Yesterday, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) asked all 50 state public utility commissions to prioritize the interests of electricity ratepayers above the Obama Administration’s controversial Power Plant Rule. Already, the governors of several major states–Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Indiana, and Wisconsin–have said NO to Obama’s EPA. Kentucky might become the sixth state on this list.
Will state public-utility regulators, charged to protect consumers from unnecessary costs, seize the day and stand up? Doing so would not only help consumers but also push back against the growth of the Bootleggers-and-Baptists dynamic in electricity policy. A let-the-market-decide policy, not a let-the-feds-decide policy, is the best way to allocate electricity generation resources at the state level.
The letter, signed by IER president Tom Pyle, follows:
Recently, we witnessed a historic ruling by the Supreme Court in Michigan v.
“Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousand fold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine – the special pleading of selfish interests.”
– Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson (1946)
A year ago, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) was desperately fighting against the scheduled expiration of its most prized federal subsidy, the wind production tax credit (PTC). As I wrote at that time, AWEA’s argument–please government, keep our activity going for job creation and other economic gain–rested on a basic, long-debunked fallacy of economics.
AWEA believes that wind’s “is” equals “ought”–that recorded activity is a per se good.…
The nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) chairmanship Ron Binz will have plenty of potential questions to answer today at his confirmation hearing (9:30am ET), including these posted by the Institute for Energy Research.
The importance of the Binz nomination stems in roughly equal parts from:
(1) The growing significance of FERC as an agency with new and expanded authority,
(2) The context and timing of the nomination, which comes as part of an aggressive (Congress-and-voters-be-damned) climate action plan, and
(3) The details of Ron Binz’s history as a radical (pro-renewable) regulator and energy “expert.”
To complement today’s questions posed by members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, university economist and electricity specialist Robert Michaels would ask the nominee the following questions:…