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Green energy push a boondoggle

The Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Efficient Use of Energy Act are boondoggles because the New Mexico Legislature forced the citizens of this state to pay for costly wind and solar and energy efficiency programs. The only people benefitting from the standard and the act are the green energy lobbyists, the green energy companies and the environmental groups whose lawyers are quick to file suit against the state and the Public Regulation Commission if things don’t go their way.

The citizens are definitely not benefitting; all they’re doing is paying.

And it’s never been proven that the Renewable Portfolio Standard or the Efficient Use of Energy Act has had any benefit to the environment at all.

Journal business reporter Kevin Robinson-Avila wrote a good piece in Monday’s Outlook that explained quite nicely what is going on with the PRC, the environmentalists and how decisions affect the ratepayers. My only complaint about Avila’s articles is that it seems that he only interviews members of the PRC and environmental groups, namely the Sierra Club, and omits interviewing members of the public.

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My husband and I attended the PRC hearing on Sept. 10 regarding the Reasonable Cost Threshold and Diversity Requirements and again on the Nov. 20 PRC decision on this case. Much credit has to be given to the three PRC commissioners – Republicans Pat Lyons and Ben Hall and Democrat Theresa Becenti-Aguilar – who voted to try to keep costs low for the ratepayers in New Mexico. As for Democrats Karen Montoya and Valerie Espinoza, apparently they sided with the environmentalists who don’t care that the Renewable Portfolio Standard will make every citizen’s electric rates skyrocket.

Montoya’s argument was that costs for solar have come down about 80 percent since 2009. So what?!

Solar is still extremely unreliable and far more expensive than traditional energy sources.

The real expense for ratepayers is that utility companies have to build back-up generation plants and transmission systems to ensure reliable electricity for their customers. But the enviros want to keep those little details under wraps in case somebody finds out what the real costs of renewables are.

Bruce Throne, attorney for the Renewable Energy Industries Association, says the overall cost for all renewables costs the average residential ratepayer about $1.83 per month, possibly increasing to $2.75 per month next year.

Sounds like a pittance, right?

What it really means is that ratepayers will pay $1.375 million per month – about $16.5 million per year – to PNM next year for renewable energy ($2.75 x 500,000 customers). He says the rate rider for next year would increase to about $32.94 for an average PNM customer, “less than a tank of gas.”

Multiply 500,000 x $32.94 = $16,470,000 per year; sounds like ratepayers are ponying up more than a tank of gas to me.

Then if you add in the other boondoggle known as the Efficient Use of Energy Act, which is tacked on to your electric bill as an additional approximate 2.17 percent – or about $1.54 per month for an individual which is $18.48 per year, or collectively $9.24 million – that ratepayers have to pay to PNM because New Mexico’s legislators enacted the Energy Efficiency Act at the same time as the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

And so it goes with the problems caused by the boondoggles known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Energy Efficiency Act. It makes one wonder what the Legislature was thinking when it imposed the Renewable Portfolio Standard and Efficient Use of Energy Act on the low and fixed-income citizens of the state.

Kind of reminds one of the current federal boondoggle known as the Affordable Care Act. The citizens of the country pay and the crony capitalists and the lawyers get rich.

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