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November 10, 2019

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True. It Usually Is.

Once upon a time a group of people settled in Texas and named their city Georgetown after George Washington McClintock Glasscock.

The problem with Georgetown, it is too damn close to Austin, TX. As with other cities which surround larger municipalities they attempt to emulate them. When your mayor claims something is a "No-Brainer", run like the wind or stop him as soon as possible at the ballot box.

“We got something in common,” Dale Ross told Al Gore last summer. “You invented the internet. And I invented green energy.”

Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, Texas — pop. 65,000 — was having a bit of fun with the former vice president and longtime environmental activist. But, in the coming months, his rapid ascendancy in the renewable-energy cosmos might make the boast seem less of a joke.

The mayor has recently been interviewed by a Dutch film crew and appeared on both NPR and MSNBC. He spoke last month at the Earth Optimism Summit in Washington, sponsored by the Smithsonian Conversation Commons. And in the coming months, he will take on the role of unlikely hero in three high-profile documentary films, including the sequel to Gore’s 2006 hit, "An Inconvenient Truth."

A volunteer politician from a little-known town in central Texas, Ross might otherwise be laboring at his more workaday tasks: issuing proclamations to residents who turn 100 and promoting the beauty of Georgetown’s central square. But he is becoming a national media darling because, in an era of hardened political boundaries, he has unapologetically colored outside ideological lines. He is a Republican, a conservative and a Donald Trump voter (with an asterisk on the last point) who is so committed to green energy he has pushed his city to become one of the first in the country to get all of its electricity from the wind and the sun.

Nothing says you are on the wrong track than being praised by Mr. Climate Scaremonger Al Gore.

Former Vice President Al Gore delivered more warnings about the threat of global climate change at a renewable energy conference in Georgetown on Monday, before holding up the Central Texas city as an example of the progress being made to alleviate the crisis.

Georgetown is the first and only city in Texas to operate solely on renewable energy. It had been the biggest city in the U.S. to get its power entirely from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, until being displaced recently by Las Vegas.

With dreams of unicorns and a climate of 72 degrees, the City of Georgetown and its part-time mayor and full time CPA pushed the city to enter into a contract for cheaper and cleaner electricity. Not just any contract, a 25 year contract.

Now when 50% of all marriage contracts end in divorce and a politician tells you the contract is a no-brainer, guess what happened? That's right little Morons, The City of Georgetown has filed a suit to break the contract.

The city of Georgetown has sued the company that it contracted with for solar power alleging that the firm breached at least three sections of the contract.

The lawsuit says Buckthorn Westex LLC had information about the expected performance of its solar facility that it was supposed to disclose, but never revealed it during negotiations with the city over contract amendments in 2016.

The city is seeking more than $1 million in damages and a cancellation of the 25-year contract, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The city’s lawyer, Charlie McNabb, declined to comment Monday.

Georgetown City Manager David Morgan said last week that “unfortunately, since the solar farm became operational in 2018, the city became aware of several problems at the facility related to its operation and performance.”

“These ongoing problems have resulted in financial losses for the city. Buckthorn was aware of some of these issues but did not disclose them during negotiations,” Morgan added.

Buckthorn Westex sent the following comment by email on Monday night:

“Buckthorn strongly disputes all claims in the complaint made by the City of Georgetown,” the email said.

“Buckthorn has and will continue to honor all terms of its contractual agreement with the City and any claims to the contrary are inaccurate. Just two days before filing its lawsuit, the City agreed to formal mediation.”

“Rather than working in good faith, Georgetown elected to pursue litigation in a clear attempt to terminate its contractual obligations, the email also said. It said “Buckthorn is eager to present the facts in the legal process.”

"The first debacle was the bankruptcy of the developer, Sun Edison. The project (eventually) got built, but Georgetown soon realized it had committed to buying more electricity than it needed and it had to sell its excess back to the grid. But due to natural gas creating cheap electricity, the market price for the excess electricity Georgetown had to buy and then re-sell had plunged below the price Georgetown was paying for its solar electricity. This negative arbitrage is costing the city about $8,000,000 per year. Rate payers have been hit with two Renewable Energy Surcharges now totaling almost $19 per month. The mayor's smug greenstanding is now costing each household more than $200 per year in "Renewable Energy Surcharges" above and beyond their regular above-market-price energy use." - H/T Cumberland Astro

If you're a part-time politician who doesn't know the first thing about the renewable energy industry keep your pipe dreams to yourself. Keep the potholes filled. Make sure the garbage trucks run on time. And do your damn best to keep the utility costs down for your constituents.

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posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 01:30 PM

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