Monday, November 08, 2010

WSJ: Renewables Not Likely to be Renewed in PA

Thursday's Wall Street Journal had an interesting short article, "Pennsylvania's vote for gas hits renewables," by Liam Denning. Here are a few points:

With the economy figuring large in America's swing rightward, Harrisburg's new masters have reason to nurture the Marcellus. A 2010 Pennsylvania State University study estimated Marcellus development added 44,000 jobs last year in a state with 570,000 unemployed. A friendlier Harrisburg lifts a cloud for developers like Range Resources, for whom the Marcellus represents 59% of net asset value according to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.


Gas emits roughly half the carbon coal does. Solar and wind emit zero. But new gas-fired plants produce electricity at 53% and 21% the cost of onshore wind and photovoltaic solar respectively, according to Energy Department projections. Combine those economics with local political backing, and the result is a big competitive headache for renewables.

Range Resources, it should be noted, made some sizable political donations. Guess who to?

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