A deplorable feature of today’s public discourse on issues is that too many proponents and opponents support their positions with falsehoods. The April 19 Globe included a letter from Cindy Luppi of Clean Water Action (“Many joining to build infrastructure for clean energy”), which claimed that a renewable energy standard of 25 percent would deliver $263 billion in new investment and nearly 300,000 jobs, and save consumers $95 billion on utility bills by 2030. But as for the first two — investment and jobs — I am skeptical.
As a Bloomberg News story (“Report warns of clean-energy crisis”) in the same edition of the Globe reports, the federal government’s investment in clean energy is set to plummet in six years to $11 billion from $44.3 billion in 2009. Meanwhile, First Solar, a manufacturer of solar panels and the poster child for poor management and forecasting, this month announced the elimination of 2,000 jobs.
On the third claim of savings for consumers, intellectual honesty compels the admission that clean energy is and will be more expensive for years to come (even without regard to the extensive and expensive transmission lines that must be built if the communities these lines pass through will approve them).
Reasonable people see the need and benefits of clean energy. Ongoing support for the years-long development thereof requires reliable information for education of the public.