Saturday, November 20, 2010

Energy Bills through the roof even without Cap and Trade? Are the Republicans Wrong again? Does a Grizzly Bear...?

I don’t believe there will ever come a time when Republicans could imagine "their" America making the switch to green energy. The business climate is never ready to make the move. The economy is never strong enough to invest in the future. And most of all, consumers can’t take another increase in their energy bills. It would kill consumer spending and then jobs. We’re just stuck at this point, forever, according to conservatives.

So imagine my surprise when this shocking and never mentioned report came out that dashed the Republican claims green energy will cost too much. The price of COAL went through the roof!!!

Jsonline: The simple truth is this: we don’t produce energy products like natural gas and coal, so that leaves us at the mercy of the marketplace and high prices. Republicans have opposed alternative energy options because their costs will result in higher bills for consumers. They claim the abundance of coal and natural gas will help consumer with lower energy bills during this devastating recession.

Wrong again.

The price of electricity has shot up faster in Wisconsin than in all but five other states since 2000, which could pose a threat to the state's economic competitiveness, a new analysis by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says … Wisconsin businesses and homeowners are paying more than most surrounding states, as the state continues to pay for power plant upgrades … coupled with rising natural gas and coal prices, has pushed rates up.

Kyle Christianson, policy research analyst at the nonpartisan Taxpayers Alliance said the price of coal has doubled since 2000, "We need to recognize that energy prices really do have an effect on the competitiveness of the state," said Christianson. "We're talking about trying to attract employers and adding new jobs, and particularly in a manufacturing-intensive economy like Wisconsin, energy prices are a major cost of doing business."

Here’s the part that not only stuns the mind, but makes all your home energy saving efforts worthless:
The recession has exacerbated the rate pressure on Wisconsin because utilities have had to respond to slowing sales with rate hikes to cover their fixed costs.
Got that? Since you didn’t use enough energy, and the utilities lost manufacturing business income, they had to increase their rates to make up the difference. No, really.

Charlie Higley, executive director of the Wisconsin Citizens' Utility Board, is concerned that rate increases will continue for residential customers. "Our households are paying a high price for electricity, and it's hurting their ability to make ends meet," Higley said. "It underlies our calls for moving toward cleaner energy solutions like renewable energy and energy efficiency, which don't have fuel costs."

Wisconsin now has a power glut that prompted the state Public Service Commission to launch an investigation into whether some of the state's older power plants should be mothballed or shut down.

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