they see as being in bed with big money donors who are perceived to be more interested in silencing their critics:

Compromising the 350 divestment campaign is the fact it has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from hedge fund managers like Jeremy Grantham and billionaire Tom Steyer, who has major investments in fossil fuels. Steyer’s Farallon Capital was, in fact, a target of 350, until he bought their silence.

The problem is that the shine of so-called “renewable” energy is dulling worldwide in favor of more efficient energy sources. Notice a chart from a 2003 “Annual Energy Review” by the Energy Administration. Between 1979 and 2003, renewables made “no visible dent in energy supplies.” Solar power produced about 0.013 percent of the U.S. total energy growth, while wind power chipped in another 0.27 percent. “There were subsidies, tax breaks, and government funded research, but most of the private capital pursued conventional fuels.” Electricity powered by natural gas was at 18 percent of the U.S. total. Despite the public backlash against nuclear power, it went from 11 percent to 20 percent of the power generated in the United States. Half of the new demand was taken care of by coal. A similar story can be found in other industrialized countries. Countries in the developing world are starting to push back on the energy policies being forced on them by the developed countries in general, and the U.S. in particular. Eduardo Porter, writing for the New York Times, states:

American diplomats are upset that dozens of countries — including Nepal, Cambodia and Bangladesh — have flocked to join China’s new infrastructure investment bank, a potential rival to the World Bank and other financial institutions backed by the United States.

The reason for the defiance is not hard to find: The West’s environmental priorities are blocking their access to energy.

A typical American consumes, on average, about 13,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. The citizens of poor countries — including Nepalis, Cambodians and Bangladeshis — may not aspire to that level of use, which includes a great deal of waste. But they would appreciate assistance from developed nations, and the financial institutions they control, to build up the kind of energy infrastructure that could deliver the comfort and abundance that Americans and Europeans enjoy.

Too often, the United States and its allies have said no.

The United States relies on coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power for about 95 percent of its electricity, said Todd Moss, from the Center for Global Development. “Yet we place major restrictions on financing all four of these sources of power overseas.”

Now, with much of the world pushing back on the radical “green” agenda, 350.org is pushing Vermont to swim against this tide. A key part of the effort was their 2011 “Moving the Planet” event. Here is how the group’s website described this event:

Moving Planet is a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels. At over 2000 events in 175+ countries, we’re letting leaders know that a movement is rising to move our planet forward to a clean energy future.

Given their role in the global attempt to use the environment as an excuse to control our economy, you can bet that they were able to secure the backing of key Vermont political figures. Here is a clip of our own former Governor Peter Shumlin at a 350.org rally insisting that we can succeed where others have failed because we are smarter. Here is Senator Bernie Sanders at the same rally arguing that we can “lead the planet” along the course that everyone else seems to be rejecting.

Given all the money and power at stake, they must figure that a renewable energy credit scam is not a big deal if they can position themselves in the pole position in a much bigger scam.

Robert Maynard writes a column for True North Reports. He lives in Williston, Vermont.