“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.…
“It is difficult to overestimate Jon [Wellinghoff]’s impact on the electricity industry in recent years — or for that matter in the years to come.”
–Dan Delurey, Executive Director of the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid
As the administrative head of an agency with approximately 1,500 employees and a $300+ million budget, the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sets the priorities of an otherwise fairly independent agency.  Current Chairman Jon Wellinghoff recently informed the Obama administration he would not seek an additional term, ending a seven-year stay as Commissioner (2006–09) and as Chairman (2009–2013).
Wellinghoff was appointed a FERC Commissioner in 2006 by President Bush, largely on the support of Harry Reid, his fellow Nevadan and ally in the Senate. With Reid’s continued support and a staunchly pro-renewable record at FERC, Wellinghoff was promoted by President Obama from Commissioner to FERC Chairman in 2009.…
“Regular people only need to understand that this is likely the most progressive clean energy action the federal government will take this year.” – Center for American Progress
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is capable of making bold moves under the radar. Last year it imposed a $245 million sanction on a major utility without too much fuss. Beginning this year, as part of a landmark rulemaking called Order No. 1000, FERC will be lending a multi-billion-dollar hand to large wind developers.
According to FERC, “Order No. 1000 is a Final Rule that reforms the Commission’s electric transmission planning and cost allocation requirements for public utility transmission providers.”
At the risk of oversimplifying a 600+ page document, Order No. 1000 essentially adds a requirement that (1) transmission providers consider new projects driven by state and federal “public policy,” and (2) planning regions do away with “participant funding,” at least at the regional and inter-regional level, which means that transmission costs must be allocated over a broad region.…