Friday, December 31, 2010

Taxation in spite of representation

FERC YOU!
From the Wall Street Journal (requires registration):
The Midwest Wind Surtax
You'd think poor Michigan has enough economic troubles without the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission placing a $300 million to $500 million annual surtax on the state's electric utility bills. But on December 16 FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced new rules that would essentially socialize the cost of transmission lines across 13 states in the Midwest...

Let's be very clear on what's happening here: Mr. Wellinghoff and FERC are trying to establish by regulatory fiat a national energy policy that Congress has refused to endorse. Last summer Congress rejected the Obama Administration's renewable energy standard law because it would have inflated power costs. So the fiefdom at FERC is unilaterally moving ahead to require that industries and homeowners pay a surtax on their utility bills for a nonexistent renewable energy policy. This is similar to the EPA's initiatives to regulate carbon even after Congress rejected cap and trade.
Because Iowa and the Dakotas want to build windmills, you (and taxpayers in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin) are going to pay to build new power lines to distribute the intermittent windmill electricity. This should become known as the "Dumb Grid."

Without billions of dollars in new power line infrastructure, the windmills are uneconomic. However, like the health care individual mandate, I'm sure we will hear a defense of this based on the Commerce Clause: Michiganders must pay for windmill transmission lines they neither need nor want, because not to do so is a restraint of interstate commerce.

Imminently-former-Governor Granholm's desire to manufacture windmills now moves from merely stupid to surreal. You are subsidizing the manufacture of windmills so they may be sold to people who have just arranged to tax you in order to enable distribution of electricity from the windmills. That electricity will charge the batteries Ms Granholm has also subsidized, in cars the Feds have forced you to pay for, built by a company whose union you were made to bail-out. All with no law being passed.

FERC may, justifiably, have assumed Michigan would be happy to cough up half a billion annually to subsidize other States' crackpot energy schemes. "Green" - the hue of Frankenstein's monster - "jobs."

Fred Upton, call your office. And don't return to this state unless you spike this taxation by the unelected of people they do not represent.

4 comments:

Jason Gillman said...

Could not have said nearly as well.

Crazy world.. Funny how at the same time they are trying to destroy dams which can produce in Michigan.. 2500 of them.
WTF eh?

Anonymous said...

Well stated, Hershblogger.

Rougman said...

Another lovely caveat is this, these subsidized energy lines that are needed to charge the subsidized batteries to be placed in cars subsidized by the federal government were a major factor in the denial of a private sector clean coal plant license in Rogers City; a plant that would have added money to taxpayer pockets rather than stealing out of them.

Hershblogger said...

Add to that the fact that the Chinese have become net importers of coal, when they formerly exported it.

Also rare earth metals. And silver. And gold.

Rice, anyone?

This is redistribution of wealth. We still think dollars are wealth.