March 24, 2009
Beast Of Burden
The Coming Green Burden
What one hand giveth, the other taketh away. The federal stimulus bill will reportedly net the average American $13 a week. Today, Michigan’s two major utilities announced that federal green emissions mandates will in part necessitate an 11 percent electric rate hike this year — or approximately $10 a month to the average Michigander.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the bills that are coming due on the “greening of America.
Michigan sports the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 10.6 percent and can ill-afford higher utility costs. But as a state controlled by hip Obamawannabe, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and her union allies, Michigan bears watching as a harbinger for what awaits the U.S.
Like Obama, Granholm has ordered a fundamental restructuring of Michigan’s energy infrastructure, putting all new state coal plants on hold and demanding a 45 percent cut in coal generation in 20 years . . . allegedly to be filled by government-mandated wind power.
Meanwhile, Democratic Washington is trying to force through a cap-and-trade law that will discriminate against coal-heavy manufacturing states like Michigan. Utility executives predict electricity rates may climb another 40 percent as a result.
Finally, in anticipation of these costs, the state utilities lobbied for — and have received — a gutting of the state’s electric deregulation law, so that they can get a guaranteed return on the enormous investment of, say, a low-carbon nuclear plant. Translation for ratepayers of a re-monopolized environment: More rate hikes ahead.