Skip to comments.CA: Still a rotten idea - Don't soak ratepayers for energy think tank
Posted on 08/18/2008 11:15:28 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
In April, when Public Utilities Commission Chairman Michael Peevey persuaded the PUC board to back his plan to use $600 million generated by a 10-year surcharge on some energy bills to create a PUC-run global warming think tank, the response was far chillier than he probably expected.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was enthusiastic, but he was practically alone.
Experts on utility law questioned whether it would be legal for an agency created to regulate utilities to force ratepayers to subsidize an agency think tank.
Consumer groups such as The Utilities Reform Network questioned the fairness of imposing an additional de facto tax on San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison customers, who already fund renewable energy and conservation programs.
Analysts noted the recent explosion of research into alternative energy sources and said the PUC think tank's work would be duplicative.
Perhaps the loudest critics of all were state lawmakers, who saw Peevey's plan as a clumsy, poorly thought-out exercise in empire-building. I think it's a singularly bad idea, said Senate President Don Perata, D-Oakland.
Four months later, however, it turns out that legislators only oppose anti-consumer, ill-conceived empire-building when it's undertaken by some other government body.
Capitol Weekly reported last week that none other than Perata himself had stolen Peevey's idea and will soon unveil his plan for a ratepayer-funded California Institute for Climate Change.
Its funding sources would be expanded to include municipal utilities, such as those owned by Los Angeles and Anaheim, as well as investor-owned utilities, allowing for a much bigger annual budget than envisioned by Peevey.
The institute would be run by a board that included representatives of the Governor's Office, the Senate, Assembly, Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission meaning its management would be suffused with politics, its academic freedom compromised, its research limited to certain options.
Does anyone really believe this think tank would consider nuclear power for even 30 seconds?
But even if it were honestly run, the think tank would fill no need. There is more promising, well-funded energy research now than ever before.
Perata's initial take was right: Soaking ratepayers to set up a state think tank is nonsensical. It is beyond perverse that he is now the greatest champion of this singularly bad idea.
A virtual Greenocracy unfolding before our very eyes... on our dime.
services to illegals is merely the tip of the iceberg. Soon we’ll all be living in the California green dome and the government will dish our services and food as we warrant. Perhaps we’ll have enough water to shower twice a week.
For some reason reading this brought the movie - Mad Max beyond Thunderdome to mind.
Liberal California passes laws for the great unwashed and not to cover liberal causes.
Why the need for a thinktank funded by tax payers? This is stupid. Oh yes let us produce another committee and they will talk and generate lots of reports and not a drop of new energy. I guarantee though they will all be well paid.
Are these the new ‘green collar jobs’?
Government funded 'think tank' is an impossibility'.
For free men to exist, the right to remain ignorant and the right to vote must be mutually exclusive.
Why do manicurists have to obtain a 'competence' licence but not legislators?
What's wrong with this picture?
Isn’t Theft by Swindle a crime in Kalifornia?
Wow! Does he really make the top of that very large list?
Maybe he is just the dumbest idea the Republicans in California had?
“a virtual greenocracy unfolding before our very eyes...on our dime.”
another onanism central for democrats as they suck up more power and influence in the form of public money.
As in the movie, the methane produce from all the crap generated in Sacramento, could easily power the whole state for decades, if not centuries. And Methane burns clean!
Ahnold is just peeved at Republicans for not wanting to change the Constitution and make him President. I really think his enviro policies are his sharp-stick-in-the-eye payback to the party. Which just proves we were right in the first place.
1. Green Energy research will be paid for by those that demand it. A surcharge will be added to your utility bill.
2. When said Green Energy is made available, thus who demanded it or sign up for it will receive said energy as long as it is available. If the energy becomes unavailable, night time for solar and such, said energy recipient will be removed from the grid and NOT be allowed the evil non-Green power.
Schwarzenegger is not a true Republican. This whole thing is a Democratic piece of cow pads, not the Republicans which are the minority in this land of Kalifornia. I live among the nuts.