Citizens for Enervating Michigan’s Economy II

There are a few lobbyists styling themselves “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” who are hammering the radio with political ads criticizing legislators who support expanding energy choice. CEME is, in fact, dependent for funding upon Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy. These guys have been around for awhile, so their pedigree is clear:

Touting A ‘Looming Energy Shortfall,’ Utility-Connected Nonprofit Spent $7.4 Million Last Year (2015)

The $4-Million Push To Influence Michigan Energy Law (2015)

Utilities spend $1.6M to influence Michigan energy policy debate (2015)

Michigan Big Energy firms working together to steer legislation to fatten their profit statements (2015)

Consumers Energy confirms affiliated PAC donated to Rep. Gary Glenn’s election opponent (2018)

Consumers Energy contributed $43.5 million over four years to Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy (2018)

Utilities-backed dark money group sparking energy debate in Michigan This article describes ““Citizens for Michigan’s Energy Future,” which is just another front for the same lobbyists. (2015)

One of the current ads claims that opposing energy company plans is the same as “outsourcing Michigan jobs” in the utility industry. Well, it might be true that there would be fewer Michigan utility jobs. However, job creation should not be a utility company’s prime objective. They should reliably deliver electricity at reasonable rates. Which means no featherbedding.

Besides that, they don’t tell you they are in favor of outsourcing electricity generation in order to help meet Michigan’s ill-advised* renewable energy goals; This Michigan Utility Is Planning Your Energy Future: “[Consumers Energy] expects to rely heavily on electricity from out-of-state generators by 2040.” Lots of Michigan’s energy is planned to be purchased from other states, while Consumers’ own solar arrays will cover “between 25,000 to 35,000 acres by 2040.”

They neglect to mention that they lobby furiously to eliminate energy supplier choice (now capped at 10%), dramatically increasing costs for public schools. See also; Consumers Energy-funded group running ads against electric choice/deregulation

TOC mentioned “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” in 2014, when they were last found trying to increase your electricity costs by opposing consumer choice in electricity supply. They ran deceptive advertising then. They are doing it again.

Lobbyists have a First Amendment right to petition the government. I think you should have a balanced view of their agenda, and who these “citizens” are working for.

According to Consumers Energy’s spokesperson Katie Carey, “Our contributions to Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy came from the company’s general funds and were not reflected in utility customer rates.” Well, since money is fungible – and could have been used to reduce rates, or pay dividends – I’m skeptical.

*Oh, by the way, here’s how windmill power worked out for Ontario: Ontario Wind Turbines

"Advanced Default and Battery Capital of North America"

Here is a local #Greenfail noted by the Mackinac Center.

Our former Governor’s big bet on big batteries didn’t work out: A123 Systems stock is trading at $0.82, down from $26.00. Click the link above at #Greenfail if you are not familiar with this corporatist morality tale. And, click the link below: This is not the first time I’ve mentioned A123, but it could well be the last.

I wonder what the press conference will look like when A123 hits $0.00?

Watch Jennifer Granholm predict 63,000 jobs would be generated by her consummate central planning winner picking. Watch as the president, Mr. “Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” calls in to support the faithful. See the SecEng, Mr. “I want $10 per gallon gasoline” support her wisdom. Carl and Debbie are just along for the ride; on your back.

Jennifer? Carl? Debbie? mr. president? … Lithicus? (For an explanation of that last reference, you’ll have to go here.)

The ‘greening’ of the IPCC

Defund the IPCC Now

It turns out that the GAO, the US General Accounting Office, says US has been secretly hiding their funding of the IPCC for the last decade…

In other words, the IPCC funding arrangements are of a piece with their “scientific” claims and their other actions—secretive, shabby, with a hidden agenda, and full of disinformation.

Wouldn’t you think they’d be proud of funding the IPCC? After all, the Science is Settled, it’s For the Children of future generations, it Saves the Planet and it is Redistributing the Wealth via Green ‘Jobs’ for people who don’t actually produce anything. When you keep such obviously “good things” secret people are likely to question your motives.

…[W]hat they imagine they can design.

Russell Roberts is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center, and a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.:


“The purpose of economics is to teach men how little they actually know about what they imagine they can design.”
-F. A. Hayek

This lesson is not merely lost on narcissists, it encourages them in their hubris to bring “order” to the market and to “better” all our lives.

Today’s example is the plummeting price of solar panels, brought about by overproduction. Overproduction due specifically to government meddling. The solar panel industry has been economically damaged by subsidies, the reputation of “green jobs” has suffered significantly, thousands of workers are losing their jobs, the rule of law has been subverted by politicians covering their bets and taxpayers have been fleeced because they have to cover those bets. Perversely, all this is used as a critique of capitalism.

Those who should be most embarrassed and enraged by these failures, statist environmentalists, are the foremost apologists. It isn’t about saving the planet, it’s about enforcing their will.

HT Paladin

The Fifth

I often assume “Most people already know this, it’s been widely mentioned. Don’t bother to repost it.”

Often, I am wrong. In this case if only one more person learns about it, that will be important.

Therefore, I’m posting this for whatever wider distribution that may achieve:

Close the tax loopholes!

Those tall bars don’t represent job destroying tax loopholes. In Ecotropia, they’re your fair share of saving the planet: One political donor at a time.

Source: Committee on the Budget: U.S. House of Representatives
The Empty Promise of Green Jobs

Of course, the half-billion dollars Solyndra destroyed, or the money Jennifer Granholm, et. al. wasted on ethanol and batteries isn’t even counted in this graph.

Naive hubris

Greg Main, the retiring head of the MEDC looks back on his accomplishments. This is his second term (his first stint was in the 1980s) as Michigan’s chief economic planner, and it appears he has learned little from the experiences.

“When I came back (in 2009), it was apparent that there was a good plan in place (at the MEDC) already,” Main said. “It is just a matter of executing it.”

…”It became real clear to me that it was one thing to create plans, and another thing to get them implemented,” Main said.

Well, yes, it is. Unfortunately, the plan executed during his second term is not what rational people would describe as “good.” So it is just as well it was not easy to do. In any case, no government has ever successfully executed an activist economic plan, so Main is not to be faulted for that failure. Only for the attempt, and continuing faith in it. (Note: the LSJ seems to have disappeared this next part in the online version. It was there this morning, online and in print.)

The strategies are paying off, Main said. Since he came to the MEDC, the state has captured six new manufacturing plants for advanced battery technologies.

“We are going to be the epicenter of that industry, and it didn’t even exist in the U.S. two years ago,” Main said.

Manufacturers of products needed by the solar and wind energy industries also have invested in Michigan.

Other campaigns and incentives – such as a tax credit for filmmakers who hire state residents and film in Michigan, and the state’s Pure Michigan travel ads – have elevated the state’s profile.

Windmill manufacture, battery plants that will be obsolete before they are fully operational, solar panel subsidies for India, and movie subsides(!)? Since he didn’t mention it, I guess ethanol was before his time.

This all makes me even more nervous about Rick Snyder, first head of MEDC, and his “public/private partnership” “plans.” If the “plan” requires public funding because private capital sees it as too risky, then it probably is too risky. Maybe a good test would be whether Union pension plans would provide the venture capital – with a no bailout clause.

This fascination with mini-Manhattan Projects needs to cease.

Taxation in spite of representation

FERC YOU!
From the Wall Street Journal (requires registration):
The Midwest Wind Surtax

You’d think poor Michigan has enough economic troubles without the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission placing a $300 million to $500 million annual surtax on the state’s electric utility bills. But on December 16 FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced new rules that would essentially socialize the cost of transmission lines across 13 states in the Midwest…

Let’s be very clear on what’s happening here: Mr. Wellinghoff and FERC are trying to establish by regulatory fiat a national energy policy that Congress has refused to endorse. Last summer Congress rejected the Obama Administration’s renewable energy standard law because it would have inflated power costs. So the fiefdom at FERC is unilaterally moving ahead to require that industries and homeowners pay a surtax on their utility bills for a nonexistent renewable energy policy. This is similar to the EPA’s initiatives to regulate carbon even after Congress rejected cap and trade.

Because Iowa and the Dakotas want to build windmills, you (and taxpayers in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin) are going to pay to build new power lines to distribute the intermittent windmill electricity. This should become known as the “Dumb Grid.”

Without billions of dollars in new power line infrastructure, the windmills are uneconomic. However, like the health care individual mandate, I’m sure we will hear a defense of this based on the Commerce Clause: Michiganders must pay for windmill transmission lines they neither need nor want, because not to do so is a restraint of interstate commerce.

Imminently-former-Governor Granholm’s desire to manufacture windmills now moves from merely stupid to surreal. You are subsidizing the manufacture of windmills so they may be sold to people who have just arranged to tax you in order to enable distribution of electricity from the windmills. That electricity will charge the batteries Ms Granholm has also subsidized, in cars the Feds have forced you to pay for, built by a company whose union you were made to bail-out. All with no law being passed.

FERC may, justifiably, have assumed Michigan would be happy to cough up half a billion annually to subsidize other States’ crackpot energy schemes. “Green” – the hue of Frankenstein’s monster – “jobs.”

Fred Upton, call your office. And don’t return to this state unless you spike this taxation by the unelected of people they do not represent.