Framing the Dialogue

Less Power To The People

It seems like just yesterday that I wrote about how Obama’s Administration and Czars are prodding us back to living like the early days of our nation.  Actually that is not true they are prodding us to become like some small European nation even though our country is more vast and our populations are more spread out.  Our slow decline into European living took another step today as American Electric Power (“AEP”) announced that in order to comply with EPA emissions standards they will be shutting down five power stations and spending up to $8 billion to upgrade some remaining plants.

“The costs of complying with the regulations will result in an increase in electricity prices of 10 to 35 percent and cost 600 jobs.”

Another large power supplier (Exelon) has made similar announcements about closing generating stations.  Not to worry though since our economy has recovered and the “recession is over” according to Obama.  We can absorb the increased costs for electricity like we have had to absorb the 100 percent increase in gasoline prices.  I personally have gotten an average of a zero percent raise over the past three years so the inflation in food and energy prices have had little affect on my budget.  Of course I am being a bit sarcastic.  You have to wonder how Chevy Volt owners feel about the massive increase in electric prices coming. 

Not to mention the decrease in available power…

Major Power Outage In Downtown Detroit

How hard is it to understand that when there is a demand that exceeds supply three things generally happen.  First the supply runs low as the demand increases.  Secondly the price will go up and make the commodity available to those who can afford to pay.  Thirdly the free market kicks in and entrepreneurial spirited people will jump into the business to provide the commodity since there is profit to be made.  Unfortunately the commodity here, electricity, isn’t as easy to just generate as making more tickle me Elmo dolls.  Enter the EPA and environmentalists who will make virtually impossible to get approvals for any new power plants for at least a decade and essentially crushing that entrepreneurial spirit.  Don’t think that because AEP doesn’t directly supply your power that you won’t be affected.  There is a power market and a  power grid where electricity can flow, somewhat, between markets. 

If you think wind is the answer just talk to oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens who announced years ago that he was going to build a massive wind farm in Texas to supply power to Dallas.  His plans ran into environmentalists and regulatory agencies and he could not build the transmission lines to deliver the power from the wind farm to his customers.

“Pickens said the inability to bring a transmission line to the project proved to be the death knell.”

We may have to modify the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time” to this,

You can never please all environmental activists all of the time, you can please some of the environmental activists some of the time, most environmental activists can never be pleased any of the time.

Just ask T. Boone Pickens!

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