Sierra Club has been waging a huge campaign in Ohio against AEP's and FirstEnergy's plans to re-regulate their coal and nuclear generation plants so that the companies' competitive generators are guaranteed a profit. Sierra Club has been stirring up dissent by trumpeting how much these "bailouts" are going to cost ratepayers. Sierra Club has lied to the public.
Because Sierra Club has reached a settlement with AEP that allows the company to be "bailed out" by ratepayers in exchange for some environmental gewgaws. That the ratepayers will also pay for. AEP wins. Sierra Club wins. Ratepayers lose.
Sierra Club is a dishonest sell-out and nobody should be fooled by its claims to be sticking up for ratepayers in the future.
The settlement not only saddles ratepayers with overpriced energy and a profit guarantee of 10.38% on these supposedly "free market" competitive generators, but also the cost of Sierra Club's environmental gewgaws, such as new "clean" energy projects that nobody wants in their own backyard. High on the hypocrite hierarchy is the stipulation that AEP convert many of its coal-fired generators to natural gas at the end of the bailout. Wait... isn't Sierra Club anti-gas as well as anti-coal? Do the Sierra Club employees in Room A know what the employees in Room B are doing? Or do they even care, as long as they keep getting away with this hypocrisy?
But not all parties sold out the way Sierra Club did.
Many opponents remain, including the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, which says the plan would lead to a huge shift in risk from AEP to its customers; competing energy companies such as Dynegy Inc., which say the proposal is an illegal subsidy that would disrupt Ohio’s competitive electricity market; and environmental groups such as the Ohio Environmental Council, which say the deal is tilted to favor AEP’s interests over all others.
But yet, Sierra Club still opposes FirstEnergy's nearly identical proposal. Why? Because it will saddle consumers with additional cost. How can anyone take Sierra Club seriously at this point? They've just killed any credibility they had with the public and the PUCO on the FirstEnergy case. I'm not sure Sierra Club even realizes how stupid they look at this point. Nice going, knuckleheads.
So let's get FirstEnergy into the game here with a few environmental tokens for the Sierra Club. I've got an idea! How about if FirstEnergy offers to capture all the farts of their 15,500 employees and then refuel the plants in question to run on real "natural gas" that doesn't require fracking on someone else's property (assuming here that FirstEnergy owns the rights to its employees' gas wells). This way Sierra Club can save the environment and give FirstEnergy a great big hug. Awwwwww!
Bailout, meet sell out.
You know what? If the environmental gewgaws weren't being paid for by ratepayers (in addition to the coal plant bailout), and there wasn't an opportunity for AEP to make additional profits off building them, they would never have agreed to make a deal with the Sierra Club hypocrites.
Because, after all...
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is expected to decide on the proposed settlement early next year. Having the respected Sierra Club on its side should help ease the decision.
I hope Sierra Club and AEP are very happy together. Maybe the BeyondCoal folks can get invited to one of Nick's special luncheons? I hear they serve a delicious magic mushroom quiche!