Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial January 7, 2022
The European Union is considering a plan to make it easier to be green. Sorry, Kermit — this proposal is just for future power sources.
The EU is working on regulations involving green energy. Projects receiving that label will earn a host of financial advantages. That could include access to government funding and a better shot at private financing.
A draft of that report, which Reuters obtained, would give the “green” label to some natural gas and nuclear projects. That would come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the energy debate.
Despite producing fewer emissions than coal, natural gas is disdained by environmentalists because it does release some emissions. Numerous U.S. cities, including New York City, are so extreme that they’ve banned natural gas in new construction. But the EU would give some natural gas plants the coveted “green” label.
Nuclear power has long been an obvious candidate to provide reliable, clean and cheap power. But green activists have spent decades stoking public fear of anything nuclear. Apparently, the “existential” crisis of global warming isn’t a big enough problem to justify expanding technology already used around the world. This proposal would make Europe a welcome exception.
This plan is both hilarious and a potentially much-needed instance of sanity.
By 2030, the EU wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared with 1990. It seeks net-zero emissions by 2050.
The problem for greens is that “green” energy sources are either unreliable and expensive — solar and wind — or not scalable, like hydropower. Or they emit more carbon emissions than coal. The EU counts burning wood as a zero-emissions fuel because, in theory, forests will regrow.
Politicians like to make dramatic speeches on their commitment to reduce emissions. Last November, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared the threat of global warming to a “ticking doomsday device.” Government officials in Britain, however, are already starting to pare back his ambitious plans. French President Emmanuel Macron wants new nuclear power plants. Germany leaders are even hedging on their commitment to end coal power by 2030. Germany also relies heavily on natural gas.
Expanding the definition of “green” energy is one way to keep providing energy without having to admit previous rhetoric was full of hot air.
Nevada lawmakers should take note. Our state has set a renewable energy portfolio standard of 50 percent by 2030. Rather than force Nevadans to endure more power shortages, they should follow Europe and expand the definition of renewable energy to include natural gas and nuclear power.