That’s what’s at stake here, with Representative Keenan’s Section 42 in the new energy bill, legislation that could cost ratepayers upwards of $1 billion dollars. It’s guaranteed money (where else does that happen?) and a huge step backwards for Massachusetts and its reforms to bring down the cost of our electricity.
Section 42 would force tax payers to pay for electricity, even if it goes unused or is unneeded, so long as it was from a gas plant that was converted from a coal plant.
Of course, there’s only one plant project that would qualify in all of Massachusetts… and it just so happens to be in Representative Keenan’s district, chairman of the relevant committee. Surprise, surprise.
Keenan’s not resting on his laurels, either. It’s little wonder, since the Senate version of the bill has nothing like Section 42. So, Keenan’s going after all the prominent outside opponents, armed with a fantastic straw man.
Keenan, however, suggests that the environmentalists who have long fought Salem’s coal plant have in essence moved the goal line, noting that when he was city solicitor, the same groups were calling for gas as a cleaner alternative to coal.
See, they’re never going to be happy! They just don’t want a power plant! The only problem? The argument is incredibly disingenuous.
The goal post was moved by the New England ISO, when it said a plant at that site wasn’t needed. That’s what changed everything.
Don’t take my word for it.
“Even with the planned retirements of generation facilities over the next few years in New England, the last auction elicited nearly 4,000 MW beyond levels needed to ensure an ample 17 percent reserve margin,” Dolan wrote, adding that “modifications to the regional energy and capacity markets, not one-off transactions, are the better way to incent new generation when needed.”
So, not only does New England not need the extra power, it’s already producing 17% more power than it uses, even accounting for the planned plant closures.
Now, if the ISO said the Salem Power Plant should be retired, but another smaller one should replace it, then all of this may be a different story… but that’s not what happened.
Building that plant there is forcing ratepayers to pay for electricity that’s not going to be used, or what we like to call in the vernacular, “a wicked dumb idea.”
Unless, of course, you’re Dominion Resources, Inc, or get political contributions from them.
Crossposted at www.RyansTake.net