In a recent op-ed titled, "The truth about clean energy in Nevada," Sen. Harry Reid produced enough hot air with his green energy propaganda to power a small town in rural Nevada.
Having killed Yucca Mountain - a potential gold mine of revenue and jobs for Nevada tied to clean, reliable and affordable nuclear power - Sen. Reid now has his political phasers locked in on the clean, reliable and affordable coal-fueled power plant ironically named "Reid Gardner" located in rural Moapa.
According to Sen. Reid, Reid Gardner is "literally killing" residents who live nearby, without producing - you know - proof. Kinda like his unsubstantiated claim that Mitt Romney hasn't paid federal taxes for the last 10 years. You know, guilty until proved innocent.
Anyway, at his National Clean Energy Summit earlier this month, Sen. Reid demanded that NV Energy immediately close the Reid Gardner plant, calling it a "dirty relic." But if the senator is going to talk about "truth," then let's get to some truths about Reid Gardner.
• Reid Gardner is one of the cleanest coal-fueled power plants in the country today.
• The number of visible emissions incidences has dropped from 825 in 2005 to just seven in 2011.
• Electricity produced by Reid Gardner is three to four times less expensive than from Sen. Reid's "clean" energy sources.
• Reid Gardner wasn't even operating for the first five months of this year. It is generally put into service only during periods of high energy usage which, in Southern Nevada, is obviously summertime.
• Reid Gardner has a peak generating capacity of more than 500 megawatts. Now, I don't know exactly what a megawatt is, but I do know that Sen. Reid's highly touted the Nellis Air Force Base solar plant cranks out only about 13 megawatts.
• Unlike solar, Reid Gardner is capable of producing electricity 24/7 - even on cloudy days and at night.
• Immediately closing Reid Gardner would kill about 150 jobs at a time when Nevada still leads the nation in unemployment.
And here's a final truth for you: It's not called "green" energy for nothing - it costs a fortune. But Sen. Reid apparently doesn't care how much it costs you, as long as he makes the enviro-extremists at the Sierra Club happy.
Look ... maybe someday solar, wind and biomass energy will be reliable and inexpensive enough to make Nevada energy independent. Maybe. But the real fact is, blind pursuit of green energy with little to no consideration of market demand and cost is simply not responsible, especially in the present economic times.
Like it or not, inexpensive and reliable coal-fueled electricity allows us to enjoy an affordable standard of living not possible with unreliable, extremely expensive "green" energy alternatives. And that's the truth.
• Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com.