Legislation unanimously passed on April 10, 2019 by the Chicago City Council has just made Chicago the largest city in the United States to commit to 100 percent clean energy. By so doing, Chicago, a metropolis of 2.7 million, has planned to enable the metropolis to power its buildings on clean and renewable energy by 2035. Even the Chicago Transit Authority, the country’s second-largest public transportation system, will completely electrify its fleet of over 1,850 buses by 2040.
Chicago is now officially a part of the Ready for 100 club, having joined 118 other cities across the country that have committed to generating 100 percent energy from clean, renewable sources. These six have reached their goals: Aspen, Burlington, Georgetown, Greensburg, Rock Port, and Kodiak Island.
Can this really be? A city which can’t run a bus company or school system without tax money from downstate residents is going to eliminate fossil fuels?
But it’s not just Chicago that has opted to join the renewable energy bandwagon. Members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition want Illinois to upstage other states by becoming the first mainland state to be powered entirely by renewables. In March Senator Cristina Castro and Representative Ann Williams introduced legislation that would do just that, the Clean Energy Jobs Act ( SB 2132/ HB 3624). Backed by 45 mostly Democratic state lawmakers, the bill calls for transitioning Illinois to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
A miracle would need to happen besides capacity market reform for Illinois to hit a 100 percent renewables target. The state currently gets about 8 percent of its energy from renewable energy resources, and existing law calls for reaching 25 percent renewables by 2025. Meeting 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs with renewables by 2030, as the new legislation stipulates, would require deploying an estimated 24,000 megawatts of new solar and wind.
Illinois is about to learn what it takes to manage a nearly 20-fold increase in solar power. Illinois ranks 35th in the country in solar power right now, with 98 megawatts, less than 1 percent of its electricity generation. For a state starting with very little solar power now (less than 100 megawatts) to becoming a Midwest solar leader will mean building an industry infrastructure almost from scratch, and doing it at a fast pace, although by the end of this year it is estimated that Illinois will have almost 3,000 MW of solar power. As for wind power, Illinois ranks 6th in the nation with 4,464 installed capacity (MW).
Coal plants vs wind turbines, solar panels
Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. The following appeared in The Heartland Institute’s Climate Change Weekly #320 newsletter of April 12, 2019:
“Although coal plants can function efficiently for 30 to 50 years and sometimes longer, many in IL are on the brink of retirement. Wind turbines and solar panels—even if they operate as intended—have less than a 25-year lifespan in general. Even when solar panels are cleaned properly and regularly, they generate less power over time, declining sharply after 18 to 20 years. As a result, years before a more reliable coal plant would cease operating, and before wind or solar facilities are paid off if they are financed over 30 years, the entire array of panels or set of turbines will have to be replaced. When one includes the cost of the very high-priced battery backup utilities propose constructing to provide power for periods when the sun isn’t shining or the wind is not blowing—expensive battery packs which will have to be replaced regularly—it’s obvious any promised cost savings from reduced fuel costs will never materialize.”
As to nuclear plants, which are presently producing 90 percent of Illinois’s zero-carbon energy, they will reach the end of their lives based on current license terms in 2050.
Burt Prelutsky on The Myth of Wind Power
Burt Prelutsky, born in Chicago, now lives in CA. He has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for the Los Angeles Times, he has authored eight books, and has written extensively for TV (5 movies, along with episodes of “Dragnet,” “McMillan & Wife,” “MASH,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Rhoda,” “Bob Newhart,” “Dr. Quinn” and “Diagnosis Murder”. Burt now writes a daily subscription-only political commentary that is filled with humor, wit, and truth. Contact Burt at BurtPrelutsky@cloud.com for information to sign up for his commentaries.
“Ever since Al Gore and his gang of climate scammers came on the scene in the 1990s, we have been fed a steady diet of lies and false predictions.
We were told that the oceans would rise as the polar caps melted and that cities and states bordering the Pacific and Atlantic would be underwater. We were told that the corpses of polar bears who had drowned would be washing up by the thousands on the coast of Alaska. We were told that the human race was doomed by rising temperatures.
What’s most remarkable about the hoax is that there was a deadline announced. The apocalypse was to take place within a decade. Now, two decades later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is giving us until 2030 to shape up or we’re all goners.
Even someone as cynical as I am would never have imagined that the con men and women would still be able to pass off this nonsense as gospel after all this time. The old line about whether you’re going to believe me or your lying eyes seems to sum up the situation pretty well.
I mean, if I told you that the world would end on Thursday at 3 p.m., and you found that nothing had happened by 3:01, you would know I was lying. But when it comes to the weather, apparently there is nothing that can shake the child-like faith of those on the Left. No matter how often Cassandras like Al Gore, A O-C and the self-proclaimed weather mavens at the U.N. are shown to be liars pushing a Socialist agenda as spelled out in the Paris Accords, the airheads remain stubbornly oblivious to the truth.
When every Democratic contender for the 2020 presidential nomination rallies around the Green New Deal, you have to question if they have the slightest idea what it entails. We’ve all heard the jokes about farting cows and people having to take the train from New York to London if A O-C’s agenda were ever turned into actual legislation. The Democrats call it bold and original. Sane people call it nutty and dangerous.
As Ed Hiserodt wrote in an open letter to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez recently appearing in The New American, we in the U.S. currently receive 6.3% of our electrical power from the wind and 1.9% from solar. By 2030, the 29-year-old member of Congress insists we must derive 100% of our energy from those two sources or face extinction.
Even if we decide it’s worth the financial cost, which no doubt we would if extinction was really the alternative, it would mean an end to air travel, beef products and an acceptance of the U.S. becoming a non-industrial nation, the equivalent of Ethiopia and Haiti.
Do these people not understand that there is nothing predictable about the sun or the wind? There are lots of places where sunshine is nearly as rare as unicorns and unless the wind is blowing harder than 10 miles an hour, it lacks the power to generate a sneeze.
I was always aware that those giant wind turbines that destroy the environment and the landscape in the California desert near Palm Springs killed birds by the tens of thousands, but I had no idea how loud they are.
In Falmouth, Massachusetts, the town spent $10 million installing the turbines, but the constant noise was creating health problems for the residents so they spent $2 million having the things removed.
And as you may recall, when the state decided to place a turbine near the family compound in Hyannis Port, Sen. Ted Kennedy, who, as a liberal, naturally paid lip service to alternate forms of renewable energy, let the local authorities know he wasn’t about to let his ocean view be destroyed by the massive monstrosities.
You can bet that would also be the case if anyone even considered placing one of these confounded contraptions anywhere near the homes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker or, yes, even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”
Insane war against fossil fuels
“Scientists who promote the theory of anthropogenic climate change contend a rise in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to human activity is causing catastrophic warming; however, scientific study finds that the current CO2 levels of 410 parts per million were last seen on Earth 3 million years ago. During this time, long before the Industrial Age, “there were no ice sheets covering either Greenland or West Antarctica, and much of the East Antarctic ice sheet was gone, and the temperatures were up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer globally, and sea levels were 65 feet higher.”
The study concludes: “There is nothing we can do to stop the Earth’s naturally occurring climate cycles. Even the worst of the worst, even the most maniacal pushing the Global Warming Hoax admit that, at best, we can only cool the planet a couple of degrees, which will do next to nothing if the planet is determined to again warm itself by seven degrees, as we now know it did 2,999,998 years before man approved a couple of pipelines.”
Will man’s folly to eliminate fossil fuels unnecessarily, as here in Illinois, affect our quality of life and stifle economic growth, even when scientific evidence disputes CO2 as but a small factor in any global warming that might be taking place, and when climate change is cyclical in nature. A mini ice age took place from 1400 to around 1860, as experienced by Washington’s men at Valley Forge and when Washington crossed the ice-clogged Delaware River.
As Dr. Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow at Stanford Universities Hoover Institute said about the problem the world faces with climate change policy: “Would you bet your paycheck on the weather forecast for tomorrow? If not, then why should this country bet billions on global warming predictions that have even less foundation?”