A Free-Market Energy Blog

Wind News Update: Falmouth Says Enough—But at a High Price!

By -- July 20, 2017

After seven years of public hearings, nuisance complaints, state-funded facilitations, dueling noise experts, and several fatal court rulings costing hundreds of thousands, the Town of Falmouth has finally decided to abandon its defense of the town’s two Vestas V82 (1.65 megawatt) turbines.

The last straw came on June 19, 2017, when Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II upheld the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s 2013 decision that found the turbines—known as Wind 1 and Wind 2—caused a nuisance to nearby properties by “directly and negatively” affecting the health and well-being of Barry and Diane Funfar. The two 397-foot tall towers sit just 1600-feet and 1560-feet respectively from the Funfar residence.

While many have followed the story of Falmouth, and the anguish the Funfars and others endured living so close to the turbines, few may be aware of the aggressive role the State played in pushing the project on unsuspecting citizens, and the enormous cost of taking it down.

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FERC’s ‘Workable Competition’ Standard: A 1992 Note for Today

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 19, 2017

“What is underemphasized or missing in the working paper is consideration of real-world competition as the industry understands it. In other words, rate discounting, surplus capacity, new entry and bypass, alternative fuel competition, and other factors make markets very competitive whatever the market shares of its individual participants.”

“[FERC] never considers the imperfections of regulation itself. It is assumed that regulation is a costless alternative to correct imperfect pipeline markets.”

In a previous life, I worked for an interstate gas transmission company that was rate- and service-regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). During this time, I tried to make a case for deregulation where both entry/exit and rates would not be regulated under cost-based public utility regulation.

Following neoclassical economics, FERC did not consider interstate pipelines “workably competitive.” Using a technical approach instead of a common-sense, real world approach, FERC could not see what those in the business saw on a day-to-day basis: that the pipeline business was very competitive, and discounts from maximum rates proved so.

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Rethinking Energy Efficiency: Reason Foundation Comments to DOE

By Julian Morris -- July 18, 2017

DOE’s energy efficiency regulations generally have the effect of increasing the cost of products and reducing competition and innovation.”

“In most other cases, it would be better for DOE to scrap its rules and allow private market actors to develop standards and information tools in their place.”

Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation recently submitted COMMENTS OF REASON FOUNDATION ON THE REGULATORY BURDEN REDUCTION  in a Request for Information (RFI) by the U.S. Department of Energy (Document Number 2017-10866, Docket ID DOE_FRDOC_0001-3375, 82 FR 24582, 5/30/2017.)

Excerpts from his comments follow. (For the full comments, including footnote sources, see here.)

This comment seeks to address questions raised by the Department of Energy in its Request for Information regarding “existing regulations, paperwork requirements and other regulatory obligations that can be modified or repealed, consistent with law, to achieve meaningful burden reduction while continuing to achieve the Department’s statutory obligations.”

Advance Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Most improvements in energy efficiency and conservation have occurred as a result of competition between producers of goods and services.

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WSJ Blows It on Australia’s Power Crisis (intermittent resources, not fossil fuels, at fault)

By Donn Dears -- July 17, 2017
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Solar in Seattle? Not So Fast (clouds, clouds, my Dear Watson)

By Greg Rehmke -- July 13, 2017
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A Blessed Day in the Life of a State Utility Commissioner

By -- July 12, 2017
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Are Electric Vehicles ‘CO2 Friendly’? (Swedish study raises questions)

By -- July 11, 2017
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EV “Range Anxiety”: Real World Issues

By -- July 10, 2017
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Response to MIT President: Paris Exit Scientifically Sound (Part II)

By Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley -- July 6, 2017
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Response to MIT President: Paris Exit Scientifically Sound (Part I)

By Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley -- July 5, 2017
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