Monday, August 18, 2008


In today's dinky little Times Picayune "opinion page", we see an oh-so-insightful letter to the editor from Ms. Audra Shay of Mandeville. Here it is, in full:

Re: "Save money, go solar," [by John Atkeison] Your Opinions, Aug. 15.

Yes, sunlight is free. Too bad it can cost as much as $25,000 or more up front to install solar equipment at a normal home.

Maybe the Alliance for Affordable Energy and other extreme environmentalists ought to stick to things that are actually affordable.

The "extreme environmentalist" to which Ms. Shay was responding had merely questioned why Entergy was converting a plant to burn dirtier fuel (under the guise of "savings"), rather than investing in "a mix of generating methods that includes clean renewables like large-scale wind or the new solar technologies".

Here's a City Business article that goes over the recent debate about alternative energy between John Atkeison of Alliance for Affordable Energy and Entergy New Orleans spokesman Morgan Stewart. (Read the whole thing for all the details, and please don't miss the last few paragraphs about how offshore Louisiana boasts “the gold mine of wind in the country”, but alternative energy companies can't take advantage of it.)

Let's note that in 2006 Morgan Stewart was the chairman of the Greater New Orleans Republicans Fund, and Audra Shay was the chairman of the Greater New Orleans Republicans, Inc (incorporated in Rogers, Arkansas).

These were the GNOR luminaries who endorsed Ray Nagin's re-election in 2006. These are the GNOR bright stars whose PAC sent out thousands of mailers touting Nagin for Mayor and slamming Mitch Landrieu. To them, Ray Nagin was a "Rare voice of Reform in City Hall". He once endorsed Bobby Jindal, and liberals had attacked him as "Ray Reagan"-- case closed! He's the one for us.

Now some of these same GNOR druids are working in concert to defend dirtier energy by saying advocates of wind and solar power are "extreme environmentalists".

So yes, to respond to Ms. Shay's "point", the initial cost of installing solar power technology is expensive. However the equipment adds value to your home, and the energy savings begin immediately.

Conversely, what was the initial cost for GNOR to help "install" Ray Nagin for a second term (seriously, how much did GNOR spend on all its fliers and ads? --twenty grand? and where did that moolah come from, anyway?) How "affordable" has Nagin been for New Orleans? What did his re-election "cost" the city and the "Greater New Orleans" region?

Two years later I wonder: are those political shamans at GNOR who crafted literature hyping the connection of "Nagin" to "Reagan" proud of their endorsement? Are they proud of their "investment" in Nagin's re-election, and the results? If so, perhaps they should have a bronze statue made of Nagin, to honor him after his term expires. It could be placed up on the Northshore, next to the World's Largest Reagan statue.

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9 comments DiggIt!


The dolt from Mandeville just doesn't get it. We will be using a firm from Lafayette (they are doing the geo-thermal work for Brad Pitt's project). The company collects your tax credits immediently and subtracts that amount from the total cost.

I'm looking at $30K for our system, and with the first year's credits that knocks almost $18K off the total. Viola! It will cost us $12K and we start saving the moment it turns on.

In five years it will have paid for itself, and the panels are good for 15 years.

I guess Mandevillians can't think anything through, but then again they support Price. Feh.

By Anonymous GentillyGirl, at 1:44 PM  

Gentillygirl, would you mind sharing the name of the firm in Lafayette? Thanks.

By Anonymous bigshot, at 2:33 PM  

Hey Oyster

I suggest that you read Thomas Frank's new book, The Wrecking Crew. Specifically: Chapter 6, "The Best Public Servant is the Worst One."

By Blogger ethan, at 3:26 PM  

Yes, I'm certainly looking forward to reading Frank's book.

By Blogger oyster, at 3:32 PM  

Gentilly Girl, I want the name, too! Good post, Oyster. Being in Peru has convinced me I have to go solar ASAP.
I only have $6K available so far but ... I am looking for an estimate, and my house is small, and my theory was, I could go part solar at least to start, or something like this. Being in an ecologically ruined country this summer has turned me into a total eco-freak!!!

By Anonymous Cero, at 5:01 AM  

Texas is starting to auction leases for offshore wind farms.

What people don't know is the company is based in Louisiana and originally wanted to work offshore Louisiana, but the state can't get it's act together to set things up, despite having the better location.

By Blogger Clay, at 7:03 AM  

Pitt's solar company is South Coast Solar. I called them, they were nice.
If you can't afford the conversion of
your electric system this year, which I can't because you do have to have the $25K up front, you can still do your hot water, for less, and this pays for itself really quickly, they say. $8K for the hot water, then you get a refund next year of $4K from the state and a Federal tax credit of $2400, so your net cost is $1600 while you add $8K in value to your home (supposedly, but it doesn't go to property tax ... I wouldn't assume you could just tack $8K onto the selling price, though). Supposedly this pays for itself in gas saved in 1.5 years although I don't use that much, it would take longer. But it would be good for the planet. !!!

By Blogger Professor Zero, at 4:14 PM  

Of course, a big problem with solar is that: 1) it usually isn't cost-effective to install (otherwise, it would be very widespread), and 2) if done for ecological reasons, you have to factor in the fact that actually producing solar panels is very harmful to the environment.

The same goes for wind power -- it usually isn't cost effective, and causes its own ecological damage, namely by chopping up migratory birds that happen to fly into its path.

Personally, I don't care where my power comes from provided that I'm getting the most bang for my buck, even if you're discounting for future savings. However, it simply isn't the case that solar or wind accomplishes that -- at least not at this time. If the situation were otherwise, everyone and their dog would be using both, and neither would be kept on life support by tax incentives and pandering local officials, as is the current situation.

As for the GNOR, I would prefer they hadn't endorsed Nagin, but then again both candidates were members of your party, not theirs, and the GOP lacks sufficient clout to turn elections in Orleans Parish. I know you'd prefer it to be otherwise, but Nagin is your monster, not the GOP's. If the GOP had its druthers, a Republican would have won. However, it's simply deflection to assert that the GOP's efforts to stop Landrieu were somehow the most significant factor in the campaign. The most significant factor was a Democratic constituency voting for a Democratic candidate.

By Anonymous Owen Courrèges, at 11:07 PM  

Preach ON, Erster!!!

BTW, in re: the world's tackiest statuary: Why in the FUCK is that draft-dodging military-industrial-complex WHORE "saluting"?!?!?!? He never served. He made PROPAGANDA FILMS, he played with his monkey, but HE NEVER ONCE SIGNED-UP TO SERVE THIS COUNTRY.

Oh, yeah, being a pro-war SOCIOPATH, sending OTHER people into the line of fire, wasting TRILLIONS on a fucking NUCLEAR ARSENAL, yeah, that's the same fucking thing as going onto the battlefield!!!

Fucking cocksuckers.

Last time that I went to the NawthShaw (underwritten BY The Shaw Group by now, I'm sure), only ONE piece of "statuary" made an impression on me.

That giant blue "THIS IS *DUKE* COUNTRY!" billboard right next to the exit ramps from the fucking CAUSEWAY.

And last I heard, it was STILL BEING MAINTAINED by somebody, so obviously, that's the message that they want to give to ANYONE who comes into "their" territory.

Yeah, that's the first thing that I'd want somebody to see, right?!!??! I guess that Poyner, Texas' "THE WHITEST TOWN IN AMERICA" slogan was copyrighted... "Don't let the sun set on your black behind..." was probably still open, though...

And yet we still wonder why people stereotype us. Why yankees and Californians assume that WE'RE ALL THE FUCKING SAME as these cousin-fucking mouth-breathers. 'CAUSE WE LET THESE MOTHERFUCKERS CONTINUE TO DRAW BREATH AND BREEEEED. (In or out.)

Oh, and Owen?

"the GOP lacks sufficient clout to turn elections in Orleans Parish."

That MIGHT have been true, in the PRE-Katrina world, but after that SPECIFICALLY-ENGINEERED GENOCIDE, the republicunts in power were able to DESTROY THE LAST SOLIDLY-DEMOCRATIC VOTING BLOC IN THE ENTIRE SOUTH, so now of COURSE it's going ALLLLLL REPUBLICUNT nowadays, honey.

Recruit rich white republicunts (carpetbaggers) to swoop in and scoop-up "devalued" (seized from still-exiled owners) properties and change the entire complexion (race, income, politics, everyfuckingthing) of the ENTIRE GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA. I'm sure that Unca Dick and Dumbya couldn't have been prouder, after they made DAMNED SURE that their "wunderkind," prodigy-boy, damned near the progeny of their own twisted loins, PIYUSH JINDHAL, was FINALLY able to be "elected" (much as yer boy Dumbya was "elected" in 2000, by the Corporate Supreme Court) to the Gubner's Office!

If you think that you can honestly beat the old republicunt drum that "whatever bad happens to y'all, IT'S YOUR OWN FAULTS!!!" the way y'all did to the FOURTEEN-HUNDRED-PLUS DEAD after Katrina, honey, wake the fuck up and smell the bullshit.

Nobody's buying the frat-boy bullying arrogance with which you republicunts have date-raped this entire fucking country anymore, and ESPECIALLY not us. Or are you just another fucking carpetbagger, sent here by your republicunt massahs to "pooh-pooh" "radical" ideas like NON-POLLUTING ENERGY (which means that ENTERGY and their ilk don't get to continue raping the customers the way that they've raped the EARTH), as well as trying to RE-WRITE HISTORY, the way that you draft-dodging war-whores have been doing since 1988?

'Cause either way, nobody's biting or buying. This is not your audience, son. You might want to find people who are simple-minded enough to WANT somebody to do their "thinking" FOR THEM. Y'know, like in MANDEVILLE. And no, I'm not talking about yet another state-run mental hospital that will soon be closed so that Piyush can give more tax breaks to the Shaw Group & Halliburton. I'm talking about the LOCALS.

By Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter, at 10:56 PM