Steyer-Backed Initiative Would Close America’s Largest Source of Clean Energy Steyer-Backed Initiative Would Close America’s Largest Source of Clean Energy – NTK Network

Steyer-Backed Initiative Would Close America’s Largest Source of Clean Energy

If Steyer's ballot initiative passes, Arizonans will also see the cost of their electricity increase significantly.

By NTK Staff | 04.11.2018 @2:00pm
Steyer-Backed Initiative Would Close America’s Largest Source of Clean Energy

A ballot initiative in Arizona that is being bankrolled by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer would result in “America’s largest single source of clean energy” closing its doors and being replaced by fossil fuel-burning technology.

The renewable energy ballot initiative that Steyer is backing “would force Arizona utilities to get half their energy from renewable sources by 2030.”

However, this initiative excludes nuclear power despite the fact that the “Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds nuclear produces one-quarter of the emissions of solar.”

This means that Arizona Public Service (APS) would have to close Palo Verde, which is Arizona’s only nuclear plant and also “America’s largest single source of clean energy.”

Environmental Progress (a research and policy organization) explained:

“If it passes, the initiative would only increase the share of the state’s electricity from clean energy sources by four percent. In 2017, Arizona generated 46 percent of its electricity from clean energy source — 79 percent of which came from Palo Verde.”

“In order to accommodate such a large increase in intermittent energy from solar and wind, APS would need to close Palo Verde and replace it with natural gas, APS says.”

Making this switch would be the equivalent of “adding 2.8 million cars to the road.”

So why would Steyer, a proponent of curbing climate change for years, support such an initiative? Reports indicate Steyer could benefit financially if this ballot initiative passes.

According to the Eurasia Review:

Steyer is also a long-time investor in renewables. In 2012, The New York Times reported, “Mr. Steyer, the founder of Farallon Capital Management, is the main financial backer of Greener Capital, a venture firm that invests in renewable energy start-ups.”

If Steyer remains invested in natural gas and/or renewables, he and his charities could benefit financially from the Arizona initiative he is financing.

Steyer acknowledged to The New York Times that he continued to make money from his investments even after stepping down as a manager of his investment firm. “He remains a passive investor,” The Times reported Steyer’s aides as having said, “though they declined to describe the size of his investment.”

“Prematurely retiring Palo Verde in order to satisfy this ill-conceived renewable energy mandate,” a spokesperson, for APS told Environmental Progress, “will impose a major setback in our vision of providing a sustainable clean energy future for Arizona.”

If Steyer’s ballot initiative passes, Arizonans will also see the cost of their electricity increase significantly. Californians have seen their electricity rates increase by 23 percent since they “started closing nuclear plants and scaling up renewables.”

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