Should a hidden tax on cancer patients pay for solar energy scam?
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
“In 1949 . . . Nature, a magazine of the Academy of Sciences reported in very small print that in the course of excavations on the Kolyma River (in Siberia, Russia) an underground layer of ice had been discovered containing frozen fish and salamander some tens of thousands of years old. The scientist reported that those present immediately broke open the ice surrounding the specimens, and gobbled them up with with relish. . . .”?
—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Arkhipelag Gulag (the Gulag Islands), 1973
While casual readers found it interesting that frozen meat could stay fresh for thousands of years, most Russians who read this article learned a horrible truth that was never reported in the newspapers. Political prisoners in Siberian labor camps were freezing and starving.
In 1988, my wife and I visited Russia. We were amazed at how well-informed most people were about their government. We asked: “How did you learn the truth, when the government-run newspapers, and radio and TV stations report nothing but lies?”
The Russians answered: “If you study our government’s “news” carefully, you can always figure out the truth”.
Unfortunately, that is the only way to learn the truth from our our daily newspapers and TV networks here in America today.
Here is one example. Last week our daily newspaper carried an Associated Press story with this headline: “Incentives make solar a more affordable option.” After telling how city, state, and federal “incentives” paid three-quarters of the cost of installing $394,514 of solar panels on an apartment building in New York City, the article explained why solar panel systems are now affordable in New Jersey.
“A 5 kilowatt solar system would drop from $37,500 to about $2,625 out of pocket after applying the federal tax credit of $8,625, a New Jersey state rebate of $8,750, and a renewable energy loan of up to $17,500 through the state’s largest electric utility, PSE&G.
“A system that size can shrink a typical home’s electricity consumption by as much as 40% and cut an electric bill by several hundred dollars a year” (Press of Atlantic City, 10/22/2009).?
Assume the average household electric bill in New Jersey is $200 per month, and that a 40% reduction saves $80 per month or $960 per year. Are solar energy panels a good investment?
Would you buy a stock, bond, or any investment for $37,500 that would pay you only $80 per month or $960 per year? It would take you 39 years to get your money back – if the investment lasted that long, and did not need any repairs or maintenance!
If you invested $37,500 in treasury bonds, only 3% interest would earn a lot more than the $960 you would save from solar panels – and you would still have your $37,500!
Yes, if gas and oil prices went up, the system would pay for itself quicker. But if science comes up with a better system in those 39 years, your big investment would be as useless as a casette tape player.
But of course, no homeowner worries about making a bad investment if the government pays for it. The government pays lots of cash up front. But it also promises to pay cash for years to come in the form of “Solar Renewable Energy Certificates” or “SREC’s.”
They are part of a complicated scam where solar panel owners are paid a bonus of about $600 for every $100 worth of electricity they produce.
Where does this money come from? Some comes from the roughly 5% “Societal Benefits Charge” added to everybody’s electric bill. Another 5% is added to your bill as “Market Transition” and “Transition Bond” charges. These reward utilities that made bad, money-losing investments in the past, but who agree to “donate” funds for “green” energy in the future.
And our state and federal governments raise our taxes and borrow money to promote “green” energy.
Did you know that patients at AtlantiCare’s new Cancer Treatment Center in Egg Harbor Township now pay a hidden tax on their treatment to promote “green” energy? Only if you read this recent article like a good Russian citizen!
“AtlantiCare wins honor for building green center. . . . The AtlantiCare Cancer Institute in Egg Harbor Tonwship . . . opened in June. . . . AtlantiCare pledged to buy renewable energy certificates for two years to offset 70% of the pollution created by the electricity used at the center” (Press of Atlantic City 10/14/2009).?