Maryland Legislature Urged to Overturn Governor Hogan Green Energy Bill Veto

Governor Larry Hogan. By Joe Andrucyk, source Wikimedia

Governor Larry Hogan. By Joe Andrucyk, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Green energy advocates are lobbying the Maryland legislature to overturn Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a Green Energy Bill, which would have imposed rate rises on Maryland residents.

Clean-energy backers rally for override of Hogan veto

The sponsors of legislation that would increase the amount of energy Maryland utility customers get from renewable sources called Thursday on the General Assembly to override Gov. Larry Hogan‘s veto of that bill.

The legislature could consider overturning Hogan’s veto as early as next week, when lawmakers gather in Annapolis for their annual 90-day session.

The governor showed this week he was ready for a fight on the issue. He labeled the measure a “sunshine tax” because it would — for a period of years — require rate increases to pay for the additional cost of wind and solar power.

Proponents countered that the increases would cost ratepayers no more than 58 cents a month. They argue that the extra costs would be temporary and would be offset by a boost to Maryland’s economy caused by increased investment in “clean energy” jobs.

Kevin Sheen, spokesman for the solar and wind power company Empower, estimated rates would be slightly higher for five to seven years before savings outweigh costs.

Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for Hogan, said the governor has consistently supported efforts that promote clean air and clean water. “However, the governor will not do this at the expense of Maryland’s ratepayers,” Chasse said.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-renewable-rally-20170105-story.html

If green energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, why do proponents always seem to demand mandatory targets and higher rates and fees? Surely they could finance any upfront costs for their product by borrowing against the “savings” they claim will accrue.

Let those who believe in renewables make their case with people who actually want their product, like a normal business, instead of continuously attempting to use political influence inflict their corporatist rent seeking on the general public.

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79 thoughts on “Maryland Legislature Urged to Overturn Governor Hogan Green Energy Bill Veto

  1. The figures wind and solar companies come up with are typically wildly optimistic. And they also do not count the Federal subsidies, which do not show up on electric bills – as I recall, the Federal subsidies for solar amount to the govt paying for the complete cost of your roof’s solar panels.
    Wind operators claim they will go bankrupt if Federal subsidies are removed. In the end, they just end up screwing up the grid – requiring duplicative back up capacity.

    • AFAIK there are no longer any federal subsidies for rooftop solar. I wish there were. If they ‘paid for the complete cost of the solar panels’ I’d put them on my home in a minute. I live in Central Florida with a large southern rooftop exposure completely clear to the sky that will accommodate enough panels to generate ’10kw’ (rated capacity). I know I wouldn’t get anywhere close to that, but I’d get enough during the day to reduce my usage of grid power to almost 0.

      I am amused that they seem to think the power generated by ‘renewables’ will ‘eventually’ cost less than gas. I don’t understand how the public can actually believe that to be true given the examples already provided by our European friends.

      • The savings are based on the idea that the fuel cost is zero, so the power production cost is all from the capital costs. For solar, this is fairly true, but for wind the maintenance costs are significant. However, with any low cost fuel available, such as coal or gas, the reality that solar and wind are neither firm nor dispatchable makes them the most expensive sources of power, since they must be operated in tandem with firm power sources. The only savings comes if they can be operated inside the envelope of the existing firm power peaking systems and also outside of the base load systems.

        This limitation can allow solar and even wind to actually reduce the amount of fuel required for the total power produced. But if the fuel is cheap, the added capital cost, along with the reduced efficiency of the firm power peaking systems, will make the payback time compared to fossil fueled operation a very long time. And if the solar and wind production grows and impacts the base load production, which is always the most cost efficient power production, then the base load production efficiency goes down and the total power production costs go up dramatically. No savings at all.

      • Maintenance for solar is non-trivial as well.
        Those things have to be cleaned on a regular basis, and repaired every time there is a wind or hail storm.

      • No one will stop you doing any installation you wish.
        Why do you think it reasonable to assume the taxpayer should pay for it?

    • Germany is finding this out the hard way – customers are paying roughly 4X fossil fuel prices and are experiencing grid instability when wind turbines overload the system. (Operators are getting rich) South Australia has already had blackouts from “green” energy fluctuations.

      Dump the whole thing in the trash.

  2. Yes. IN its standard practice for renewable companies and lobbies to add 30-40% optimism discount on costs, and premium on availability and capacity factors.

    In short they are committing acts of fraud.

    They get away with it by using third party lobbying companies, or green ‘charities’ like Foe or Greenpeace.

  3. I’ve said it before I don’t give a rats arse where my electrons come from as long as they’re no dearer than the ones from brown coal .

    • Unfortunately due to decades of inaction in Australia, power is going to cost and cost lots. Apparently, it’s only now that maintenance costs are so high and so many power stations are entering “end of life” we have no where else to go. No new planned conventional power, as that coal, and its emissions, are being exported. We have to go down the South Australian expansive path of unreliable renewables. Anyone who needs medical attention in Aus, don’t rely on renewables to get you there!

  4. The renewable energy suppliers talk of “savings” but blatantly mean savings for them and not their customers. They all conveniently ignore the fact that wind and solar power is not a base load power supply, i.e. not a supply that provides power when needed, but power when available. When there is no/low wind or no/low sun then wind turbines and solar panels cannot meet current power demands and as such these renewable power supplies – if provided, also require almost equal capacity of standby base load power which is run inefficiently and thus very expensively simply to maintain power supplies by interfacing and accommodating current and capriciously varying under capacity outputs from WT’s and SP’s.

    In the UK, independent studies called for by the government determined that only Gas Turbines have the flexibility and ability to provide this back up facility. We have the unbelievable situation that Wind Turbine and Solar Panel operators require subsidies to make them commercially viable, and also require extended and additional Power Transmission works to feed SP, and particularly WT power from their remote sites to areas of actual power demand. The GT back up suppliers require subsidies to make their operations commercially viable – operating inefficiently at under capacity and intermittently. In addition, with WT’s as an example, the GT standbys within a WT/GT standby base load system produce as much as 75% of their overall system power output – all with their own CO2 emissions, i.e. even if CO2 emission reductions are needed this is a grossly inefficient system. The UK also imposes priority use of WT’s where output is available. The overall systems’ costs using WT’s are massively more, particularly now as gas prices are much lower.

    You couldn’t dream up anything even more bizarre and unbelievable. Power Suppliers should be required to provide only base load systems, which may or may not include renewables such as WT’s and SP’s; let the Suppliers choose simply by forcing them to do investment analyses of such overall system works and not cherry pick the renewable power generation elements in isolation. Subsidies, in all forms, should also be cancelled and then the market will decide in what is a cost-leadership commodity market. Pressures will be put on Suppliers to cut costs and drive down prices and, if renewables are needed, they would have to spend on R&D for base load renewable systems in order to maintain market share and even to survive.

    The fracking experience in the USA which gave cheaper gas prices and led to significant CO2 emission reductions was the result of such free market pressures – coal fired plants couldn’t compete and were shut down.

    • Macawber: Wind Turbine and Solar Panel operators require subsidies to make them commercially viable”
      That means that they are not and the scam is that these subsidies and or loans well never be paid back. The people involved and the businesses they own will magically disappear by the time these installations fail. ( That has been proven many times already. If Britain doesn’t start a “War Footing” like program immediately many, many people are going to die this winter and winters in the near future. Britain has to declare a emergency state and start today!

    • Power Suppliers should be required to provide only base load systems, which may or may not include renewables such as WT’s and SP’s; let the Suppliers choose simply by forcing them to do investment analyses of such overall system works and not cherry pick the renewable power generation elements in isolation.

      That statement should be printed on a large banner and hung above the gavel of every legislative chamber and committee room prior to any debate, discussion or consideration of any bill related to the generation, distribution, pricing or taxing of electrical power by any public authority.

  5. Perhaps a new law saying lobbyists must fund any shortfalls if (when) the project fails might be a good idea.
    And I mean out of their own , personal,pockets, no business that can declare bankruptcy to dodge paying.

    Surely if there is such a wonderful prognosis, they don’t have anything to worry about.

  6. As it happens, I live in Maryland and a few months back I got a letter from the power company telling me that for a tiny increase in rate I could use renewables for my energy and help pave the way for more lovely green energy. You have to read the fine print and have a calculator to find out that the “small increase” is actually raising your energy costs by 124%….

  7. It would appear that the Maryland State Legislature has chosen to use the power of the State government to force ratepayers and taxpayers into a very bad contract with wind and solar suppliers where the ratepayers and taxpayers supply all of the capital and the suppliers take no risk at all. If their systems fail to produce any savings, no one will ever know or care. This is immoral at best, since the ratepayers and taxpayers never had any say in the contract negotiations. At worst it is simple thievery, where the suppliers are using the force of the Maryland government to steal money from the unwilling ratepayers and taxpayers.

    It was honorable for once that the governor stood up for the ratepayers and taxpayers by vetoing this legislation. Talk about a “bad deal.” The reason that the Legislature was brought in is likely because no private capital would ever agree to such terms, but the legislators apparently could care less about screwing over those who they supposedly represent. There actually are applications in the world where wind turbines can make economic sense, though not likely anywhere in Maryland, and private capital typically willingly pays for them and takes the risk (albeit that risk is also typically shared some with taxpayers through incentives). When the government is used to force all of the risk onto the ratepayers, you know that those highly touted savings will never ever show up.

    • That’s how it is whenever a politician talks about government “investment”.
      They go to government because no businessman would risk his own money on such schemes.

    • It’s a simple aphorism: “Build a better mousetrap and buyers will beat a path to your door.”
      What….no stampede for renewables….guess they aren’t better mousetraps.
      So…in charge the self-righteous busybodies to demand that the government force you to buy the low quality mousetraps….and you must obtain numerous more mousetraps to merely keep up with the mouse population, but the problem is solved. What problem?
      “The easiest problems to solve are the ones you don’t create.”

  8. ‘They argue that the extra costs would be temporary and would be offset by a boost to Maryland’s economy caused by increased investment in “clean energy” jobs.’

    Broken window fallacy.

    BTW, jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

    • “jobs are a cost, not a benefit.”
      thanks for that clue. somehow i never caught that before…
      (but it also took me 50 years to figure out the sun is really white)

  9. I live in south australia with our 40% green energy generation. We have the highest unemployment in the country and like many who live here am still trying to work out what theze green energy jobs are.

  10. Pro-green always seems to turn out to be anti-people. Good for the Governor. Standing up to big “green” industry is tough in these days.

  11. From todays Guardian:
    “I am a sucker for conspiracy theories but you have to ask yourself what is the most plausible: hundreds of scientists from more than 50 countries working secretly together to promote a false idea, or merchants of doubt with financial and political interests at stake working very hard to undermine the scientific evidence.”

  12. Proponents countered that the increases would cost ratepayers no more than 58 cents a month.

    Then let the proponents put up a bond to compensate ratepayers if the increases go above that amount.

      • Did a little checking, and it actually started out at 3%, was 7% by 2006 and is going down to 6.875% (whoopee) after they jacked the gas tax 23¢ per gallon.

      • A tax on telegraphs (later expanded to telephones) that was put in place to fund the Spanish/American war, was only repealed a few years ago.

      • AND a “temporary” income tax in 1976 that started with two brackets, 2% and 2.5%. An amendment to the State Constitution was required to allow the income tax, but the “temporary” part of it was not added to the amendment but to the enabling legislation. After two years the democrats in the Legislature got clobbered in the elections, with the people hoping the tax would end under the “sunshine” provision of the law. But in a Lame Duck session, the “sunshine” provision was repealed by the dems before they lost power, making the tax permanent. It is now one of the worst in the country.

      • DJ
        You are correct, the initial sales tax was 3% in NJ. When I moved from Pa to NJ in the 60’s we had no sales or income tax at all and among the best schools in the country. I painfully watched the periodic tax increases from Democratic governors over the years all under the guise of school funding and property tax relief. Todd Whitman as governor did cut sales and income tax and the state enjoyed prosperity which all ended when a D took over the Governorship. Our current R governor has constantly vetoed tax increases from the predominately Democratic controlled legislatures . It baffles me that he accepted the 23 cent increase in gas tax sold on fixing the roads and bridges. The final bill sends the money to “transportation” and other give away’s, so now they are talking about adding another tunnel to NYC and mass transportation projects. So much for fixing the roads.
        Our schools are actually awful in the cities, although the teachers and administrators are well paid and get a great pension with paid golden medical insurance. The property taxes are still among the worst in the nation mostly to fund schools. Where did all the additional taxes go?

      • I forgot to mention that our previous NJ D governor Corzine, just settled with the Feds paying 5 million dollars for “stealing” money from investors ($1.6 Billion) to cover bad overseas investments. It seems like the settlement was rushed before an honest Attorney General takes over in Washington and avoids him from going to jail. During his governorship he ran NJ into the ground with wild spending and green regulations.
        http://www.wsj.com/articles/jon-corzine-to-pay-5-million-for-role-in-collapse-of-mf-global-1483639406

      • @Catcracking
        I’m a denizen of the People’s Republic of New Jersystan as well. The front runner for the Democrats to succeed Christy is Pat Murphy. His campaign headquarters is literally next to my office, on the same floor. He is a Goldman Sachs re-tread as well. Just what we need, a Corzine repeat.

  13. When are these thickos going to understand that there is no upside to “creating jobs” per se?

    Jobs are an essential oncost to any enterprise which means that they ought always be kept to the minimum necessary to do the work efficiently. To increase the cost of electricity to the consumer (whether domestic or business) and then justify this by saying it will “create new jobs” is to have economics ass-backward!

      • How does increasing manufacturing jobs, in other words, jobs which create something out of nothing, lead to a deficit in wealth?
        The root of all wealth is the creation of something, from nothing.

      • Troll makes irrelevant comment.
        What’s new.
        There is a big difference between government directly creating jobs by funding them, and government creating the conditions that allow private companies to create jobs.

      • Yes, by driving down energy costs! You have the precedent/proof in the USA: free market driven unsubsidised investment in fracking gave you far cheaper and more abundant gas which in turn drove down energy/power prices which in turn drove down unit costs in strategic industries which were either resurrected or expanded. All creating and/or maintaining skilled and higher paid jobs!
        Studies in Europe have clearly identified that the higher costs of power provided by Green Energy destroys jobs by driving up industry’s unit production costs, including critically needed strategic industries and services, which renders them globally uncompetitive and thus non-viable. Far, far more jobs are destroyed compared to the few that are generated by Green Energy! Talk to Spanish, German, French, Dutch and Irish Companies and Industrialists who are suffering directly from the Green Energy impositions from their governments!

      • Gareth,
        From the Urban Dictionary:

        TROLLING
        Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.

  14. “…because it would — for a period of years — require rate increases to pay for the additional cost of wind and solar power.”

    What additional cost can there possibly now that wind and solar power are cheaper than conventional “dirty” power. I know this is true because I read it on several greenie websites. Or is the extra money just the vig these grifters take as comp for their selfless involvement in saving the planet? Or have they just been lying again?

  15. The most expensive energy to be generated in the UK is Nuclear. The cost of new atomic power stations will saddle the consumer with high costs for many years . The rationale appears to be that it is part of an effort to cut carbon emissions, but I rarely see the same level of opposition to nuclear as that regarding renewables such as wind power. If cheap power is critical to the wellbeing of a population, should we not be shouting from the rooftops regarding the cost of nuclear generation?

    • The main reason why nuclear is expensive is because of the legal hassles anyone has to go through in order to build.
      As you are well aware nuclear is base load and renewables can never be. That’s a huge difference, but of course you pretend that cost is the only thing that matters.

    • But, it’s not just any energy. It’s supreme, taste the difference, luxury, premium energy, locally sourced in Somerset from only the finest hand-picked uranium isotopes and carefully gift wrapped in a bow before being piped to your door with a rich creamy topping and a crazy £92.50MW/h guaranteed for 30 years price tag. (Only double the price of wholesale rates. Or thereabouts.)
      You don’t want to bother with any of that nasty cheap energy that we could have obtained from technological advancement and embracing fracking.
      Let’s fix prices now, so that the future is as expensive as conceivably possible.
      The children will really thank us for this…

    • My point was to underline the fact that cost is not the only issue. The main argument I see here in opposing renewables is regarding the cost of generation and the importance of affordable power. I guess you missed the point.
      There are also much much higher profits to be made in generating power from a nuclear source than from say hydro or wind power. That is a critical issue when major investors are looking at funding these things.
      The cost is very high, but so are the profits.

      • Profits can only be high if costs are low.
        You are claiming costs are high.
        As always, you have no idea what you are talking about.

      • You don’t have a point, kid.

        You have NEVER had a point.

        You NEVER WILL have a point.

        In short, you are totally pointless.

    • Huh? There’s been HUGE opposition to nuclear from NIMBY types for decades, and that plus anti-nuclear people in govt has driven the cost of nuclear up. Constant demands for more and more safety has led to gratuitous over-design and stifling regulation on construction that slows development to a crawl. China and Korea can build nuclear power plants for half the cost of the UK and US using same designs and technologies. If you want cheap power, you need to ask what they are doing right and we are doing wrong.

      • I should add of course that nuclear power SHOULD be made as safe as possible, but that the way it is regulated has added to costs with not measurable improvement in actual safety margins.

  16. Beyond the nonsense of being cheaper. There’s the nonsense of the claim that spending government money creates jobs.
    For every job created, the taxes needed to support that job will kill 1 to 2 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

    • Might as well pay one person to dig holes and another to follow behind, filling the holes dug by the first, and calling it “job creation.” That’s what government (read:taxpayer) “investments” in so-called “green” energy production amount to.

    • So how is Mr Trump going to re-open the coal mines and resuscitate defunct steel industries? If he uses trade barriers, does that not increase the cost of the end product? So jobs are being funded in a more subtle direction. I don’t think there is any straightforward solution.
      In the 80s the Car industry was in recession in Europe. Thatcher and Kohl had a disagreement.
      Thatchers point was they should sink or swim, government funding was just paying for jobs.
      Kohl thought is was worth supporting them through the bad times.
      The UK now has no indigenous car building industry. All our firms are foreign owned.
      Germany has VW, Audi. Mercedes, BMW etc.
      Who was right in the long term?

      • Are you paid to make yourself look stupid, or is it just a hobby.
        Lowering taxes and getting rid of unneccessary regulations will bring those industries back.

      • Save the auto industry, at the expense of all other industries.
        A deal that only a politician and a socialist could love.

      • Garth, I lived in UK in the early 70’s and the problems with the British car companies was quality and reliability along with the Unions. Bail them out and they don’t fix the fundamental problems.
        Also I lived there and endured electricity blackouts because of the coal miners strike. Since we had coal heat in our lovely home south of London we were worried about running out of coal. Otherwise it was one of the greatest experiences of our lives during the two years we lived there.

      • gareth- i think bmw may be the only car company that is not part of a conglomerate with international ownership.
        who was right, though, was china – because they work cheaper, the jobs trickle down to them.
        trump can try to change that but nature will bitchslap him silly if he does.
        government’s main product, lately, is poverty.
        application of coercion is always a negative sum game.

  17. Just to clarify, the lobbyists are promoting the high cost players in solar, not the low cost leaders. That fact gets lost in the noise and arm waving.

  18. Increasing your energy costs needlessly guts your economy. If Maryland voters aren’t marching on the legislature with burning torches about this, they’ll end up with the poverty they deserve.

  19. As a citizen of the Democratic Peoples Socialist Republic of Maryland, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the legislature will successfully override this veto. So we have Representatives fighting tooth and nail to raise my electricity rates and lower my standard of living. Can’t wait to retire – to almost anywhere else.

    Reading an article on the recently decided Wisconsin gerrymandering case, I was hoping that this would become yet another case of liberals experiencing unintended consequences. Maryland is looked upon as a “solid Blue” state. But it’s really not. What you have is a blue “bulge” extending from the DC Capital Beltway up the I-95 corridor to Baltimore. On either side of that, it’s Red. Should the Wisconsin standard for gerrymandering become the Federal law of the land, Maryland will no longer be a slam dunk for Democrats. Let them crow about Wisconsin and Scott Walker for now. I want to watch their heads explode when they can no longer carry Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia.

    Of course, by that time I’ll be applauding it from somewhere else. I’m no longer welcome in the land of my birth.

    • Seriously, what does it take to override the veto, and do Dems really have the votes in the MD legislature? I know MD is blue, but how blue?

    • I thought MD was one big health care and health research corridor of Federal money (debt) and therefore detached from markets and the working class, like a tony, over-priced medical campus neighborhood. More info is welcome though.

  20. If I were Hogan, I would agree if the proposers guaranteed in law that the renewables would only add 58c to electricity bills and payback was also guaranteed personally by supporters after a decade with interest. Then let’s see how they react.

  21. I am so sick of hearing greenies talking about ‘clean energy jobs’. Just a very small amount of logic is required to understand that if more power is generated from green sources and thus creating ‘clean energy jobs’, that necessarily LESS power will be needed from non-green sources and thus DESTROYING ‘unclean energy jobs’. It is inevitable.

    Now are more jobs created or destroyed is the real question.

  22. A great idea, no more than 58 cents a month. Fine let’s do that. Anything more than 58 cents have the greens pay for it without taxpayer expense. A reverse of cap and trade. Have them put up their own surety bonds. Meanwhile, the lawyers could certainly sue the greens for compensation above the 58 cents. I think that’s fair.
    And if any lawyers get the idea, the greens are pushing these programs which is and has had an impact on people beyond the gas mains. A major push into these programs and there really will be climate refuges.. from colder climes to warmer ones. It’s becoming unaffordable to heat your house beyond the gas mains. The quality of life is declining significantly for these people.

  23. Let those who believe in renewables make their case with people who actually want their product, like a normal business, instead of continuously attempting to use political influence inflict their corporatist rent seeking on the general public.

    Because in their minds nothing happens without the government making it happen. It’s that simple.

  24. Dear all,
    there is something i have not seen discussed on this blog before which i would like to bring to everyone’s attention.
    It is something quite hidden in the cost calculations for Electricity generated from Natural Gas but does have a profound impact on the resulting E price.
    It is the variation (or swing) in the gas consumption rate of the power plant and its effects on the fuel cost.
    Gas suppliers (like everyone else) like to know how much you need and when you need it, so they can plan their supply and demand.
    Based on those two gas suppliers will give you a price for the connection and the gas itself.

    For a “swing” E-producer / Gas-consumer you get the worst possible scenario of a rather large consumer coming and going at unexpected times.
    The gas grid itself has many more opportunities to cope with large swings in supply and demand when compared to the E-grid so grid stability is generally not a big issue, but the price you pay for this type of contract is much higher than for a nice and steady (base-load) contract.

    In Europe i have seen prices for the gas 50% to 150% higher for irregular consumers when compared to more base-load consumers, but this was some time ago (2008) and is very site specific because it generally is a one on one contract between the power producer and the gas supplier. So its difficult to make a general estimate of how much more expensive the irregular contract and resulting E-generating cost would be.

    Anyway, the point is that using base-load GT power generation costs to fill the supply gap when sun/wind are not producing is highly misleading as no one will supply you the gas for the low base-load cost.

    • Futures markets helps smooth out that problem. Food companies do that with grains. Farmers get a set price on given amount ensuring a profit and the food companies get the grain at a price that smoothes out whether a particular farmer experiences a drought or flood. Most commodities work like that. When fuel prices were heading towards the sky, airlines were locking in fuel prices. The fuel companies are obligated to supplying so many gallons of fuel at a set price.
      This entire discussion on climate change is based on future weather. Fortunes are made and lost on knowing or having a reasonable idea of when floods and drought occur, how long and how severe. Degree heating days or cooling help the utility companies prepare for extreme cold or hot. They can plan using the capacity of the system and the type of energy used. Then there is clothing, do you make more coats for a long winter or more shorts and tank tops. Retail is affected, as well as restaurants. Road departments need to know how much salt, road crews. The same snow in New Jersey has a completely different outcome in Georgia.
      Huge swings within short intervals are possible due to unexpected events. However, if they occur frequently, the market isn’t working correctly. The reason futures markets work so well is the fear of uncertainty. You don’t know and if you have an idea, you are hedging against future short falls, ( or over supply) and you have an advantage against your competitors.
      When Hurricane Katrina hit, shortly thereafter Al Gore was giving his now infamous speech on more frequent, severe storms. ” This is the new normal, get use to it. ” Insurance companies in response raised rates to meet the expected disasters. Have you seen the rates go down in response to fewer, weaker storms ?

  25. Wind and solar use subsidies exclusively for capital expenditures, then operate independently for 30+ years. Fossil subsidies go toward operations (capital expenses related to fuel extraction are really operations). The useful measure is Levelized Cost of Energy, and by that measure wind and solar are already comparable to coal and some gas.

    Direct subsidy calculations typically exclude indirect subsidies for fossil fuels, such as personal healthcare expenses and damage from sea level rise and climate change-related events. Absurdly favorable land leases are another often overlooked.

    The “sunshine tax” rate hike is only necessary because the utilities refuse to stop investing in cash-cow fossil plants. If they had planned years ago for widespread renewables adoption, they would not have so many stranded assets that they feel entitled to earn a profit on in spite of the harm they do, and rates would actually get lower as more solar and wind came online.

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