December 3, 2012

Another View: Asking who backed a study is always a good idea

So why does the paper ask only when studies come from one perspective, but not the other?

By RICHARD PRINCE

The Press Herald's editorial advice Nov. 28 ("

Our View: Industry-funded study bad basis for energy policy

") to ask who funds a study is excellent, whether it's an energy study funded by the energy industry or one funded by an anti-industry organization.

Remember the studies that told us coffee, chocolate and food A or food B were bad, and later another study said these were good? Who paid for what?

Should we believe all the hype that alternative energy is good? Who paid for the studies? Probably someone with a financial or political stake in the results.

Does the paper treat these studies in the same way it treats the energy study? No, it does not. Why not? Follow the money and/or the politics.

Here's my personal energy study. When ethanol was added to gasoline, my miles per gallon dropped significantly, as ethanol is bad for mileage.

Using Consumer Reports' published numbers, it would take about 19 years at $5 per gallon for gas to break even when buying a electric Chevy Volt instead of a gas-engine Toyota Corolla.

Do you remember how food prices went up after ethanol was added to gas? Who pushed ethanol -- perhaps it was big agriculture? Windmills are such a good deal Saco was trying to get rid of theirs, as reported by this paper.

Windmills may be great, but they are not as good as advertised, simply because the wind is fickle. Solar cells are great as long as the sun shines. I could not power my home solely with either or both of these.

So we must always ask, "Who paid for the study?" And this newspaper has a duty to ask and publish this for all studies, not just the ones it disagrees with.

Having the energy folks write a bill is no different from having the environmentalists write one, but I hear no criticism of environmentalists writing bills.

I wonder why. No, wait, I may already know.

Richard Prince is a resident of South Portland.

 

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