California’s failed renewable energy programs

If you live in California, you’re likely all too familiar with all of California’s green and renewable energy initiatives. Many of these eco-friendly programs are funded by taxpayer’s dollars. However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that California doesn’t want you to know. Many of the renewable energy programs in California are dysfunctional at best.

Last week, I decided to take a trip to Death Valley National Park. In the 500 miles of driving I did, I passed by two wind farms. The first wind farm I passed was small, only containing about a dozen wind turbines. Because the turbines were built on top of a hill, it was easy for me to drive and keep an eye on the turbines for a couple minutes. None of them were turning. That’s right, not a single wind turbine was turning, and that means no electricity was being generated at all.

Later, I passed a much larger wind energy farm, containing at least a few hundred wind turbines. I kept a close eye on them, and I’d guess that only about 10 percent of them were turning. It appeared that many weren’t even pointed in the right direction to capture any wind. Maybe it wasn’t a very windy day, but it looked like an absolute economic disaster.

The fact of the matter is that the technology needed to make reliable, clean, renewable energy just isn’t here yet. Sure, there are reliable sources like hydroelectric dams, but California’s wind energy programs are a complete failure. There is absolutely no excuse to have a wind farm where barely any of the wind turbines were spinning at all. On my way back a few days later, perhaps 25 percent of the turbines were functional. Still, I shudder to think of how many tax payer’s dollars are wasted on trendy yet dysfunctional systems. The state of California is nearly broke, and the taxes have been increased very recently. Yet the state still manages to lose an incredible amount of money to projects that barely work.

Posted under Politics, Saving Electricity, Technology

Which 2008 California election proposals will cost you money

If you live in California, then you already know the pain of paying taxes. And yet, the state still manages to lose money year after year. While there are plenty of people to blame for California’s constant high taxes, this article is going to focus on one thing, and one thing only: Which of the proposals for the 2008 election will impact how much money you need to give away to the state.

Proposal 1: High speed rail bonds

In short, The state wants 9.95 billion dollars to build a high speed train from San Fransisco to Los Angelos. Not only that, but the state will sell bonds to raise funding, which will bring the total project cost to at least 19 billion dollars over thirty years. This is a lot of money, and it’s all going to come out of your wallet, one way or another. The bill claims that it will introduce no new taxes, which is technically correct. But the money will ultimately come out of your pockets, and nowhere else.

Proposal 2: Standards for confining farm animals

Basically, this requires the cages for animals such as chickens to be larger. What does this have to do with your money? Think about it this way: Larger cages means it will be more expensive to house animals, and require more land to do so. This will ultimately contribute to a dramatic increase in the price of foods, especially eggs or anything which uses eggs.

Proposal 3: Children’s hospital bond act

The state wants about a billion dollars for remodeling, renovation and furnishing of elegibal childrens hospitals. This will cost the state, and therefor you, about 2 billion dollars over the next thirty years. I don’t want to seem heartless, but frankly, building fancy new hospitals with new furniture isn’t the best way to cure diseases.

Proposal 4: Waiting period and parental notification before termination of minor’s pregnancy

Every election, there are always propositions which are created by religious fundamentals. They do not care about you, or your family, or the girls which this bill will affect. All they care about is imposing their own religious ideals on you and your family. The only good news is that this will have little impact on your wallet.

Proposal 5: Nonviolent drug offenses: Sentencing, parole and rehabilitation

This bill wants $460,000,000 annually from the California taxpayers. Noe the keyword, ‘anually.’ That means that every single year after this bill is passed, this cost will be spent. If you look at it that way, this bill is almost as expensive as the high speed train for the next 30 years. There will be a one time savings of 2.5 billion dollars, but this is only a one time savings. It’s important to look at the big picture and vote this one down.

Proposal 6: Police and law enforcement funding

The state wants another billion dollars every year for police and law enforcement. I want you to think of the last time you got a speeding ticket before voting for this proposal.

Proposal 7: Renewable Energy Generation

This one is a bit complicated. It requires government-owned utilities to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010. This may sound great, but there are some serious disadvantages. Renewable energy sources are often more expensive than non-renewable energy sources. For example, solar power can be an order of magnitude more expensive than conventional methods to generate electricity. How does this affect you? It’s simple. If the electric companies have to spend more money to generate electricity, this extra cost will be reflected in your monthly energy bill. You will end up paying much more for electricity. By they way, be sure to check out my section on saving electricity!

Proposal 8: Eliminate rights of same-sex couples to marry

This is another proposal set forward by the religious fundamentalists. It’s simple, really. This bill eliminates many of the legal rights of same-sex couples. Unlike their abortion proposal, this proposal will actually cost you money if it is passed. The wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Ever since same sex marriage was legalized in California several months ago, the state has recieved millions of dollars in wedding tax-related charges. People are even comming from other states to get married in California. This brings millions of dollars to California, especially when you consider hotel tax, and various other sources. Frankly, it’s best to save money and send a message to the fundamentalists at the same time. Vote this measure down.

Proposal 9: Criminal justice system: Victims’ rights

This bill requires notification to vitims and gives an opportunity for input during some phases of criminal prosecution. Ultimately, this could cost the state several hundred millions of dollars every year from extra prison operations, court costs, and county jail costs.

Proposal 10: Alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy

This bill forces the state to pay 5 billion dollars to help people purchas fuel efficient vehicles. Frankly, the people who buy fuel efficient vehicles are already saving enough money. Why should you reward these people? People who buy hybrid vehicles already get a huge refund from the state. You pay for that refund that other people get. It’s best to just vote this one down. Frankly, I think this bill is insulting, and infuriating.

Proposal 11: Redistricting

This bill won’t significantly affect your money, so feel free to flip a coin.

Proposal 12: Veteran’s bond act

This bill wants to give 900 million dollars to veterans. I’m all for supporting the veterans…but 900 million dollars? I think not.

Conclusion

Well, if you haven’t noticed a patter here, let me spell it out. Virtually all the proposals aim to cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s no wonder why california is still losing money. One of the best ways you can help ensure lower taxes now and for the future is to simply vote all the propositions down. This is your one chance to make a difference in these issues.

Posted under Avoiding Fees, Saving Money

This post was written by admin on October 4, 2008

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