Chuck Muth: Green energy will cost Silver State residents dearly

They don’t call it “green” energy for nothing!

Environmentalists would like you to think it’s because “renewable” energy production will save the planet and make all the trees and grass greener. But in reality it’s because it’s so darned expensive and will ending up costing each and every one of us a plantation-sized bundle of greenbacks.

The problem with electricity is that, unlike water — which you can capture and store for future use — once it’s generated, you pretty much have to use it or lose it. Which means other than using electricity to recharge batteries, if you’re relying on solar power at nighttime or wind power when the wind ain’t blowin’ ... you’re in a heap o’ trouble.

Indeed, to keep electricity flowing 24/7, you need power plants that operate 24/7. And that means fueling them with something more reliable than Mr. Sun or Mr. Wind. And unless you’re willing to “go nuclear,” which has its own vocal “China Syndrome” detractors, that means pretty much either coal or natural gas.

Coal is cheap, which keeps your monthly electric bills down. But it’s not as clean as natural gas, which these days is also relatively cheap in Nevada. The problem is the cost of natural gas could one day skyrocket for unforeseen reasons. Just look at what happens with Middle East oil.

So as you can see, energy production isn’t as simple as flipping a switch and having the lights come one. Complicating the situation are “greenies” who are hell-bent on forcing America to switch to expensive, comparatively unreliable “renewable” energy sources no matter the cost.

Which makes NV Energy’s surprise announcement that it was shutting down its coal-fired power plants in Nevada way ahead of schedule so interesting.

The company was denied the opportunity to open a new coal-fired plant in Ely by Sen. Harry Reid a few years ago. It has been under relentless attack by Reid and the greenies to shut down its Reid Gardner coal generation plant outside Las Vegas.

Seeing the writing on the wall, NV Energy has accepted political reality and now plans to build new natural-gas plants, as well as expand its use of solar and wind generation. But that decision will come at a cost. To you.

Indeed, unless Nevadans are prepared to rally big-time behind coal (not a chance), they’re likely to see electric rates jump an estimated 3.84 percent per year for the next 20 years to offset the cost of natural-gas facility construction and the expanded use of “green” energy. But before you start blaming the coming rate hikes on NV Energy, consider who is really responsible for your electric bills going through the roof.

Harry Reid and the “green” energy pimps.

Chuck Muth is the president of and founder of You can contact him at


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