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The  Endangered Species Act is infamous for the perverse incentives built into it (these come from the fact that it imposes costs on a very small minority of people for something that is presumably a national or global public good, but this is not surprising in our modern thugocracy). But here is another perverse incentive from the ESA: it has been used by the unions to block the construction of green energy projects and to raise the (already high) costs of construction:

When a company called Ausra filed plans for a big solar power plant in California, it was deluged with demands from a union group that it study the effect on creatures like the short-nosed kangaroo rat and the ferruginous hawk.

By contrast, when a competitor, BrightSource Energy, filed plans for an even bigger solar plant that would affect the imperiled desert tortoise, the same union group, California Unions for Reliable Energy, raised no complaint. Instead, it urged regulators to approve the project as quickly as possible.

One big difference between the projects? Ausra had rejected demands that it use only union workers to build its solar farm, while BrightSource pledged to hire labor-friendly contractors.

Insert your preferred snarky comment here.

5 Responses to “It’s Not About the Environment”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    Whoa, WHOA, WAIT … are you implying that the union might be disingenuous or even lying about its true intentions? Or that some people might abuse laws and statutes for their own selfish ends?! This is an epiphany for me. 😉

  2. Harry says:

    Hahaha, Speedmaster. Evidently you misunderstand how jobs are created, good jobs, on a level playing field, everyone having to hire unemployed auto workers at $35/hour, plus benefits, plus, in the subsidized solar panel industry, wholesale panels and zero-percent loans to buy a hundred acres near Buffalo, on your choice of Great Lake.

    What’s this business about snarky comments?

  3. Rod says:

    Next: card check for ferruginous hawks, snub-nosed rats, tortoises, hares, turtles, rabbits and buzzards.

    I’ll tell you what’s really sick. Crossing a kangaroo with a rat.

  4. […] This post was Twitted by speedmaster […]

  5. Harry says:

    Sorry, Speedmaster, I am not yet plugged into any social media yet. My daughter, a consummate expert, has promised to connect me. Rizzo knows her.

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