Ratepayers Misled? Wow. That is Brilliant.
The Baltimore Business Journal is reporting today that PSC Chief Steve Larsen charged Constellation Energy with misleading “ratepayers” in the costs to decommission the nuclear power plant at Calvert Cliffs.
Two points I want to address.
First, the “ratepayers” were misled. You don’t say? Where in the hell have you been?
Second, define “ratepayers”.
The Ratepayers Were Misled
The ratepayers have been misled since DAY ONE of this entire “electricity deregulation” movement. The members of the General Politburo in Soddom on the Severn lied to us. Governor Glendenning lied to us. BGE lied to us. FERC lied to us. Louis Goldstein lied to us when his family sold the land to BGE to build Calvert Cliffs.
Ratepayers have been lied to for eighty years, frankly. Especially residential ratepayers. No one to date in government has addressed the very simple fact that residential rates under the regulated regime were subsidized by the commercial rates, and that “deregulation” was really about making residential ratepayers pay more of the share of the cost of electricity AND creating a speculation market for energy for the benefit NOT of ratepayers, but generators.
Electricity deregulation was designed to create an artificial arbitrage mechansim where companies like Constellation, Enron, and so on could make money on the skim of the sale of electricity. That is why electricity deregulation was important to the energy industry. They wanted to create a commodities market for energy that went beyond the bulk markets for oil and coal, and instead took advantage of the uncertainty that would come from wild price swings in electricty costs created by ever-increasing demand in a resource-constricted environment.
That is why Constellation is not fighting tooth and nail O’Guvnah’s massively totalitarian and economy-killing enery bills. Because Constellation Energy Group would benefit ten-times over from the skim– more than they would from the generation of electricity. This is organized crime on a nationalistic scale.
The entire notion that the ratepayers should pay for the decomissioning of nuclear power plants — the so-called “stranded costs” debate — is one big lie. Mayo A. Shattuck is lying when he argues that his customers should pay for decomissioning plants that were long ago amoritized and paid for.
So to Steve Larsen, I say this: where you have been for the last nine years, pal?
Please Define Ratepayers
I really wish “ratepayers” would be defined. Why? Because the article in the Baltimore Business Journal makes it seem like I — a “ratepayer” for over 15 years to BGE — actually had a say in this mess:
State utility regulators told executives of Constellation Energy Group and its subsidiary, Baltimore Gas & Electric, on Tuesday that ratepayers may have gotten a raw deal in 1999 in regards to how much they would pay to close old nuclear reactors at Calvert Cliffs.
“There was no knowledge of what ratepayers were signing onto,” said Steve Larsen, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission during a hearing in Baltimore.
“They [ratepayers] didn’t want to take the risks of market changes driving up the costs,” said Mike Naeve, an attorney with Washington, D.C.-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, who was representing Constellation at the hearing. “It could be a cost to the ratepayer or a benefit.”
It’s funny, but I do not recall being asked what I thought. I don’t remember voting on anything. I am pretty sure I didn’t get a phone call saying, “Hey, Mr. Patterson, please push 1 if you agree.”
So who are these ratepayers that made this deal?
Of course the answer to that is simple: the “ratepayers” are the Public Service Commission and the General Politburo. So maybe the article should be rewritten:
State utility regulators told executives of Constellation Energy Group and its subsidiary, Baltimore Gas & Electric, on Tuesday that the PSC and the state legislature screwed over Marylanders in 1999 in regards to how much they would pay to close old nuclear reactors at Calvert Cliffs.
“There was no knowledge of how bad we were screwing over Marylanders when we climbed into bed with Constellation Energy Group,” said Steve Larsen, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission during a hearing in Baltimore.
Which brings up a final, rhetorical question: how can I be held accountable to a contract I was not a party to?
Crossposted at www.gunpowderchronicle.com