Environmentalists want you powerless

Greens shout, "renewables," but condemn the mining of iron ore and copper needed for renewable energy to work at all.

  • rawsteel

The power plant closures are coming!  The power plant closures are coming!  The power plant closures are coming!

While no one is riding through town to announce the news, the results to America could be nearly as dire as the coming of the Redcoats. Despite millions already spent on modifications, fully functional coal-fueled power plants are being shut down—not because they are not needed but due to ideology. In fact, the Energy Information Administration predicts that electricity demand will continue to grow 0.9% per year until 2040 as we plug into electricity that is becoming increasingly expensive.

One such example is the San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico’s Four Corners area that provides about 60% of PNM’s (New Mexico’s primary electricity provider) total electric generation in the state. The coal-fueled plant has four generating units—two of which are being shut down due to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. The Albuquerque Journal reports that there will be “rate hikes to allow PNM to recover costs associated with the changes at San Juan.”

The San Juan Generating Station is scheduled for closure in 2017, but the process of replacing the 340 megawatts that will be lost has already started. PNM wants to fill the need with a new natural-gas plant at the same site and by bringing in more nuclear power from the Palo Verde Generating Station in Arizona, in which PNM is already part owner. Environmentalists oppose PNM’s plan and are pushing for more renewables such as wind and solar—which will “drive costs way up.”

But the problem with renewables isn’t just the cost or the intermittency. The problem is that environmentalists also oppose what it takes to get the natural resources needed to build, for example, a wind turbine.  And most people don’t think about where the metals and minerals come from or what it takes to recover or shape them.

The Northwest Mining Association lists the metals and minerals needed to build one 3-megawatt wind turbine:  The list includes 335 tons of steel and 4.7 tons of copper.  Thus, to replace the 340 MW of electricity generated at San Juan with wind would take 113 of those 3-MW wind turbines—requiring 37,855 tons of steel and 1,598 tons of copper. Since each megawatt produced requires 198 acres, 67,320 acres would be covered with wind turbines. And these figures assume “nameplate” capacity—which means they are producing electricity 24/7. Realistically, wind turbines produce power at 25% to 30% capacity. Real numbers for steel, copper, land, etc., would be 3 to 4 times higher.

Steel is an iron-based alloy that requires coal in the production process. It takes about 400 pounds of coal to produce a ton of steel. Unfortunately, the Obama administration—which is closely aligned with the environmentalists’ agenda—doesn’t seem to understand this. They are pushing for more wind turbines—with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell “gearing up to make offshore wind energy a hallmark of her tenure,” according to the Washington Post.

At the same time, environmentalists are coal’s adversaries. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), following an August 1 meeting with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and White House legislative affairs director Michael Rodriguez, stated: “You cannot describe this any differently than as a war on coal, and not just in West Virginia or the U.S. but on a global scale. They’re using every tool they have to destroy the most abundant, reliable and affordable resource that we have.”

In Wisconsin, a company has begun soil testing with the goal of mining iron ore in a 4-mile open pit mine. Gogebic Taconite, or G-Tec, has begun exploratory drilling and is gathering samples to send to government agencies. If results show the process is safe, G-Tec will be allowed to go ahead with its plans to construct the mine in a region where mining was once the main source of revenue.

“Many of those who live in the economically depressed towns nearby,” many of them are descendants of miners, according to a Fox News report: “support the company’s efforts and look forward to the potential for much-needed jobs and growth in the region.” Yet, environmentalists are intent on blocking the project and have gone to such extremes as death threats, destroying equipment, attacking workers, and barricading roads.

An attempt to mine copper in Alaska is facing similar opposition—albeit this time through the EPA rather than acts of eco-terrorism. The proposed Pebble mine would potentially bring up to $180 million in annual taxes and revenues to the state of Alaska. A mine plan has not been put forward, nor have the companies behind the Pebble Partnership begun the permitting process, but the EPA has spent more than $2 million in an unnecessary and controversial draft watershed assessment of the Pebble Mine.

According to the Daily Caller, the EPA and environmental groups argue that the agency has the authority to preemptively veto a permit. The Pebble Partnership has spent ten years and more than $400 million in research, studies, and fieldwork but has not yet submitted any plan. Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, reports that Pebble Mine opponents urged the EPA to conduct the assessment. She states: “The EPA has the authority under the Clean Water Act to stop Pebble Mine.”

Abraham Williams, president of the pro-development nonprofit Nuna Resources, says environmental groups are active in the region. “They have people on the ground and they move around the communities very well. They are well funded. It’s amazing. They are like ants—they work everywhere.”

The war on coal and the opposition to the proposed G-Tec iron ore mine in Wisconsin and the proposed Pebble Partnership copper mine in Alaska are just a few examples of environmental opposition to extracting the metals and minerals that are needed to build the wind turbines they want installed in New Mexico—and throughout the U.S.

With nearly 300 power plants scheduled to be shut down in the next few years, and with environmentalists both opposing any form of electricity generation that is effective, efficient, and economical and to mining the raw materials needed to build the wind turbines, solar arrays and other “renewables” they claim to want—only one conclusion can be made: Environmentalists want you powerless.

When Paul Revere made his famous ride announcing that the British were coming, the pending battle was over high taxes, and the consequences threatened America’s future independence. Likewise, today the battle is over higher cost electricity which impacts all aspects of modern life and threatens America’s economic independence.

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About the Author: Marita Noon

Marita Noon

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

  • colleenf

    Yes, they want us to have no electricity, but they seem to forget that they will be without power as well!
    Inconvenient fact.
    I guess they will just have to move to Mars!

    • Reality Check

      Eckenhuijsen Smit, you’re a moron and a racist who has no respect for our president. Environmentalists do not want to revert people to the stone age. We just don’t want to be forced to live in the stone age because of man made climate change and its repercussions. Collenf, you are ignorant and don’t seem to care about that young child in your profile picture who will have to reap what you and your generation has sewn with your ignorance to the changing world long after you are dead and gone.

      Marita Noon, You are nothing but a hack for the industry. Look her up people, she’s been shilling for the fossil fuel industry and against the scientific FACTS of climate change for years. To be anti-environmentalist is to be selfish, uninformed, and uncaring.

      • petitemouse

        Reality Check. Alinsky alert!
        Name and shame opponents. Ridicule.
        Lie loader and repeat disinformation until it is believed.
        Create the word Environment that never existed outside
        of a science lab. Please eliminate your carbon footprint as
        quickly as possible. Don’t you realize that you should
        walk the walk, before you talk the talk?
        You need to stop using all that electricity since
        you don’t want to pollute your environment.
        I believe the computer you are using is carbon based
        and non-biodegradable.
        Actually your computer is biodegradable, but you probably
        don’t know that.
        Your computer is full of rare earth metals that you caused
        to be dug up.
        Your computer was probably manufactured in China with
        exponential increase in carbon footprint.
        LOL. Ironic that you are using another Alinsky tactic:
        You are not required to act like someone who cares!

        • roberta4343

          freedom of speech a cherished right doesn’t mean everyone with a mouth speaks logic and smarts, sometimes these mouths are parrots of other stupid people.

        • roberta4343

          freedom of speech a cherished right doesn’t mean everyone with a mouth speaks logic and smarts, sometimes these mouths are parrots of other stupid people.

      • Mikey1109

        This planet has warmed and cooled throughout its history and now all of a sudden man is the problem. A lot of climatologists, scientists etc from the USA that say it’s not happening. You and the environmental extremists who believe all the doom and gloom scenarios the so called experts keep feeding you, you know, the ones that never happen. These are the same experts that said we’re heading for an ice age in the 70’s and the united nation experts warning we had 10 years from 1989 to fix the GW problem or entire nations would be wiped of the face of the earth from rising sea levels. What a surprise, here we are 2013 and nothing like what they were talking about has occurred.

      • roberta4343

        please be cautious with believing everything that the boob toob spins out, this is not a virtue issue but a scientific one, where science is being perverted and the trust in science being used to spread myths and lies for a poltical agenda that has nothing to do with saving mother earth but with gaining power over everyone for the enrichment of a small elite class of psychopaths who believe that the fate of mankind and hte earth lies with them, they live with illusionsof gradeur (history repeats it self you know) alexander the great, neapolitan, the babylonian king all suffered from the I am god complex. enviromentalism is just a means to an end, like kings used in the past ot unify their kingdoms and get obedience from the masses. they used fear of gods, and the enemy will come and get you and enslave you if you don’t fight for the mother or father land.

  • Eckenhuijsen Smit

    Very knowledgeable and detailed information about the dirty tricks, which Barry
    Hussein Obama and his cohorts of environmentalists, headed by EPA, are using to bring the US to Stone Age circumstances.
    Never in the history of the US has any president conducted the US into such a black period (nice pun isn’t it?) that night might fall without electric light to brighten the Stone Age caves a bit!
    Barry ‒a dedicated arrogant liar‒ has the assistance of millions of environmentalists who are as stupid and dumb as Barry himself, but follow him like lemmings to the rim of their “flat world”.
    Barry proclaims that we, the anti-alarmists, live in a “flat world”, but that was the typical exclamation of a derailed character, so stupid that he even thinks man could change the climate on earth by producing less CO2.

  • J.P. Katigbak

    How come the ideological and philosophical doctrine of environmentalism is still there right now? The intellectual battle regarding this remains to seen in the public discourse – and the ideological activists are still humiliating people around the globe by turning a blind eye into believing in environmental protection policies, especially in the US where the busybodies are imposing those policies upon Americans as of today.

    There needs to have more meaningful policies, including those with regards to environmental protection, to make things a lot more better for appropriately different societies and economies around the world. And there is NO turning back now.

    Thanks very much, and take care of yourselves, OK, ladies and gentlemen?

    Thanks again. – J.P.K.

    • petitemouse

      Anyone ever notice the Demographics that vote
      Democratic Party ticket have the filthiest cities?
      I wonder if the dead people ever pick up trash?

      • Mikey1109

        Yeah, you’d think if they can vote, they could clean up a little too.

    • Mikey1109

      I’m so looking forward to the day when we get these extreme environmental fruitcakes under control and they will be prevented from dictating policy in this country. It’s been a problem for a while but with this so called president it’s worse than ever.

    • J.P. Katigbak

      I know that there is something to do with the political correctness. It annoys people like me so much that the depressive political scenario is really a justification for the mainly left-leaning activist ideologues to use various measures to silence meaningful voices on political, social and economic issues that must be tackled properly.

      I hope there is a meaningful public discussion on ways to understand the historical and current realities affecting various societies and economies around the world – and find better ways in reviving the true spirit of traditional vales and customs, in rekindling, understanding and recognizing the real trust in traditional institutions (including the institution of monarchy), in ensuring a very stable economic and social development, in ensuring environmental protection, and a lot more.

      As of now, try to understand how to challenge the ideological and philosophical doctrine of environmentalism and other sorts of political correctness.

      Are you willing to understand what am I saying about recently regarding this? Thanks very much, and take care as always. – J.P.K.

  • Mikey1109

    I not sure they want us powerless, but they sure want the price per kilowatt to go sky high so we don’t use more than necessary. I HATE ENVIRONMENTAL NUTS and I’m sick of all the go green garbage too.

  • petitemouse

    Environmentalism – The New Anti-Life Fundamentalist Religion
    You will not continue to exist. You are the sinful of the earth.
    You must be eliminated. I agree. I insist they go first.
    Wonder full religion creates greater guilt and shame
    in the American People. Sarcasm, just can’t help myself.

  • Dan

    Agree with the sentiment, but you should really use a picture of a power plant for this instead of what I think is a steel mill ladle rail car.