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The Less Discussed Part of Walker’s Wisconsin Plan: No-Bid Energy Assets Firesales.
Rortybomb ^ | 2/21/2011 | Rorty

Posted on 02/21/2011 7:07:08 PM PST by aquila48

The fight in Wisconsin is over Governor Walker’s 144-page Budget Repair Bill. The parts everyone is focusing on have to do with the right to collectively bargain being stripped from public sector unions (except for the unions that supported Walker running for Governor). Focusing on this misses a large part of what the bill would do.... The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest.

(Excerpt) Read more at rortybomb.wordpress.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: cronyismnotjust4dems; energy; nobid; walker; wisconsin; wisconsinshowdown
This, in fact, is in the bill (see link) and at first sight it doesn't sound good and the left is starting to make hay out of this. Does anyone here know why they would want to sell assets without competitive bidding?
1 posted on 02/21/2011 7:07:13 PM PST by aquila48
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To: aquila48
I don't expect Walker to be perfect. I feel no need to defend this particular piece. But I see him trying to cut spending and trying to cut the power of the unions. So far, he hasn't bowed to the pressure.

I like most of what I see. The rest doesn't matter so much.

2 posted on 02/21/2011 7:10:18 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: aquila48

I would presume that the idea is to get the state and the cities out of the power business, which they had no business getting into in the first place.

The bill says that they should be sold in the best interests of the state. Presumably that means a) get rid of costly facilities; and b) get the best price for them.

Presumably the wording is intended to avoid costly and time-consuming bidding processes, which can go on for years. As long as the properties are put up for sale in such a way that they get the best reasonable bids for them, that should suffice.

That’s just my guess. But often the “bidding process” can be time consuming, wasteful, and actually end up not getting the highest bids anyway. Better to put someone responsible in charge and let him use his best judgment.


3 posted on 02/21/2011 7:14:01 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The union fight is most important to us nationwide. The rest not so much.


4 posted on 02/21/2011 7:14:37 PM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: aquila48
There are always good reasons to sell government assets with no-bid contracts. Sometimes there are reasons to not do that.

Your first problem if you DO NOT HAVE such a clause in the law is that even if you have bids the losing party(s) will sue to have the process reviewed by a court.

That will delay the sale for a substantial period of time ~ in the meantime the winner and the losers will be "forced" to make a deal completely outside the state's control or knowledge, and finally the judge will let the state sell to the winner, who will then divide up the business, or make swaps, with the others.

You eliminate that sort of thing with no-bid contracts.

5 posted on 02/21/2011 7:17:59 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: aquila48

“No bid” does not automatically equal “give away”. You’d have to know more, such as, is there a minimum fair price that must be met before selling. I can imagine it would be a benefit to the State not to have to spend money to operate such things, but rather collect taxes from the new owners.


6 posted on 02/21/2011 7:18:18 PM PST by FairWitness (Everything is easy, once you've done it once)
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To: aquila48

What is legally defined public interest? Sounds like commie talk.

Pray for America


7 posted on 02/21/2011 7:21:10 PM PST by bray (Vote Palin to make heads explode on both sides of the aisle.)
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To: aquila48

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/116180144.html

Please do research BEFORE commenting about subjects you know little or nothing about. The link above describes pretty well what is going on. The state disposing of many old EPA NON-COMPLIANT coal plants, retiring debt in the process, and getting the state OUT of the energy generating business, where it has no business.

The previous Doyle Administration had already decided to replace the UW coal plant with a HUGELY expensive biomass plant. Walker killed that as soon as he took office, saving the state 75MILLION $....

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency began an investigation to determine whether plants across the state at UW campuses and prisons were operating in violation of the Clean Air Act. In addition, new air pollution standards being implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to result in the need to for older coal-fired power plants in the state and around the country to add pollution controls or transition to run on cleaner-burning natural gas.

One year ago, the Doyle administration concluded that five more state-run power plants were violating federal clean air regulations, bringing the total number of plants violating the Clean Air Act to eight.

Similar findings contributed to plans to stop burning coal at the Charter Street heating plant that serves the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Doyle administration planned to replace coal with a combination of natural gas and biomass, but the Walker administration last month pulled the plug on the biomass portion of the project. That would result in net savings for taxpayers of about $75 million, according to the Department of Administration


8 posted on 02/21/2011 7:25:52 PM PST by milwguy
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To: aquila48

I’m not sure what the details are, but if the State is running these utilities, they need to shed that responsibility ASAP. A lot of places have PUDs, Public Utility Districts with elected officials to run them, but they are separate from the State government and operate under their own defined rules.

This is likely something that the State should never have touched in the first place, and the fix is not going to be easy.


9 posted on 02/21/2011 7:29:21 PM PST by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts...)
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To: aquila48
"Scoop and toss" is another PSYOPS from the left. BTW, anyone know where to get some good data on Wisconsin pension outlays by year?
10 posted on 02/21/2011 7:30:54 PM PST by yup2394871293
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To: milwguy

Thanks so much for the education!
Knowing is half the battle!


11 posted on 02/21/2011 7:31:23 PM PST by griswold3
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To: milwguy

Wow, thanks!


12 posted on 02/21/2011 7:31:51 PM PST by oprahstheantichrist (The MSM is a demonic stronghold, PLEASE pray accordingly - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
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To: aquila48

I would imagine these energy plants are also full of highly tenured Govt PUblic Union employees and retires with a large retirement and health care Liability

they might have to sell them for 1.00 in order for someone to take that liability with it....


13 posted on 02/21/2011 7:36:12 PM PST by sbark
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To: aquila48
Author bio..."Mike Konczal, a former financial engineer, is a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, who also blogs at New Deal 2.0, and is working on financial reform, the 21st century economy, structural unemployment, inequality, risk sharing, consumer access to financial services and more generally what it means to have a social contract in a financialized, post-industrial economy. He’s written papers for the Roosevelt Institute about financial reform several times as well as the deficit and the unemployment crisis. His work has appeared at The Atlantic Monthly’s Business Channel, NPR’s Planet Money, Slate, Baseline Scenario, Seeking Alpha, Huffington Post and The Nation. Originally from Chicago, he enjoys finance, economics, sociology, theory, tacos and center-left politics on the side."
14 posted on 02/21/2011 7:45:28 PM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: aquila48

Consider the source. This is a hit piece, pure and simple, as shown by comments in the second sentence about which unions supported the Gov. Ask Chris Mathews about those “facts”.


15 posted on 02/21/2011 7:53:17 PM PST by jstaff
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To: jstaff

Consider the source. This is a hit piece, pure and simple, as shown by comments in the second sentence about which unions supported the Gov. Ask Chris Mathews about those “facts”.
+++++++++++++++++++++++

Actually it’s written right in there...I read it. No-bid sales of public utilities would be authorized...WOW.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suddenly becoming a liberal...but this looks bad. Who sets the price?


16 posted on 02/21/2011 8:15:42 PM PST by DJlaysitup
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To: milwguy

Thanks for your input regarding the story...

It’s a shame you’re also an a—hole. The gist of my comment was a question as to whether anyone in freeperland knew why they would want to sell assets without a bidding process. I didn’t know of any good reasons, so I asked. Some of the answers I’ve gotten (including yours) seem to make sense.

So follow your own advice and read things carefully BEFORE throwing out insults - they have a way of boomeranging.


17 posted on 02/21/2011 8:23:37 PM PST by aquila48
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To: DJlaysitup
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suddenly becoming a liberal...but this looks bad. Who sets the price?

How about one dollar. Sounds fair to me. Government has no business in the power business.

18 posted on 02/21/2011 8:25:16 PM PST by Logical me
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To: aquila48

Well, if it’s so bad, the DEMOCRATS can come back to Madistan and argue their case.


19 posted on 02/21/2011 8:35:59 PM PST by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: jstaff

“Consider the source. This is a hit piece, pure and simple, as shown by comments in the second sentence about which unions supported the Gov. Ask Chris Mathews about those “facts”.”

Whether it’s a hit piece is besides the point. I’m not worried about the piece, I’m trying to understand why they would put language in the bill that allows no-bid contracts. As I said, at first blush, it raises suspicions of backroom deals, and opens one up to criticism and demagoguery.

So, back to the question, why would they put in that language? I’m not being critical, because from what I’ve seen of Walker, he seems a good guy - just curious.


20 posted on 02/21/2011 8:38:08 PM PST by aquila48
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To: BobL

“Well, if it’s so bad, the DEMOCRATS can come back to Madistan and argue their case.”

I agree. Maybe they haven’t read the bill - they have a habit of doing that. It definitely has not been on their front burner.


21 posted on 02/21/2011 8:41:53 PM PST by aquila48
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To: aquila48
"Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

"Does anyone here know why they would want to sell assets without competitive bidding?"

There may be plenty of qualified buyers, but few or none interested. The state may have to seek the only buyer.

As to certification, etc.

The Bureau of Land Management sold my town, Boulder City, Nevada, 200,000 acres of adjoining desert cheap. The stipulation was that it could only be used for recreation, conservation or energy production. Also stipulated in advance was that all EPA requirements were met, in advance, for production of energy. No environmental studies are necessary. Companies are begging to lease this land.

Wisconsin is waving the bureaucratic red tape in order to sell state owned utilities.

yitbos

22 posted on 02/21/2011 8:51:04 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: bruinbirdman

“The Bureau of Land Management sold my town, Boulder City, Nevada, 200,000 acres of adjoining desert cheap.”

I take it that was no-bid?


23 posted on 02/21/2011 10:13:42 PM PST by aquila48
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To: aquila48
"I take it that was no-bid?"

You bet. Dirty Harry Reid, Klintoon, but also our Republican Senator and congressman wrote the legislation about 20 years ago. Not a BLM or executive order. Passed by congress.

See, Wisconsin can do the same.

In any event, the land was taken out of the Federal realm and sold to a city.

Three companies, a natural gas to electricity and two solar/electric plants, are paying us (pop. 15,000) $millions/yr. in rent with plenty of land left for others.

However, solar generators are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain the government subsidies and private investments necessary to be viable. We turned down a Korean scheme that needed the city to ante up bucks. Green is finding it difficult.

Existing state energy utilities have been mandated to become 20% green. They can do this only by raising rates.

yitbos

24 posted on 02/21/2011 11:47:55 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: Cicero
That’s just my guess. But often the “bidding process” can be time consuming, wasteful, and actually end up not getting the highest bids anyway. Better to put someone responsible in charge and let him use his best judgment.

Agree. Was this a qualified versus high bid? There is an important distinction that the majority do not understand. I would take the qualified.
25 posted on 02/21/2011 11:51:43 PM PST by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media. There are Wars and Rumors of War.)
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To: aquila48

TMJ4 (Milw.)I Team investigation— Buried in the Bill:

http://www.todaystmj4.com/features/iteam/116633848.html


26 posted on 02/23/2011 10:12:01 PM PST by green pastures (Cynicism-- it's not just for breakfast anymore...)
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