Climate mania impoverishes electricity customers here and abroad

Russ Steele

Several readers have forward the Financial Post article below on how climate mania is impoverishing citizens ad alternative energy schemes are used to drive up the cost of energy.  Even though this is a world wide impact,  there is also a connection to California.  First this from the Financial Post: Lawrence Solomon: Green power failure

The North American exemplar of acting on the perceived threat of global warming is Ontario, which dismantled one of the continent’s finest fleets of coal plants in pursuit of becoming a green leader. Then, to induce developers to build uneconomic renewable energy facilities, the Ontario government paid them as much as 80 times the market rate for power. The result is power prices that rose rapidly (about 50% since 2005) and will continue to do so: Ontarians can expect power prices that are 46% higher over the next five years, according to a 2010 Ontario government estimate, and more than 100% higher according to independent estimates. The rest of Canada may not fare much better — the National Energy Board forecasts power prices 42% higher by 2035, while some estimates have Canadian power prices 50% higher by 2020.

Another reader saw the California connection on the CARB website:

If you go to the CARB web site,, you’ll find this sentence, “California is working closely with British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba through the Western Climate Initiative to develop harmonized cap and trade programs that will deliver cost-effective emission reductions.”

The question is if Canadian Provinces are going to harmonize Cap and Trade programs, that will also result in the harmonization of energy costs. We can also expect our power prices to go up 45 to 50 percent as well. However, the Financial Post article points out that the rest of the US is seeing stable or slight declines in the price of electricity. As energy prices rise in California, they will be  declining in the rest of the US as power companies adopt more cheap natural gas. As fracking produces more gas the price continues to drop.

The question one reader asks is:

Will the abundant supply of cheap natural gas overcome the renewable mandates to keep California’s rates from rising or will California’s rate payers see price rises like they did in Ontario?

Given what we know about CARB’s single minded focus on creating a Cap and Trade slush fund and the environmental wacko legislators in Sacramento, who are taking big time political donations from all the “go green” VCs, I have serious doubts that California will ever take full advantage of cheap natural gas and move away form the more expensive alternative energy schemes, there is just too much money involved, and too little political power in the hands of rate payers.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

4 Responses to Climate mania impoverishes electricity customers here and abroad

  1. Bob Hobert says:

    Russ, I am afraid you are correct in suspecting that CA electric rates will soon skyrocket. California electric rates have already increased at nearly 7% annually in recent years, and all of the “clean” power mandates have yet to be fully in place. PG&E will not fight the mandates as they will just pass on the costs to their monopolized customers. I recently took advantage of the federal and state solar tax credits and installed solar panels on our LWW home, having good sun exposure. My electric consumption from the grid so far this year is negative – the meter is lower than it was Jan 1, in part because we were gone for awhile. Even so I am still connected to the grid and am subject to the renewal of brown/blackouts that we experienced here during the August 1996 grid failure (106F in Penn Valley). The next step may be to become fully independent of PG&E. I foresee localized homeowner power production as one possible solution for many, yet fear that CA will figure out how to punish me for producing my own power.

  2. stevefrisch says:

    Bob, I am 100% on board for your distributed generation (localized homeowner power). Kudos to you.

  3. Bob Hobert says:

    Steve – I have a nagging suspicion that the builders of my solar system factored the tax rebates into the cost. They were certainly a big part of their pitch. Hopefully the technology will advance to where homeowner energy production is economically attractive without involuntary taxpayer subsidy. Of course, if CA drives energy costs sky high by blocking natural gas and nuclear powered electrical production, as seems likely, that economic attraction will occur sooner. But will the costs come down in a forced, subsidized transition? I think not. Recall that Henry Ford put America into affordable automobiles without government help, or interference, back when America was on the rise, not in its present decline.

  4. Dena says:

    The are already increasing. City of Anaheim works hard to provide some of the lowest rates in the state and they held steady at about 11 cents a KWH. I was receiving bills of about 14 cents a KWH and they were in the process of installing more green power as well as adding to their natural gas generating ability. While natural gas is cheap power, Coal is even less.
    My Arizona rates range between 7.8 cents and 10.6 cents a KWH depending on the time of the year. The power bill is talking about Green energy so I am not sure how long these rates will hold. Also note that this is the same power that is shipped of to California to help keep your lights on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: