Neil “Krusty the Clown” Abercrombie signs SB1347, giving Hawai’i Electric Company a license to soak Consumers for Green Energy Projects. Alternative energy is expensive and someone needs to pay for it.
When the electric company is allowed to go green, it means they can charge you for the cost of going green. Part of the intended, and unintended, costs of being environmentally conscience. You get to pay for failed green technologies and you don’t get either a choice, or a say, on how your money gets spent.
When was the government in the business of helping startup for-profit companies, startup at taxpayer expense? According to Bob Herkes, a democrat, you don’t have a choice:
Rep. Bob Herkes, D-Ka’u-South Kona, chairman of the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, said it’s not uncommon for the Legislature to step in and help alternative energy companies subsidize their startups, even if they are private for-profit enterprises.
“In the end, the consumers are going to pay for it anyway,” Herkes said, explaining that power costs are dependent on the price of fuel sources and finding more sustainable fuel sources will benefit them in the long run.
If not, he said, consumers can install photovoltaic cells and other personal power generators instead of relying totally on the electric company.
“I’m not convinced the project has the soundness and viability to survive, but neither am I ready to stop it,” Herkes said.
Get that last statement? If you don’t like the legislators raising your electric rates, you can go buy solar panels and go off grid. Such arrogance from the chairman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee. Isn’t the job of the Consumer Protection chairman who’s suppose to protect consumers? Why not provide incentives like tax breaks and lease exemptions for these companies? Why use taxpayer’s money to fund a private company? This is ripping off the consumer by forcing the consumer to invest in a risky business venture. The reward is higher electric rates, the consumer looses!
At least one legislator stood up with reservations about the legislation about to be passed. Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-HI 50th District), spoke out about the automatic rate increase by the utilities without any oversight by the “Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee”.
In the end, she voted for the bill anyway. The roll call can be found here. The Consumer Protection chairman was more interested in protecting a utility company than the consumer. Aina Koa Pono-Ka’u is a bio-energy farm that is creating a form of bio-fuel, and Hawaiian Electric Company uses that bio-fuel to generate the electricity we consume. These two companies will be allowed to pass on the cost of managing their utilities, and they don’t have to get permission by the consumer advocate to raise rates. But then, the consumer advocate stated he’s not interested in protecting the consumer. He thinks protecting the environment is more important, and he going to make sure you pay for it.
Increased electric rates means increased costs across all consumer goods, not just your home electric bill. Pumping gas at the service station uses electricity, grocery stores that use lights, refrigeration, transportation, will pass on the costs of higher electric rates. Anything that uses electricity will be affected. Life here is already expensive, thanks to the legislators; it’s going to get more expensive.
You vote these people into office, live with the consequence of them making your life more expensive.
What’s For Dinner?
Grilled Ono Fish with White Bean Ragout