Thursday, January 06, 2011

The CRI and Environmental Issues

David Stevenson of the Caesar Rodney Institute has put out three more installments in his effort to spark a backlash against renewable energy in Delaware. I'm too busy to go through them point by point just now, so I thought I would refer back to the CRI's history on environmental issues.

Last spring the CRI offered an analysis of SB 234, which establishes statewide curbside recycling in Delaware,
which I found fatally flawed:
I have found three fundamental flaws in his work, and conclude that it is his analysis that doesn’t add up.
Mr. Stevenson’s analysis uses participation rates and cost estimates of older and far less efficient programs to project the success and cost of universal curbside recycling. He compounds these errors by offering a lowball estimate of the cost of landfilling. These three errors each amount to about an order of magnitude, and together render his conclusions almost completely unreliable.
Stevenson followed up in August with a critique of Bluewater Wind proposal that asserted (without much basis) that offshore wind would cost 60 percent more than conventional power, an assertion repeated earlier this week. At the time, I encouraged the staff at CRI to do their homework, but I have not seen much improvement in the quality of their work.

We've seen this time and again: The opponents of renewable energy will maximize the costs and minimize the benefits. The Caesar Rodney Institute's efforts to portray the opponents of renewable energy as the hard-headed realists in the debate would be more convincing if the organization were better at hard-headed analysis.


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