As the Waxman-Markey climate bill continues to slowly crawl to an upcoming vote, more and more debate emerges. This time it’s Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota taking the reins for energy producers who already emit too many noxious emissions into our environment. Congressman Peterson represents rural electric producers (mainly ones who burn coal and ethanol to produce electricity) and claims this bill leaves them behind.
Congressman Peterson is protecting the exact companies (i.e. coal and ethanol plants) that this bill is trying to force to make more cleaner and more efficient. Of course he shouldn’t expect good favor from this bill (i.e. tons of money). Yet, by some twisted logic, that’s exactly what he’s asking for.
Peterson wants electric producers who burn coal and ethanol (see how the San Juan Generating plant is holding up in NM with their emissions production) to get back 100% of the allowances they pay for excess emissions.
To me this is like taking away your kid’s allowance because he’s bad, then giving it right back to him because he needs the money to be good.
Seeing how the fine paid by San Juan (which is owned by PNM) was the largest in state history, it is mind boggling to think how much money would be given away via 100% allowances nationwide.
Secondly, Peterson argues that many of the low-income people in his Farm Belt region would be affected more than others in the nation. While there may be a small increase in his constituents’ rates (mostly a result of electric generators in this area not being clean or efficient enough and thus they have to spend large amounts of money to get their plants in order) it will not add up to the thousands of dollars that these dirty energy representatives claim it will.
The Congressional Budget Office released a report last Friday that estimates that the total costs passed on to households from the Waxman-Markey bill will be a whopping $175 a year. And, the report says, the low-income consumers that Peterson talks about won’t have their rates raised – instead, they’ll actually get back about $40 a year.
So once again, I have to ask the question: