Utility Acknowledges Millions in Ratepayer Charges to Pay for Green Gestures

From ClimateWire (subscription required):

Nuclear operators announce offset purchase (07/06/2011)

NEW YORK — The operator of two upstate New York nuclear power plants yesterday announced a purchase of carbon offsets in the state.Entergy Corp., a power generator in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere, says it has completed the purchase of slightly less than 35,000 tons’ worth of greenhouse gas emission reduction credits certified by the nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR).

The company runs the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plant near New York City along with the James A. Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant on the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario [NB: to clarify this emphasis, the utility actually gets less than half its production from nuclear, with half coming from gas and coal].

The company says it bought the offset credits to boost its environmental credentials, using money from its designated environmental initiatives fund….

“We first set up this environmental initiatives fund back in 2001. We funded it at a level of about $5 million a year for a …[total of] $20 million…” (emphases added)

So. $20 million taken out of the hides of ratepayers, and that means the economy, in a posturing won’t you please love me scheme cooked up with the greens — that is, agreed by no one who actually paid the tab — for ‘green’ posing.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg that is already being inflicted on the economy, before Obama’s ‘other ways to skin that cat’ kick in. Incidentally, Entergy, like AEP, and Duke Energy, Exelon and some other utilities desirous of a state-managed wealth transfer are behind the agenda to mandate ever more of this, but designed (by them) to line their pockets instead of just paying for their posing.

So, keep admitting these things, my rent-seeking crony capitalist friends. Keep talking.

To invoke a favorite greenie phrase, it is inevitable that those whose pockets you are picking for these schemes will demand common sense responses like, say, that their lawmakers agree to ban the practice of passing such stunts through to the ratepayer.

You want to fund some ‘green’ scheme, or build a bunch of windmills with their extraordinarily expensive transmission schemes on top and then an otherwise redundant gas plant for (chuckle) ‘backup’?

Great. But you can only pass through to the ratepayer what it would have cost to build something that works. The waste and folly all comes out of your and your shareholders’ hide.

At which point we will ask, still interested in these schemes? And the answer — well, on second thought, not so much — will put an end to this economic drain on the path to far worse.

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