Skip to comments.CA: $700 million for power research bought… bird and salmon studies?
Posted on 02/05/2011 9:16:27 AM PST by NormsRevenge
The quest was a noble one: To develop, and help bring to market, new energy technologies that are better for the environment, provide greater system reliability and lower system costs, while furnishing tangible benefits to electric utility customers.
Well, electric utility customers, youve shelled out $700 million for this noble effort since 1996, and what have you gotten?
Precious little that could be even loosely interpreted as tangible benefits, concludes a report by the Legislative Analysts Office.
Meet the states Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, built into your electric bill as a public goods charge. It has funded a broad spectrum of research, the LAO concludes perhaps too broad.
(S)ome projects appear to have only a tenuous connection to the subject of energy. For example, just within the climate change and environment area, PIER has funded research on such varied topics as deforestation in California, groundwater recharge, the potential impact of climate change on bird distribution, and salmon habitat restoration.
While researching the potential impact of climate change on the distribution of birds may have scientific merit, it is doubtful that it will lead to tangible electricity ratepayer benefits, the LAO says.
Our analysis raises questions as to whether the range of research is so broad and unfocused that it is hindering the potential benefit of the PIER program. Fragmenting the research into so many directions reduces the likelihood, in our view, that this research is being translated into changes in the electricity marketplace that are benefiting consumers or the public at large.
PIER is run by the state Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, and the law authorizing the collection of the public goods charge automatically expires on Jan. 1, 2012, unless the state Legislature takes action to extend it.
(Excerpt) Read more at taxdollars.ocregister.com ...
Same old story - tax dollars going to support leftist academics and researchers and their meaningless efforts.
The truth about the studies is that they were meant to prove that people use too much energy and need to be punished with higher costs.
“The truth about the studies is that they were meant to prove that people use too much energy and need to be punished with higher costs.”
When I was in college, studies and grants were viewed by the university, the professors and the students as just money to support their lifestyle. Research was never the goal. Solving problems or producing a product were nowhere on the prof’s or student’s horizon. Oh, everybody “worked” on the grant, but never like we work in private industry. The typical day included wandering in hung-over at 10:00am and doing a lot of things not grant/research related but charging them to the project. Then followed a two hour, two pitcher power lunch with the professor followed by some “computer work” at the lab. In this way, I saw astonishing amounts of money disappear. Then, in the last few hours, they’d come up with a paper. I believe, from the overheard discussions, that the “data” was cooked to meet the grantor’s political needs.
I would be happy if all government affiliation with universities stopped. Also, all government grants, wealth redistribution, loans and tax write-offs. Then, you’d see universities trim up like private companies and concentrate on their supposed product, educated students.
You said it. Right on the mark. Good Post.
In a just world, the recipients of that fraudulently obtained “largesse” would be forced to pay restitution to the ratepayers.
I am not holding my breath.
In WA state, the governor has proposed privatizing the system of grants and scholarships, taking out from under the purveyance of the citizens. She wants to set up something the Woods Foundation or the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. It would fit in with Obama’s call to put experienced community activists on the boards of philanthropic foundations.
The plan not only hides where the money is going and how it is spent, it does an end around on the voter initiative that forbids affirmative action in state supported higher education institutions.
I saw the same thing at the University of Tennessee in the liberal arts department. I was in microbiology but the university had gerrymandered the sciences into the liberal arts department so that they could justify the liberal arts courses they forced the science students to attend. Much of the research was made up and even published.
The salmon saving industry is riddled with corruption - native American leaders taking their personal cut off the top and the pots of grant funding that “fully employ” cadres of fisheries biologists. http://www.hcn.org/issues/43.1/californias-hupa-tribe-wars-over-fish
The Klamath River Fisheries Task Force used to get a $million a year. It was rare if the Scott and the Shasta Valleys, where the salmon spawn and are reared, ever got as much as $30,000 for on the ground restoration projects. The rest just seemed to get eaten up by studies and administrative overhead by the US Fish and Wildlife or the tribes.
Who doesn't expect this legislature to extend it?