Monday, January 11, 2016

FERC Wants To Know Why Electricity Transmission Is So High In New England -- January 11, 2016


Later, 2:24 p.m. Central Time: see one of the comments below. I brought the comment up here for easy googling (comments aren't google-searchable):
A few weeks back I did some quick research on residential utility rates since Pennsylvania is touting their low cost as an inducement to both commercial and residential growth.
It is pretty easy and effective by just googling in 'utility rates' and the state.

Several Pennsylvania utilities charge 6 cents or less per kW.

The great commonwealth of Massachusetts - where the Attorney General, no less -- released a report denying the need for new natural gas pipelines - has rates at 18 cents/kW.
New restaurants and senior citizen residential complexes are forced to emplace underground propane tanks - to be resupplied via trucks - to accommodate their heating needs.
And then folks wonder why the roads are in such bad shape in Boston with all those propane and heating oil trucks (and recycling trucks) driving on them, needlessly, day in and day out.

Original Post
Background posts:
Now, the latest update:
The cost of moving electricity from one place to another, which appears on your electric bill as transmission, is much higher in New England than in other parts of the country, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wants to know why. [Comment: LOL.]
In an order issued on Dec. 28, FERC commissioners wrote that New England transmission rates appear to be “unjust, unreasonable and unduly discriminatory or preferential” and called for an investigation. [Comment: an investigation shouldn't take long; find a mirror.]
The commissioners wrote in their order that the owners of transmission towers in New England appear to set rates with no meaningful justification and no real opportunity for them to be challenged. “The rates appear to lack sufficient detail in order to determine how certain costs are derived and recovered,” according to the commission order. “ [Comment: really?]
Rate protocols should afford adequate transparency to affected customers, state regulators or other interested parties, as well as provide mechanisms for resolving potential disputes,” the order states, adding that, “integrity and transparency ... are critically important to ensuring just and reasonable rates.” [Comment: really? In New England?]
The commission has set in motion a process that could lead to a settlement with the transmission owners and ISO-New England, the grid operator; or it could lead to hearings, legal arguments and an eventual order dealing with the transmission costs and how they are set.
Why do I get the feeling that after this is all said and done, things will be worse?

I want to know why potato chips are so expensive.

For The Archives

At least three good articles from the December 21 & 28, 2015, issue of The New Yorker.
  • "The Siege of Miami," Elizabeth Kolbert, rising seas threaten Miami
  • "Negotiating the Whirlwind," David Remnick, a John "Served in Vietnam" Kerry profile; a very, very long article at eleven pages; look for a book on Kerry by Remnick in 2017
  • "Drunk With Power," Kelefa Sanneh, a book "review" of The War on Alcohol, by Lisa McGirr, an analysis of US alcohol prohibition, January 1, 1920, to 1933. Memo to self: re-watch The Great Gatsby for the umpteenth time. Ms McGirr notes the same thing the narrator in The Great Gatsby noted: with Prohibition, folks began drinking more than ever. 
From the Kerry profile, so much to write about. Very, very interesting. It could be the prologue or the introductory chapter to a 6-volume biography of John Kerry (Kerry would no doubt suggest a minimum of eight volumes). The number of blind spots demonstrated by the writer, David Remnick, was incredible. But that did not detract from the article. One learns how naive Kerry really has been over the entirety of his life, and will continue well into retirement. Near the end,
"When he retires, Kerry said, he'll write a book and stay involved, 'somehow' in pubic affairs, particularly environmental issues."
Remnick does not mention that Kerry is the nation's #1 fanboy of manmade global warming (MMGW).

However Remnick does mention that Kerry and his wife have no shortage of places to hide out.
Kerry and Heinz have no shortage of residences; in addition to the houses in Georgetown (1) and Nantucket (2), they live in an eighteenth-century five-story pile on Louisburg Square, in Beacon Hill (3); in a family compound on Naushon, a private island off Cape Cod (4); in a fifteenth-century English farmhouse that was reassembled on the bank of Big Wood River, in Sun Valley (5); and on a ninety-acre farm called Rosemont, outside Pittsburgh, where Heinz spent time with her first husband (6), H. John Heinz III, ... who died in 1991.
A 15th-century English farmhouse that was reassembled on the bank of Big Wood River, in Sun Valley. Sun Valley

It's not just the number of homes, it's the size of the homes for a couple with no children living with them: a five-story home on Beacon Hill? Really? And a 90-acre hobby farm outside Pittsburgh? Really?
It's not just the number of homes or the size of the homes; it's the "locations" which sound like homes where the Princess of Monaco or where one of the thousand princes of Saudi Arabia would live: on Beacon Hill. On a private island off Cape Cod. In Georgetown. In Nantucket. Sun Valley. A 90-acre hobby farm.

And they say there is no royalty in the US. Give me a break.

It's not just the opulence for the sake of opulence, but the hypocrisy, talking about MMGW and maintaining a minimum of six homes and the carbon footprint that entails.

But other than that, a pretty good article. But as I said earlier, a lot of blind spots. By both the writer and the subject of the profile

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