Is the RPS Hurting New Mexico? (Part 3)
We’re going to try to be short with this final part, brought to you by the Rio Grande Foundation*. All we really want to know is this: “How do you make and publish a study this flawed?”
*Totally not brought to you by the Rio Grande Foundation. More of a “Based on the real life story of a real fake study by the RGF” Tonight on Lifetime.
With factually incorrect numbers for most everything, like 67% for coal generation when it is actually 72%, this study forces one to wonder, was this peer reviewed or paid for. The report didn’t even get New Mexico’s RPS goal correct, which is surprising. The RGF usually gets it right. That’s probably due to the simplicity of 20-20-20. Yes, the correct goal is 20% by 2020. Dr. T used 15.7% by 2021, which may be a phone number he needed to write down somewhere.
These errors may not seem important and being off by 5% on the coal numbers really wouldn’t be an issue if he wasn’t a Professor, publishing studies based on his dealer’s phone number. That can be very dangerous. Think about it, to match the study data for the RPS goal, the New Mexico state government would have to manually destroy 4.3% of Renewable sources. Doc, please do not give them any ideas!
This just gets worse with time and observation. Neither the study nor the report appear to have been aware of New Mexico’s Rule 572. That Rule clearly states that out of the IOUs used for the RPS “No less than 20% (can be) Solar.” So, when the study states “Slightly over 89 percent of new RPS capacity for New Mexico is supplied by wind power” it’s not only incorrect, it is offensive to people who know how to read. By the way, in a 2014 study by the American Council on Renewable Energy, Wind only makes up 68.97% but that’s beside the point.
Doc, do you even know what the Law of Supply and Demand is? Here, since raw numerical data isn’t your strong suit, let our artist show you in simple terms:
Got that? I hope so, since Ariel won’t be available to explain it in simpler terms until after ballet class. I will, however, take a stab at it:
When there is more of something, cost goes down, meaning if the “electrical generation from these new facilities” goes from 1.4 million MWh to 2.7 million MWh, the cost goes, say it with me, DOWN. It doesn’t even matter how many MWh NM uses, if there is more supply of X than people need, the cost of X is going to go down. See, if there were less things but more need, the cost would go up. It’s that simple, my friend.
Dr. T, could you please explain to us the meaning of this chart? From our perspective, either NM fails to produce a single megawatt of electricity between 2016 and 2040 or there is zero impact from the RPS for these years. It has also been suggested, by our staff artist, that you can see the future and this is your warning of the coming of the end, doc. You’d be decent enough to let us know, wouldn’t you? I mean, we’re all friends here, aren’t we?
I think we may be getting a little worked up, so let’s take a moment to just smile. This is an exercise I learned in Pre-K.
Imagine a field of green grass that lightly flows in a gentle wind. There are bunnies hopping about and birds singing in the sky. You’ve made a picnic to share with your closest friends, who are on time for once. You all sit around and eat gluten-free sandwiches made with organically grown jam. Isn’t that nice? That’s a tranquil and calm image. Now, let’s imagine that you also know that programs like the RPS have yielded benefits as far back as 2013. Isn’t peer-reviewed information nice and easy to find with a simple Google search? If only we lived in a world like that. Just forget that this guy is literally teaching a course that is opposed to the rise of renewable energy. Let all your worries melt away like that non-chemically induced chocolate that Granny made for your birthday that you’re now sharing with your best friends who also helped you write a thought-out, well-researched study.
Speaking of friends, I think it’s time we took a look at the people behind the study and the report. At the head of this study, in the role of Principal Investigator or PI, you have Dr. T. Well, since he is no Thomas Magnum, let’s go ahead and forget about him, too.
The report was authored and published by the Rio Grande Foundation, which, interestingly enough, isn’t listed at all in this study. Instead, there is an implied supporting role for Natural Resource Economics, Inc.
Before you get your pitchforks sharpened and hunt them down, you should know something. We contacted Natural Resource Economics, Inc to verify that they were involved in the report. They told us simply “Nope.”
How do you get away with signing a company’s name to a report they have nothing to do with? If you can do that then I can easily say that the Rio Grande Foundation supported this rebuttal to their study. Oh my gosh, we should totally do that!
Anyway, the point is, if you take away NRE, the only credits you’re given for this report are “Timothy J. Considine, PhD.” We’d like to stress, no one else is credited in the study. Not even in the Appendix next to the references used.
Of course, as we mentioned earlier, the Rio Grande Foundation does take full credit on their website for authoring the entire study. We think they mean report, but then again, maybe the entire thing was authored, like a bad romance novel. They do credit Dr T as being an “energy expert”, which means they must have authored a new definition of that label, too.
“Today, the Rio Grande Foundation released a new study authored by its president Paul Gessing based on research provided by energy expert Dr. Timothy Considine of the University of Wyoming.”
We hope the study was authored and published solely by the RGF and that Dr T is no more real than the EIA data used for the study’s models. You know, the data and info the EIA says they never published. If he does exist, we hope that Dr T can correct his study. We also would hope he does research next time, before he puts out something about how dying polar bears provide school for children or something.
Let’s be honest for a second. You know the reason this study is 109 pages yet only says the same thing over and over again? No, it’s not because repetition is used in elementary schools to reinforce ideas so they stick for standardized testing. It’s because they’re confident that at that length, no one will fact check it. I mean, who would devote three weeks of their life to looking over a study that can be disproved before getting to the second page of it? That would just be insane. What’s more insane is that people think they can get away with “publishing” studies, self-assured that they won’t be fact checked ever.
Instead of ending on a sad note, we’re going to end on a happy note. Despite the fear-mongering this study was supposed to instill in New Mexico, it seems like no one even gave it a second thought, unless they had a bunch of unused genius photoshop ideas of course. So for all their effort and probably money wasted on this report, it has done nothing, except given us an excuse to make bad photoshop pictures and childish jokes while disproving the points of this foundation for a pure piece of misinformation, so thank you for that.
That was our journey, a bunch of repetition and pie baking. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for taking the time to go on this journey with us!
Thanks again and we’ll see you next week for a blog that isn’t about this study.