Lots of Support for Blowing Your Money Away

File this — from a story concerning legal challenges to the deal that Rhode Island has constructed for Deepwater Wind and National Grid — under “I’ll bet”:

“It was really impressive the range of support it had,” said Jerry Elmer, staff attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation, who lobbied in favor of the law. “I had legislators coming up to me saying, ‘I’ve never seen the utility and environmental groups on the same side of any issue.'”

Well, look, on the one hand, you’ve got issue advocates with a preferred cause that will increase the cost of living in an area and is therefore a difficult sell to the general public. On the other hand, you’ve got a virtual energy monopoly that must acquire government clearance for rate increases. It isn’t really surprising that both hands would come together to applaud the government’s forcing the public to foot the bill to make them happy, complete with long-term contracts with automatic increases and no mechanism to adjust should circumstances change down the road.
I say that National Grid is a “virtual energy monopoly” because it’s currently possible for consumers (mostly those purchasing massive quantities of energy) to buy from other suppliers and pay National Grid only for the use of the infrastructure to deliver it. Of course, the lawsuit currently on the table centers on the energy giant’s ability to charge even those who don’t use its energy for Deepwater’s premium, which comes in several times higher than the current market value.
See, when competitive dynamics look likely to thwart the intentions of activists and big-government advocates, out the window they go… gone with the wind, one might say.

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13 years ago

” ‘I’ve never seen the utility and environmental groups on the same side of any issue.'”
As Justin points out, one of the things that they both support in this case is an energy monopoly.
Would the environmental groups involved here care to provide a list of all of the other monopolies that they support? (Presumably, this is a short or non-existent list.) Why does a robber baron become acceptable under certain circumstances?

13 years ago

And here I thought the nation was built on the premise of “building a better mouse trap”. Kind of like capitalism. Silly me.

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