In the Pipeline: 8/19/13

Woods (Dynegy), Spitzer (Steptoe), Naeve (Skadden), Santa (INGAA), Kelliher (NextEra), Kelly (Akin Gump), Bailey (Cheniere), Moler (Exelon pensioner), Brownell (Comverge or Spectra, whichever you prefer). Say what you want, these people have vested interests that are very much involved with who might be the next Chairman of FERC. So let’s not kid anyone about why they signed that letter.

PoliticoPro (8/16/13) reports: “When a dozen former FERC commissioners lined up last week to defend President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the agency against a scathing Wall Street Journal editorial, it was no easy task. The Journal’s editorial represented either a purposeful attack or ‘just an ignorance of how commissions work,’ said former FERC Commissioner Nora Mead Brownell, a George W. Bush appointee who organized the rebuttal by both Democratic and Republican former commissioners. The Journal’s July 29 editorial pummeled former Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chairman Ron Binz, calling him ‘the most important and radical Obama nominee you’ve never heard of.’ But it also criticized FERC, saying the agency has gone beyond its ‘narrow legal obligations’ and ‘deputized itself as a Wall Street regulator.’”

Our own Bob Murphy is from Rochester. It must be something in the groundwater.

The Democrat and Chronicle (8/13/13) reports: “The 20 solar panels Jeffrey Punton installed in the backyard of his Weldon Street home won’t ever generate enough electricity to cover their cost. Which is the whole point. He means them as a cautionary tale, one that Punton said cost him $13,000 and received another $29,500 in state and federal subsidies and tax credits. He installed the panels in 2009, and they work: he has generated about 15,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in four years, saving several hundred dollars a year on his energy bill. That’s a lot of savings, but barely enough to recoup his initial investment over several decades, and not enough to cover the public money involved. It’s that public money that chafes him, evidence of governmental intrusion in the marketplace.”

“Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.”

The Hill (8/15/13) reports: “A group run by a former GOP lawmaker that advocates for a carbon tax has lured Americans for Prosperity’s grassroots director to lead its outreach efforts. Laquan Austion will join ex-Rep. Bob Inglis’s (R-S.C.) Energy and Enterprise Initiative as its new director of outreach, the organization announced Thursday. The move is an interesting one, as the AFP strongly opposes a carbon tax, which Inglis’s group is pushing. ‘E&EI is blazing the trail for free-market solutions to a demanding issue that Americans care about,’ Austion said in a statement. ‘I’m excited for the opportunity to contribute to the growing coalition of conservatives offering the country real solutions for energy security and climate change.’ A carbon tax is a fee imposed either at fossil fuel extraction or generation with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under most schemes, some revenues are returned to residents to offset higher energy costs.”

So the wind guys and the solar crew is on the Binz bandwagon. How much more obvious does it have to get?

The Daily Caller (8/6/13) reports: “The bill passed and the Colorado PUC voted to have Xcel shut down six coal-fired generators and replace them with natural gas-fired ones. However, the Denver Post reported that prior to the enactment of the bill, Binz had engaged in meetings with executives in the natural gas industry and from Xcel, according to government documents. ‘By early March 2010, he was even reassuring Xcel officials on how the commission would treat cost recovery under draft language — eventually crowing, ‘The eagle has landed. The commission and Xcel have agreed on language for cost recovery,’’ the Post reported.”

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