|From the "Well Isn't this Precious" Dept.: |
The LA Times reports today that there is a move afoot in the CA legislature to cut the cojones off the alternative energy industry:
Lawmakers have been working for weeks to keep rates in check by lowering the price utilities pay to producers of solar, wind and other alternative energy.
State negotiators believed they had reached an agreement in principle last month to cut the producers' price from 17 cents to 7.8 cents per kilowatt-hour--a reduction that would dramatically help efforts to avoid further raising rates. But those negotiations have slowed and the chief negotiator, state Sen. Jim Battin (R-La Quinta), is now looking to lower the prices to the range of 8.5 to 9 cents
The absolutely shameful thing about this is that alternative energy amounts to waaaayyy less than 5% of California's energy generation and is responsible for 0.00% of the recent huge spike in prices in California energy market. What chutzpah on the part of the Dynergy/Duke/Enron cabal, who are only interested in creating further pinchpoints and "corners" in the California energy market. This summer, when we hit 100 degrees in San Francisco some day (most likely in early May), we're going to see the full power and rath of monopolist capitalism at its ugly best. Should be a really interesting show.
And, of course, Wall Street is rushing in to collect its vig for the whole mess:
Finally, there are the revenue bonds the state would allow the utilities to float to recover their debt. The bonds would technically be corporate bonds, but they would be paid off with yet another surcharge on utility bills--a so-called "dedicated rate component"--which would also have to be guaranteed.
Because all the bonds contemplated as part of the state's rescue plan are revenue bonds not backed by the state, but by money from ratepayers, they will not increase California's outstanding tax-supported debt of $24.55 billion. Nonetheless, California will spearhead the sale of all the bonds with the exception of the utilities' debt bonds, and will want to ensure they are successful to preserve the state's reputation, Angelides said.
Angelides said Friday that he had selected a huge team of 26 financial firms led by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. to formulate and help market the $10 billion in bonds. The team represents more than half of those who applied to get a piece of the issue, the largest in American history. "It's a gold rush," said one Wall Street analyst.
Welcome to the Brave New World of the Power Century.....
Best, Ray :)