In spite of the election, socialism marches on

This photo says it all…solar panels in the middle of the dessert.  Of course, that is where you would expect them to be, but, there is something missing…transmission lines to carry that power to where it can be used.  But, not to worry, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a plan.  And, it will cost you whether you use solar or wind power, or not.

Here’s how it works.

By some estimates the cost of building out new transmission lines to accommodate renewable energy and other new electric power sources could exceed $160 billion.

The environmentalists have decided that it would be really, really unfair for those consuming that power to pay the entire cost of the new transmission lines as has been our custom “from the beginning of time”.  So, they, supported by the White House and Democratic leaders, are proposing that everyone in the country pay for those costs via the mechanism of increased charges on your electric bill.

Of course, the “winner” states are quite happy to have someone else pay for their costs, but, what about the “loser” states?

Michigan will be sending hundreds of million dollars annually outside the state to fund transmission projects which not only provide little value to the State, but will actually harm our ability to develop our own renewable energy market.

And, Ian Bowles, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, calls the proposal,

a radical Soviet-style approach to transmission planning.

So, here is where we stand.  Billions of your tax dollars have already been (and will continue to be) spent subsidizing solar farms, and wind farms.  Now that we have done that, you will continue to pay through the nose in the form of higher electric bills (forever) to pay for the transmission lines associated with these power sources.

Call me silly, but, it seems to me that the companies who will “profit” from developing solar and wind power, as well as those using that power,  should be the ones who have to pay to deliver the power…not everyone else.

But, if this is the new norm, will you folks in Connecticut, for example, pay my power bill?  After all, it’s only fair…

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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. sammy22 on November 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Seems like you have not heard the term "wheeling" of electric power. You may not know where the electric power you are using has been generated.

  2. SoundOffSister on November 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I understand that, Sammy, perhaps more than you know.  The point of my post was that, as an example, the folks in Massachusetts, have never had to pay for the cost of building new transmission lines in Florida.  Now they will, if the FERC, and the "socialists/greenies" prevail. 

  3. sammy22 on November 9, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Well, thanks to deregulation production and delivery of electric power have been "separated". Gone are the days when electricity was produced locally and delivered for consumption by the same Utility. My supplier is headquartered somewhere in PA and my deliverer is in CT. Welcome to the 21st century.

  4. Dimsdale on November 9, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Another stab in the eye of state's rights.  It is yet another wealth redistribution scheme, with the greenies holding the power of redistribution.  Of course, it is no different from solar panel installations on houses, where we foot the bill through subsidies and tax credits.


    Greenies are just communists in a new suit.  I think they call them "watermelons", as in green on the outside, red on the inside.


  5. sammy22 on November 9, 2010 at 6:07 am

    The issue is about transmission lines. No matter how electricity is generated you have to get from here to there.  If you go out west, check out how far the Grand Cooley Dam is from Portland, OR or the Hoover Dam from LA. Who paid for those lines??

  6. Plainvillian on November 10, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Do the 'save the planet' crowd ever consider the number of years it takes to amortize the initial cost of photovoltaic arrays and windmills or the fuels required to produce and install them? Probably not since they view mundane things like cost and return on investment as evil concepts from evil capitalists.

    The wind farms I have flown over in the last few years are invariably either totally or partially stationary and not producing electricity. I understand they make great tax shelters though. Meanwhile we have enough domestic and easily mined coal and affordable natural gas to power the US for centuries but can't use it.

    While I'm here I would mention that when the Department of Energy was created to solve our energy problems, our importation of 28% of our oil was an emergency the new department was formed to remedy. Like so many government programs, DOE has worked well hasn't it?

  7. sammy22 on November 10, 2010 at 3:38 am

    @Plainvillian: have you factored into your cost/benefit analysis the transfer of $700B outside the US to buy oil and gas. Or the military costs to keep the oil/gas coming to our ports? How do transmission lines get mixed up w/ oil imports?


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