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stevo

No one could have imagined that this would have happened
at least that's what I expect to hear, I remember hearing about this the same time all of the shit w/ deregulation in Cal. was going on. I kept thinking, "the idea failed disastrously there, soooooo, let's try it here!"

stevo

I think that's a Demo. campaign slogan right there, "Democrat in 06, because "no one could have imagined" how bad the Republicans would be"

Paul

I don't think paying more for power is necessisality a bad thing. With artificially (e.g. not market rate) low prices on there is no market incentive to conserve energy.
This is bad for the economy, this is bad for the environment.

Up to this point purchasing more energy efficient appliances (stove, refrigerator, hot water heater, A/C unit) have usually meant you needed to wait a good period of time before you actually saw a saving after you accounted for the premium charged. With higher prices you will see the benefits of higher efficiency appliances sooner. and might encourage people to purchase more of them which is good. Not only does it save you money, it stimulates manufactures to produce more of these goods which generally causes prices to fall on them encouraging more people to buy them (because they are more affordable), and since less energy is being used that's good for the environment.

Now all that being said I think that the way MD has set up deregulation we are bound to have some bad consequences.

Oh and if BGE is serious about conserving energy or improving their bottom line why don't they institute a system where by electricity at night is cheaper than electricity at peak hours. Oh wait that's would affect their bottom line. I guess we will have to count on the government to mandate that.....ha!

stevo

I was thinking that same thing today Paul. When gas and oil get too fucking high, THAT'S when we'll see a big run on fuel efficient cars and better insulated houses.

It was pretty much the same thing w/ recycling. Municipalities are doing it because they are running out of landfill space, it just kind of works out that it's good for the environment.
Heck all the "tree huggers" in Europe are there because they're so low on natural resources and have such a problem w/ pollution.

I've always kicked around the idea of a govt program to issue low interest loans to homebuyers for better windows/doors etc. Seems like common sense to me-just quit wasting what we got.

Paul

There are actually some tax breaks homeowners can take for energy improvements they make:
Bill gives breaks to home improvers, hybrid buyers

I think maxing out the lifetime deduction to be $500 is very meager and show that the government is no where near serious about improving energy efficiency or helping reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

stevo

I've heard a couple things about Fischer-Tropf (spelling) converting coal into fuel, apparently it could eliminate any need we might have for foriegn oil, allegedly it burns cleaner to
sounds like a winning political platform to me, "no more foriegn oil"

stevo

I guess the oil companies wouldn't be too fond of that. I kind of have to, sad to say, stave off a sort of Archie Bunker mentality regarding the Middle East. Mind you I don't think even a majority are crazy, but, it is definitely a violatile place, that we currently have to deal with.
If we didn't need the oil, the only reason people in the Middle East would be mad at us would be for supporting Israel.
Okay, they'd still be mad at us, but I can't help but think that would greatly reduce a lot of the enmity.
So there would even be security benefits.

Benn

First of all, deregulation is bad for the economy. When consumers pay higher gas prices, higher water prices, higher home heating prices, and now higher electric prices, they are spending less money elsewhere. Back when the gas prices started spiking a couple years ago, Wal-Mart did a study and found that a 20 cent increase in gas prices costs them tens of millions of dollars a week in sales (that's not even the additional costs of merchandise in shipping).

And deregulation hurts the environment. Since powerplant oversight has been deregulated as well, there is more pollution. More mercury in our water. More toxins in our air. Etc. Etc.

So, you kind of have it backwards.

Also, this notion that higher energy prices will be good in the long run seems to me to be ill-formed as well. For that concept to play out, you must suppose that the sole guiding force of the market is consumer demand, and it isn't. It is a factor true, but it is just one of many variables. Free market, despite what some would have us believe, is not a form of Democracy.

Plus, in this instance, you have old industries that do not want to relinquish control.

And who's going to respond to this demand on cheaper energies? What, Globocorp is gonna suddenly say, "The public has had enough, we must find them cheaper, more eco-friendly resources?" Please, that's compeletly naive.

It's not like Coke and Pepsi where if Coke raises its prices we'll stop drinking Coke or go drink Pepsi. In this analogy, there is no Pepsi, and there is not Pepsi coming in the foreseeable future. (Also, even this model is flawed. When Coke raises its prices, Pepsi raises its prices as well. Think back to when you were a kid and Marvel Comics went from 25 cents to 30 cents. What happened to the DC Comics titles? They went up too!)

We're already yelling for cheaper energy. Christ, this has been an issue since the '70s and no one has done jack shit. Why? Because as prices continue to increase on necessities, without government regulation, profits (the sole motivating factor of Globocorps) will continue to exploit the current business model, economic impact be damned.

And what are we, the consumers, supposed to do? Stop driving? Don't turn on our lights? Don't heat our homes? We have no alternate option to send the market the message of our dissatisfaction.

These private utilities companies now have us, the consumers (who have been yelling for years for cheaper resources) over a barrel and are raking in record profits and there is no government regulation to help us.

Look at it from this business model, you're Globocorp. You're getting $7 per unit of energy from the public. Why would you invest, research or allow any competition (remember, they're writing energy policy for the federal gov't too) to develop a product that would deliver energy at $1 per unit? The public demand for energy is not a lifestyle option like cable or a cell phone. It's a human necessity.

The market does not need to respond to the consumer in this instance because the consumer has nothing to leverage. And without government regulation, private utility companies can continue to raise prices and raise prices until public outcry is loud enough to force our the government to do something about it, and that is defined as regulation.

Oh, and the people buying more efficient lamps are not going to fix this.

And... clean burning coal is an oxymoron.

In the future, if we don't want to be ass-raped by energy costs, I suggest what we DO NOT ELECT AN OIL MAN AS OUR PRESIDENT!

Wow, I've written a whole article here.

Nichole

Wow, Benn, that was a good article! and I completely agree with you, especially about the whole environment part. And also the "In the future, if we don't want to be ass-raped by energy costs, I suggest what we DO NOT ELECT AN OIL MAN AS OUR PRESIDENT" part hahah

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