Shortly after that that I wrote another piece which described the layers of problems facing the folks in rural areas, and specifically the Upper peninsula with the failure to support our coal burning electrical platform. However, the meat of the piece better describes the way in which natural gas providers have also played a a part in defeating coal.
Coming amidst an impending decision by the EPA on the Utility MACT (maximum achievable control technology) rule that is expected to lead to job loses, plant shutdowns, and rolling blackouts across the country, this strange partnership raises a question. What does Chesapeake stand to gain, by pouring money into a seemingly disparate organization with extremely different objectives and priorities? Politico writes:
The ads come as the coal industry is at war with the Obama administration over new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. The EPA is expected to issue new rules on Friday to curb air toxics from power plants, which are estimated to cost industry about $10.9 billion each year.Stricter rules for power plants are expected to offer a competitive advantage to the cleaner-burning natural gas industry.
Oh, so its an end-justifies-the-means kind of thing. Rent seeking. But when questioned, Chesapeake officials have stated that the flood of cash to ALA is merely business as usual for the company, which donates to “a wide variety and number of health and medical-related organizations. Well that’s very responsible of them, bravo for being so charitable.
If Pres. Trump fails to veto this, I easily see him a being a one and done president.
Perhaps yesterday’s coverage of the May Day “celebrations” touched something inside of Congressional republicans?
Perhaps the were “channeling their inner Obama™”?
Whatever the reason, sometime over the past few days, Congressional republicans clearly demonstrated some severe cognitive dissonance with the American Voter (to say nothing about the election results from last November).
Rock beats scissors. SCOTUS surely MUST beat smug moral discontent.
Hello #NeverTrump folks.
Repeat after me: “I want the United States Supreme Court to actually follow the constitution. Argue all you want that Trump is not a conservative, and is a loose cannon, etc., but when the rubber hits the road, it cannot be Hillary who names the next SCOTUS nominee.
Just ONE more supreme from the likes of the current left would be a disaster for Michigan. On the basis of the EPA’s effect in Michigan, as well as others, Hugh Hewitt has a point or two to make:
With hardly any effort at all I summoned up a dozen major cases where the switch on the court from 4-4-1 to 5-3-1 would be disastrous, beginning with Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, which was last year’s court ruling that reined in the EPA from imposing massive costs on the states without proper rule-making procedure and oversight and the Rapanos decision of 2006 which only gently (and barely) rebuked the Army Corps of Engineers from playing havoc with property rights. The prospect of a massive regulatory state with no meaningful judicial oversight at all did not deter the professor.
The EPA vehicle to property right losses might have been created by Nixon, but it will be nearly any administration as out of control as the current one that will drive it over us.
A second Clinton administration will repeatedly hit reverse to finish the job.
AFP: Michigan Should Join States Refusing Compliance with EPA’s Power Grab
“Any regulatory road we choose leads to the same federally defined destination,” says Lund
Lansing, Mich. – Michigan can and should join other states that are refusing compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s power grab. That was the message from the grassroots free-market group Americans for Prosperity-Michigan in response to an announcement from the Michigan Agency for Energy that the state would develop a blueprint for reaching “targets” imposed by the Obama Administration under the so-called Clean Power Plan.
“Michigan shouldn’t put up with the Obama Administration’s regulatory bullying tactics at the expense of energy consumers,” said Pete Lund, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Michigan. “It is just ridiculous to believe Michigan can maintain control of our energy future if we cave to the EPA’s demands. Any regulatory road we choose to include in our state blueprint leads to the same federally defined destination—one that even President Obama acknowledges will result in higher prices for consumers.”
So how should average middle class Michiganders engage in this electricity debate? What should they demand in the 2015 legislation on electricity? Can they prevent the titans from looting their family budgets?
First and foremost, Michiganders should demand an end to hybrid deregulation. All electricity consumers should be under the same regulatory scheme, with equal options to escape. No favoritism. This aligns the interests of politically potent, large electricity consumers with those of the average Michigander. This creates an effective counterbalance to the political power of the utilities; political power purchased with your electricity payments. Even full regulation is preferable to our current hybrid deregulation scheme.
Michiganders should further demand full deregulation of our electricity market. As regulated entities, utilities have a ‘cost plus’ mindset which relentlessly drives prices higher. Regulatory bodies limit themselves to dampening this drive for higher prices, but do not drive efficiencies which would genuinely control energy costs. Competition-driven efficiencies are very important to Michigan’s economy, which still has a significant, energy-intensive industrial base. Also Michigan’s utilities have not demonstrated any special competence operating their electrical power stations, so competition in the supply of electricity will promote best practices there and lower costs as well. Ultimately, a deregulated grid properly managed is more tolerant of supply shocks because more actors will be supplying the electricity.
The RPS should not be renewed at any level. Renewables should not be forcibly subsidized by any ratepayers, overtly or covertly. The current PA 295 regulatory scheme has residential electricity consumers subsidizing renewables through skyrocketing rates, while large consumers escape this burden. As renewable energy sources become cost effective, they will be welcomed by all parties.
If environmental wackos want their own electricity to come from RPS renewables, let them pay the full cost including base load backup costs. Most renewable sources are intermittent and require expensive base load backup capacity for periods where they cannot generate electricity. The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) historical record shows that Michigan wind power, by far the most significant current RPS component (883 turbines, about 58% of RPS power), was only available 31.5% of the time (termed ‘capacity factor’) during 2011 and 2012. During two months, July and August of 2011, wind was available only available 16% of the time. Most evaluations of the cost effectiveness of wind and solar generation pointedly neglect the costs of base load backup capacity to keep the lights on. Essentially, wind power capacity has to be backed up by 100% of its rated capacity with fossil-fueled base load capacity to prevent blackouts during zero wind periods, so why bother install wind power (or solar, for that matter) in the first place? Ratepayers subjected to RPS get to pay the capital costs for twice the generating capacity they actually need.