Pennsylvania is Flirting with Self-Imposed Energy Disaster

From the National Mining Association:

Americans can’t afford to pay more for electricity, especially with millions out of work in the midst of pandemic-induced economic upheaval. Yet, higher electricity costs and economic turmoil are coming if lawmakers continue to pursue policies that mandate an aggressive pivot away from existing baseload power to intermittent, more expensive alternatives.

Pennsylvania is now on the front lines of this policy battle. Governor Tom Wolf is trying to circumvent the Pennsylvania General Assembly and push the commonwealth into the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The move promises little in the way of benefits but does guarantee extraordinary costs.

By the governor’s own estimates, joining the RGGI would impose a $2.36 billion tax on fossil fuel power plants in Pennsylvania over the next 10 years. That $2.36 billion RGGI tax will have a cascading effect on communities across the state. Thousands of Pennsylvanians will lose their jobs, and electricity consumers – especially low-income and fixed-income households – will likely face significantly higher bills that they simply can’t afford.

How much more? Virginia, which recently moved to joined RGGI, estimates that doing so will impose as much as $6 billion more in electricity costs on its ratepayers over the next 10 years. That estimate could very well prove to be too low.

States currently in the RGGI, like New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, boast some of the highest electricity rates in the country. In fact, on average, electricity rates in RGGI states are 50 percent more than they are in Pennsylvania.

If the RGGI fancies itself a trailblazer in addressing carbon emissions, it has blazed a trail no state should follow. New England has dismantled its own fuel diversity, closing well operating coal plants, throttling the construction of needed natural gas pipeline capacity, and even closing reliable, baseload nuclear power capacity.

The result of this policy malpractice is some of the highest electricity prices in the country coupled with an escalating fuel security crisis. The New England grid operator has gone so far as to warn that 30 percent of the region’s natural gas generating fleet could be without fuel on particularly cold days. This is hardly the future Pennsylvania – or any other state – should want or pay more to achieve.

What Pennsylvanians want – what consumers across the country want – is a recommitment to energy affordability and a path towards emissions reduction that doesn’t impose higher energy prices or the dismantling of critical industries. In fact, a staggering 85 percent of Americans are concerned with rising electricity rates.

Governor Wolf’s agenda is diametrically opposed to the leadership consumers are looking for. Energy and emissions leadership is not going to be achieved by killing community-supporting jobs and imposing de-facto energy taxes on consumers who can’t afford them.

All the Governor has to do is look just outside Pittsburgh for a better approach. Pennsylvania’s Consol Energy recently received a grant from the Department of Energy to design a small coal-fired power plant that would capture its carbon dioxide emissions and store it underground. And the U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory is pursing cutting-edge research to develop the energy technologies of tomorrow that can reduce emissions from the fuels that meet the vast majority of the world’s energy and will continue to do so well into the future. The right approach to U.S. energy and emissions leadership is through technology – technology that holds down energy costs, improves reliability and creates globally replicable solutions.

66 thoughts on “Pennsylvania is Flirting with Self-Imposed Energy Disaster

  1. Communists, what else is there to say. And it appears they have stolen the presidential election so, there will be no one to keep this idiocy in check.

    • Communists, that’s a laugh, on a communist scale of 0 to 10, this lot you are talking about don’t even register. Well, to be generous side I’ll give you 0.1.

      • “this lot you are talking about don’t even register. ”

        You might be right about this, Vuk. Nevertheless, we need to recognize this crowd as ones who will destroy the infrastructure of a free society for the ridiculous and unsubstantiated claims of climate alarmism.

      • Exactly. The left most wing of the Democrats would pitch in at ‘Social Democrat’ on an European scale and Biden’s administration would be Centre Right.

        We in Europe know what communism and socialism look like: the US is nowhere near it.

        Drop the labels and the hysteria: fight your corner on the issues and the facts, not by shrieking ‘the reds are coming’.

        • There is a small difference between a welfare state and a Socialist state, a *very* small difference. The US becomes more and more of a welfare state every day. Medicare for all and free college are just two of the latest ventures into Socialism. Redistribution of wealth spending in the US is by far the largest expenditure in the federal budget, totally eclipsing defense spending and infrastructure spending.

          As the federal government either takes over or controls more and more business in the US, e.g. the health insurance sector, the health care sector, and the energy sector, the US fits more and more into the classic definition of a Socialist government. As we get more and more government mandates telling us what we must think and how we must live, e.g. facemasks in the home and no Thanksgiving gatherings, the government actually becomes even more Fascist every day and Fascism is a *very* close cousin to Socialism.

          Biden and compatriots can only be considered to be center-right by those who have no idea of what being center actually means. Biden and his species of Democrat are barely even center-left. Compared to historical standards they are far-left and the other Democrats are far-far-left.

        • Fascism does not own the means of production but controls what is produced in order to further the desires of the “state”. The state will not “own” electrical production facilities but it will control how it is produced, delivered and used. The state will not “own” the means of producing automobiles and trucks, but it will control what is produced and sold. The state will not “own” the means of furnishing health care, but it will control all the facets of delivery and at what cost. The state will not “own” the education infrastructure but it will control the cost, salaries, and curricula that is taught. The state will not own farms, but it will control what is produced, how much is produced, and what is made into foodstuffs.

          Fascism can not continue indefinitely without descending into communism. Bureaucrats will be unable to central plan for a large population. It will end up with a dictatorship that controls everything and owns everything and does so by force. Venezuela is probably the best example of what is to come.

          • To Jim Gorman: Excellent input. Let me add just a bit more. The “elites” will want to keep fascism as long as possible; it keeps them in “cushy”, high-paying positions. But, as you noted, fascism always slips into traditional socialism as the state takes over more and more control of the means of production, then into communism as the state begins to totally control those means, and finally to tyranny (Putin, anyone?)…

        • ‘Biden’s administration would be Centre Right.’

          You out-moron yourself every single day.

          Biden’s a brain-dead puppet – and at least half the news suppression and censorship was to cover up that fact.

    • It’s a form of power tripping, SMC, not communism. Per its history, it’s a guarantee that jobs will go flying out the door and your house will be freezing cold and dark in winter, when you need power the most, especially if you can’t afford exorbitant rates.

      Get yourself some oil lamps if you live in PA, you may just need them.

    • Election tampering should be punished by a mandatory death penalty. This is because if elections cannot be trusted as free and fair by all politicians will find them selves being removed from office by a bullet.
      I happen to prefer a vote and the bailot box. I do not wish to live a world where an incoming bullet is a political indication that it is time for him or her to leave office.

  2. “Energy and emissions leadership”? Huh? Is that like “wolf and sheep leadership”? The NMA needs to quit pandering to the Climate Industry. Unless they are already in bed with them.

  3. Pennsylvanians get what they vote for. Easy solution, vote their gov out next time. I don’t feel sorry for states that keep electing politicians that have stupid energy plans.

    • Given the level of fraud that’s being exposed with the presidential election, it’s an open question as to whether they actually voted for this moron.

    • A big part of the problem (in addition to fraud) is that states do not have electoral colleges and therefore you often end up with a “tail wagging the dog” situation. It is the same just to the south of PA here in Maryland. Both of our senators and most of our governors are politicians I’d never be caught dead voting for (well, maybe I might one day…since sometimes dead people do vote).
      If you look at maps of both Maryland and PA (well, and the whole country, for that matter) the vast majority of each state’s counties are red (and thus most of the state if you go by land area). Only the urban areas are blue. Kind of like putting a lead weight in a feather pillow and putting it in water….despite the fact that most of the pillow is comprised of feathers, it will still sink due to that little piece of lead. Urban areas sink entire states. People in rural areas and small suburbs don’t vote for clowns like PA’s governor, but they don’t have a voice. People in urban areas make decisions for everyone else in the state. Sad but true…..something needs done about it but the party in power will never do anything to vote themselves out of power.

      • Several years ago, Chiefio did an analysis that concluded that over time, the urban centers would end up controlling every single state, mostly due to the Willie Sutton observation that the Blue Cities are where the votes are.

        The Warren Court had a hand in making this happen with their 1964 One Man, One Vote opinion, that required state senates to be population proportional rather than county proportional. At the time of the opinion, most states were organized like Congress, with one house representing the people and the other representing the political divisions (counties, boroughs, parishes) within the state. At one fell swoop, the Warren Court decided that a political division modeled on the existing political division of the entire freaking nation was unconstitutional. And as such, put the entire process in motion. Cheers –

        • agimac, Thank you. I’d forgotten that before 1964 we had a functional system. Big cities and university cities, dark blue and darker every year, forget the rest. Oh yes, the Warren Court, talk about an activist court.

        • That also applied to Nevada, 1 senator per county, assembly by population. After all these years, there may finally be a conservative majority SCOTUS. Maybe they will reverse those faulty precedents.

          I can hope and dream.

          I ALWAYS vote against changing the state constitution to meet the requirements of SCOTUS rulings, hoping they will be overturned and the requirement will go back into effect.

      • As we say here in Pennsyltucky: Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburg in the west and Alabama in the middle. Ironically, Tom (Gimme Your Money) Wolf is from York but some say he is from a different planet.

    • We did. Turns out they don’t leave the results of elections up to legal votes anymore, so it doesn’t matter

      Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

      Now, where’s Jack Dale with his link to the latest in eighty years of academic socialists trying to whitewash the ‘Z’ out of Nazi?

    • There are too many stupid people who draw support
      because they look good in front of a camera. They know how to get elected but very little else.

  4. Go hard Pennsylvania !!! be the glowing example for the east coast, just like California out west. Of course you will refuse to import and coal/gas power fom neighbours, just for moral purity. BTW what are the winters like up there?

  5. It sounds like your Utility companies have to look at applying Sidel Carbon Capture Utilization Systems.
    These CCU Systems are affordable and are designed to turn the captured CO2 into good paying full time jobs and money. Your coal fired power plants can operate at full capacity producing electricity with ALL the steam it produces and emit into the atmosphere less CO2 than a natural gas fired power plant.
    Our goal is to make coal fired power plants more profitable and more efficient.

    • Carbon dioxide capture is stupid. CO2 is good for the environment. It is NOT pollution. it is a basic building block of all life, including these idiotic politicians and PUC bureaucrats who are alleged to be alive.

      STOP demanding carbon dioxide capture.

    • CO2 capture is just plain stupid. CO2 is a net benefit to all living things. 1200 ppm atmospheric concentrations would make the whole world bloom.

      • And they forget that for every “C” in CO2 captured (Hey, plants do that very very well) 2 x “O” is captured too. Not so good for humans.

        • Basic biology says you’re incorrect, Patrick: plants absorb CO2 and store carbon. They are carbon-based life forms. They then RELEASE O2 into the atmosphere through leaves and the tops of plants, e.g., trees and corn and and your garden plants.

  6. Welcome to the Australian level of stupidity and an unreliable supply and expensive and a so called green future. Prices for power in some of our states are the highest in the world.
    But wait. You can also purchase big ass batteries that will cost you tens of millions and have the total capacity to power a small country town for 10 minutes.
    But then it gets better. These batteries will pay for themselves in record time as your frequency control costs go up 1000’s of percentage points.
    And what are you left with you may ask? The highest prices in the world for power and requests from the power supply companies NOT to turn on air conditioners and heaters when you need them most.
    Welcome to the Australian way of screwing yourselves.

  7. Why is it that government agencies claim that only money can solve invented crises? Pick a subject and they pick your pocket. Are people really that stupid? Somehow, they never realize that nothing ever gets solved while they pay more and get less.

  8. OT, but same stupidity as in Pennsylvania:

    Currently listening to Luisa Neubauer, Greta’s mentor, bombarding Peter Altmaier the minister for industry, it makes me puke. Luisa knows all the right words to make complete idiocy sound mature, scientific and kind to the planet. I admire that Peter can cope with it. Luisa demands that amount of cars are halved and they all become electric and no more coal for electricity production. Peter said that then our metal production will be too expensive, thus will be produced in other countries with cheap coal, for example Poland. Then Luisa argued back for 5 minutes with more nonsense, while the other guests in the studio listened intensely to this girl being almost as ignorant and childish as her partner in crime St. Grata Thunberg of How Dare You.

    Right after that we got to see how the German covid-quarantine police is working.

    Why didn’t they also invite Naomi Seibt to the debate? – Sorry, that would be unthinkable on one of the national propaganda channels, just like neither President Trump nor his supporters got much serious TV coverage for all four years.

    You are an enemy of the state, if you do bot bow to the Green ideology as explained by the virtual UN Truth Ministry.

  9. I live in PA. I recently received a letter from my electricity provider inviting me to sign up for higher electricity rates to support “Green” wind and solar power generation.

    I suppose there are rubes out there that would virtue signal and sign up, but I’m not one of them!

    Why would anyone want their electricity rates increased?

    • “Carguy Pete November 18, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      I live in PA. I recently received a letter from my electricity provider inviting me to sign up for higher electricity rates to support “Green” wind and solar power generation.”

      This is all over Australia like a rash and unfortunately, there isn’t a single supplier that hasn’t signed up for it leaving consumers with ZERO choice.

    • The addresses of those signed up MUST be made public so that the democrat politicians and activists, and the news media leftists can be shamed into spending more on their power bill.

  10. Canada will be happy because it supplies excess wind, hydro, and nuclear at premium prices to the RGGI states. These states would be in deep trouble without the Canadian power.

    • Ontario regularly has to Pat American states to take excess windpower

      Useless AND stupid

      Parker Gallant did a series of articles on how many Billions $$ the people of Ontariowe have and will continue to overpay for this stupidity

  11. Virginia’s dominant electricity producer, Dominion, just filed a tariff of $0.002388 per kWh for its RGGI costs. Not sure where that $6B over 10 years comes from. Dominion is seeking $168M revenue recovery for the first year.

  12. HERR WOLF strikes again. After running the state into the ground with the lockdowns. You will do as i say. Got to listen to Rachel Levine (looks like Brent Spiner from Independence Day movies) on Covid-19. It’s just our money. TMI nuclear plant was shut down as the electricity was too expensive for the owners to sell. Too bad we couldn’t veto wolf out of the Harrisburg for good. Can’t till 22. And keep our money and cheaper electricity. Going to save the world from CC.

  13. From the article: “What Pennsylvanians want – what consumers across the country want – is a recommitment to energy affordability and a path towards emissions reduction that doesn’t impose higher energy prices or the dismantling of critical industries.”

    Do you think your average person walks around worrying about emssions reductions? I sense a little projection going on.

    CO2 is good for the Earth and its people. The more CO2 emissions, the better.

  14. They’re going to need all the trees that have planted over the last generation. Firewood will be all they have against the elements.

  15. Leave it to a notable, pompous Democrat symbol. He almost talks as well as the Democratic mascot. Meaning he also talks stupidily and shows a kleptomaniac profile while trying to govern. He doesn’t succeed.

  16. Coal plants that extract CO2 and store it underground are creating dangerous conditions for their neighbors. The accidental release of CO2 causes death regularly in nature and in our world. The best way to get rid of CO2 is to release it to the atmosphere where it is diluted to safe levels. Good for plants, too.

    • It depends where they store it.

      Germany rejected CCS on exactly the grounds you describe: the geology gave some probability of escape.

      Pumping it into existing gas/oil fields, especially depleted ones should avoid problems (isn’t this already happening in effect with some forms of enhanced extraction?)

      • But since putting it into the atmosphere is good for the environment, as has been pointed out consistently in comments above, why bother storing it?

    • Except major world economies in Europe have been investing in renewables now for 2 decades, with no collapse or undermining and regularly get 30, 40 or even 50 % of their electricity from renewables.

      I read about collapse and collapsing grids here on a regular basis and it provably hasn’t happened.

      Now you are going to tell me about expensive electricity? Well consider: it is a little more expensive in early adopters: if you rolled it out in the USA now you’d be paying a fraction of the costs Germany did.

      • I wonder why Nordstream 2 was was given the green light to 95 percent completion. Maybe some leaders thought they needed an insurance policy while preaching renewables.

      • Grift doesn’t seem to understand the difference between sound investment and forcing it down the public throat – he actually crows over renewables as viable when they’re mandated.

        Moron, dishonest, or both?

      • Germany is insane closing down nuclear plants that do not generate Carbon Dioxide but provide power 24/7 and replaceing them with windmills that do not generate Carbon Dioxide but do not generate power 24/7. This was such a bleeding success that the Germans have started to build coal fired power stations. This what happens if idiot politicians let themselves be guided by gobby scientific and technologically illiterate greens when determining power generation policy.
        This starting to happen in the UK with the prime minister and his latest shag Caroline Symonds aka
        Princess Numb Nutts

  17. These control freaks who think they can outwit Mother Nature’s plan never cease to amaze me.

    My electric rate is reasonable so far, and I think the current governor knows better than to mess with voters right now with nonsense like this. But we’ve had recurring outages in my area (northeastern Illinois) for about five years now and it’s disturbing, because it always seems to happen when the weather turns cold. I just had a new and very efficient furnace installed, and my budgeted amount for my gas bill is based on my past bills but the actual usage bill is much less than I’m paying, which means I have a credit when I need it. However, the power going out for the whole county once is just an outage.

    When it’s every confounded year for six years now, and my furnace won’t run without it, I’m cynical at first, and then becoming suspicious about it.

    Why should it happen repeatedly when there’s no harsh weather, just cold? Oooooh! Conspiracy!!! I could do something with that in a novel.

  18. It’s getting harder and harder to impose tax hikes on the general public. But the utilities have a license to pass the costs onto customers, so why should they object? It’s a win-win for the state and the utilities, with the citizens left out in the cold.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if some of the money eventually went into funding government employee pensions.

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