Your county government at its best — “Don’t build your solar system where it does the most good. Build it where it causes you the most pain ... and where we can keep screwing with you. We are your county government, and we want you to supply green energy for that monster. Seems sensible.”
MMM (Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags): “OK, we agree, but it’s more efficient to put the solar where the sun shines more, and we’ll do that.”
CBT (county brain trust): “No that’s not punitive enough.”
MMM: “OK, we all have choices, and we’ll build our monument to ourselves somewhere else, with no green offsets whatsoever. Lots of nice places in the world.”
The result: Unless the county brain trust can convince you that the ozone layer speaks only ZG, everyone’s worse off. Public policy at its absolute best!
Try this instead:
“Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags, this is county brain trust speaking. Your choices are these:
1. You can build somewhere else where everyone loses; or
2. You can build here with an inefficient solar system; the ozone layer loses, but we still have you by the balls; or
3. You can pay for twice the amount of clean energy generation you will use, and place it in a remote location where it will be more efficient.”
Good for Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags, great for the ozone layer; but no longer does county brain trust have Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags by the short and curlies.
CBT: “No way we’ll offer option 3; it doesn’t accomplish our primary goal; to screw Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags; who cares about being as green as we can be?”
Epilogue: With the current decision, the county brain trust aggravates Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags to the point that they use the excess money and time they have to retaliate.
MMM: “You mandate that your utility supply renewable energy. You’ve made the rules, now we’ll all play. We’re going to do our best to see that those windmills you love are on Red Mountain and Smuggler, close to where the power is used, not somewhere out of sight; efficiency and common sense don’t count, as you CBTs have already established.”
CBT: “But we are the imperial wizards; those silly scientific calculations be damned. Why would we care about efficiency?”
This public policy brought to you by the offspring of those who brought us ethanol in your gas tank, corn prices up 500% and a food crisis in the developing world.
John B. Wing