Cheryl Cage and Her Own Facts

Cheryl Cage has been issuing questionable press releases attacking her opponent, Senator Al Melvin, with manufactured and unsupported charges. She is entitled to her own opinion but not to her own facts.

 In a June 16th Op-Ed column in the Explorer, Cheryl Cage stated, “In his op-ed (Arizona should consider atomic energy 6/9) Mr. Melvin manipulates the facts to support his push for Arizona to become a nuclear waste destination so we can become ‘very rich.’”

 So what did Senator Melvin really say? “Any practical plan for our future must include alternate energy sources, and any alternate energy plan must include atomic energy. In truth, Arizona can be a very rich and prosperous state with plentiful and affordable electricity through atomic power, and we can also have plentiful and affordable water through desalinization.

 “ . . . The Electric Power Research Institute states that by 2030, states with atomic reactors will see their electric rates rise by 45% and states with no atomic reactors will see their electric rates rise over 265%. When one looks at the cost to produce electricity per kilowatt-hour, atomic energy is 2.5 cents compared to solar and wind up to 14 to 17 cents. Coal and natural gas are 4 to 7 cents, yet over time these costs are bound to increase . . .”

 Ms. Cage, attempts to deceive the reader by stating, “He states that nuclear energy costs 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour compared to solar and wind (notice he lumps solar and wind together) at around 14 to 17 cents per kilowatt-hour. What he doesn’t tell you is that the stated 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour does not include capital costs (which make up 80% of the energy production cost) or costs of transmission . . .”

 What Ms. Cage failed to tell the reader is the costs for coal and natural gas, and solar and wind, also do not include capital costs. So Senator Melvin is comparing apples to apples.

If Ms. Cage takes exception to this comparison, let’s talk about the billions of dollars being wasted by the government on doubling our nation’s use of solar and wind: doubling moves usage from 1% to 2% of all energy used in this country, a very inefficient use of taxpayer dollars.

Ms. Cage then stated that, “Studies have shown for every $1 million dollars [sic] invested in solar will provide 13.5 jobs to the nuclear industries 4.5 jobs.” What Ms. Cage doesn’t say is the solar jobs will be low paying while the nuclear jobs will be high paying. Also, for every 13.5 jobs created other industries will lose 30 jobs.

 For those of you who want evidence, just look at Spain. “For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid . . .The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power—which are charged to consumers in their bill –translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish ‘green job’ created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report . . . The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices . . .”

 Ms. Cage continues with her misinformation: “His comparison about the ‘footprints’ of solar versus nuclear is equally disingenuous. He refuses to acknowledge solar panels would not just be sitting in a large field; they would be placed throughout a community (top of homes and businesses, parking lots and infill areas). He states that Palo Verde’s footprint is only 6.3 miles because he chooses to ignore the impact of mining uranium.”

 This is what Senator Melvin said in this Op-Ed” “To have a photovoltaic facility that produces the same daylight electricity as the Palo Verde Nuclear facility in Phoenix, it would take solar panels 250 miles long (almost the distance from Tucson to San Diego) and one mile wide with a footprint of 250 square miles, compared with Palo Verde’s footprint of 6.3 square miles. There is definitely a role for solar to play in fulfilling Arizona’s energy needs, but the base load of 80 percent of all our energy needs could and should be met by atomic energy. . .”

 Ms. Cage’s statement that, “He refuses to acknowledge solar panels would not just be sitting in a large field . . .” is disingenuous at best. Senator Melvin was making a comparison. Of course, we could put all those solar panels on buildings instead of a field, which some companies are doing, but the footprint would probably double to 500 square miles.

 Her comment about uranium mining is simply a distraction. Solar and wind can and do have large footprints. Every time I drive through Palm Springs I see miles and miles of windmills, the majority not moving. Why? Ms. Cage has not yet found a way to manage the wind but she has found a way to create her own wind and her own facts.

 Being the progressive-socialist she is, Ms. Cage is against nuclear power. She is adamantly against reprocessing nuclear waste, which France has been doing for years. In fact, 80% of France’s electricity comes from nuclear reactors. You would think the Ms. Cage, as a lover of European style socialism, would embrace nuclear energy.

Unfortunately, Ms. Cage comes across as a left-wing ideologue willing to distort known facts, conjure up her own facts and then irresponsibly attack others based on knowingly false information.

 Character and integrity?  Draw your own conclusion.