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February 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM
State investment board admits alternative energy not a good investment
Our new “green governor,” Jay Inslee, has been raising hopes that Washington will be “the spot, right here, where an international revolution is going to begin in how we power our economy.” That revolution is “alternate energy,” including biodiesel (which he promoted heavily in his book) and electric cars.
Reality check: just a few days earlier, in a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Theresa Whitmarsh, executive director of the Washington State Investment Board, was asked if the board has been investing the pension money of public employees in alternate energy. Her answer was, in essence, no: that the board had lots of money invested in energy companies (read: oil), and some of them have alternate-energy projects, but that the board had not targeted alternate-energy companies.
She said, “Alternate energy has not been a good investment over the last decade from a return perspective.”
That doesn’t mean it won’t be. But it hasn’t been, and anyone promoting it should address the reason why.
(Hat tip to Jason Mercier for the video.)