Rick Perry, Cory Gardner Tour NREL Tomorrow

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, eating a corn dog.

A press release from the Department of Energy announces the Secretary of Energy hisself, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will tour Golden’s National Renewable Energy Lab tomorrow accompanied the always-cherubic Sen. Cory Gardner:

On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will travel to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. While there, he will tour the Energy Systems Integration Facility and the Science and Technology Facility with Senator Cory Gardner. They will see first-hand the wide range of research and development being conducted at the lab – from high-performance computing to solar materials research.

Perry and Gardner will also stop by the NREL Partner Forum and then provide open press remarks and answer employee questions at an all-hands meeting. Following these events, they will hold a brief media availability.

Readers will recall that now-Secretary Perry famously pledged to abolish the Department of Energy if elected President–sort of, since he couldn’t remember the name of the agency when pressed to identify which departments of the federal government he would abolish in a debate. Once Donald Trump nominated Perry to serve as the Secretary of the very same Department of Energy–which we assume, when you get right down to it, was Trump making some kind of joke–Perry expressed “regret” at having made such a rash policy prescription.

Whatever the fate of the Department of Energy as a whole, NREL itself has been subjected to several periods of uncertainty by Republican administrations and Congresses, but it does appear that the GOP has bigger fish to fry between now and the November elections. That is, staying in power, and kicking renewable energy to please the fossil fuel industry isn’t a good look for Republicans going into this particularly hostile midterm.

So hooray! Rick Perry loves…what’s that place again?

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Why? Does Perry think we secretly research coal at this federal facility?

    Bailing Out the Coal Industry Will Hurt Consumers

    The president has ordered his energy secretary, Rick Perry, to prepare immediate steps to keep these plants open. Under a plan first disclosed by Bloomberg, two rarely used laws would be invoked to require operators of the nation’s electricity grid to buy power or reserve generation capacity from unprofitable coal and nuclear plants that are scheduled to be retired.

    Ostensibly, the idea is to establish a “Strategic Electric Generation Reserve” to ensure that a domestic energy supply is available in a national emergency while the Energy Department undertakes a study of risks to the energy system.

    But “national security” is really just a fig leaf for subsidizing coal and nuclear plants that can’t compete anymore against natural gas and renewables like solar and wind power. The effort is built on the lie that these plants will be essential if the nation’s electric grid is attacked. It’s an obvious gift to the troubled coal industry that President Trump promised to save while a candidate. And it would be an expensive gift. One study estimated it could cost consumers as much as $11.8 billion.


    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Let's see what kind of news comes out of the visit. When he was governor of Texas, Perry supported wind power. When he took the cabinet position, however, he went over to the "dark side."

      • MichaelBowman says:

        I agree with the substance of your post.  Perry did support wind power as Governor but had nothing to do with putting it in place.  We can give that credit to Dubya, who set the stage for massive amounts of wind into the TX grid in exchange for deregulating the TX energy markets.  Not unlike the scenario with Cory, who by all accounts is supportive of today's Colorado wind industry even though he was ideologically opposed to every ballot initiative and legislative success that created one of the greenest grids in the US right here in Colorado.  

        I'll give credit where credit is due, but if there is anything akin to a Clean Energy Peter Principle, Secretary Perry is the poster child.  He's not demonstrated any contemporary clean energy leadership and I'm not sure he is an upgrade to the once-possibility of Caribou Barbie holding his spot. 

        As a history lesson, Carter created the lab in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute, later becoming NREL. You may recall he put the first solar panels on the White House and today he's powering his local community with solar).  Carter fundamentally believed that burning our natural gas resources for thermal heat was the equivalent of throwing antiques into ones fireplace.  

        One of the first acts by Ronnie RayGun was to remove the panels (and then slashed the NREL budget by 90%). At that time the biofuels team had made great strides in the algae-to-biodiesel space. The budget cuts scattered the team to the winds and thirty years later the biodiesel sector is still trying to recover from that loss of aggregated intellectual capital.

        There's a great story about Reagan on Air Force One enroute to Denver to announce the closing of the facility.  One of his largest campaign contributors was the man who owned the building leased to SERI and caught wind of the plan. There was apparently a very curt call made to the President by the landlord and between DC and Denver the plan was changed from 'closing' to 'mostly strangle'.  

        So we can't do anything about the four-plus decades of Republican shenanigans in the energy space; we can hold them accountable on climate change non-action at the voting booth.  I'll hold any further personal judgement until we see a press release post-visit – but more importantly any actions they take.  I have a hunch it will be just a bunch of pretty words backed up by nothing

        I hope they prove me wrong.

        • mamajama55 says:

          There is large utility scale wind power ( Phil Anschutz, conservative GOP megadonor, is also the largest owner of wind power utility development rights, and is currently at work on a planned 3000 MW project delivering wind power from Rawlins, WY to California. )

          Then there are distributed, small scale wind towers on individual farmers' land lots, selling their electrons to the closest utility. Even Greg Brophy and Jerry Sonnenberg want a piece of that action, according to the Gazette article.

          My guess is that Rick Perry (and probably Cory Gardner) favor the former, but not the latter model of wind energy.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            For those of us who haven't forgotten the shrill howls of our eastern Colorado representatives on energy mandates we can be both entertained and thankful that, after being dragged to the party, they're having some fun now.  

            Jan and Virgil Kochis are wonderful people and long-time Rocky Mountain Farmers Union members, an organization dedicated to supporting these kinds of opportunities.  Fun fact: when the groundbreaking for the first phase of the Limon wind farm was held in the summer of 2010 Brophy couldn't be bothered to attend the celebration of the largest commercial development in Lincoln County since the railroad came through.  Those were the days when he couldn't be seen with Democrats (Betsy Markey was the Congresswoman for the district and was in attendance, as was I).  Brophy loathed mandates; ironically, the only mechanism to bring these opportunities to rural Colorado given the monopoly nature of Xcel and the rural electrics (Tri-State in particular).  

            The Limon farm was the first of a series of tri-fectas knitting together the bounty of Amendment 37 and the series of renewable energy legislative wins under Governor Ritter.  The project, driven by aggressive, renewable energy mandates,  consisted of Colorado-manufactured Vestas turbines (creating jobs in Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo).  It gave a significant, recurring boost in tax revenues to Lincoln County, and Xcel customers a long-term, cost-normalizing energy source.  

            A win(d)-win(d)-win(d) for Colorado.

            Big wind is big business; the rural electrics could be the vanguards for distributed, localized production but they've been so wedded to coal they've missed all of the early opportunities.  Large, REA-owned wind and solar would be a good deal for its members given there are USDA funds for rural electrics to build and produce specifically for export.  That fund went virtually untapped under the eight years of Obama because.  Well. You know. The black guy and the dummycrats <something><something>. 

            Now maybe our illustrious politician-turned-green warrior can drop by the Centennial Institute and change some hearts and minds there on what is really driving the rural Colorado economy? (hint: it's progressive political initiatives, not what CI wants you to think it is).


      • MichaelBowman says:

        I'll report, you decide CHB.  The entirety of this breaking news fills about 20 seconds of time.  Who'd have thunk?  Someday we're going to change the world

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          And I had to sit through a 30 second car ad to get to the good stuff. No, CBS4, I'm not buying a high priced Lincoln Navigator next year when I trade in the current car.

          I was impressed with Perry's comments. The real proof, though, will be in his holding to that and not pushing his boss's pro-coal agenda any more than he has to. I also wonder if Senator Gardner has ever visited the Rocky Mountain Institute in Snowmass?


          • MichaelBowman says:

            I'm on a plane and wrote a response, complete with links to the German Energiewende program.  I made the mistake of not copying before posting and, alas, the damn thing fell into Alva's black hole. 

            So – I'll leave you with this: don't you know that real conservatives drive gas guzzling SUVs??????????????????

  2. Moderatus says:

    How many ANTIFA thugs did you have there to intimidate people this time?

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