Conservative News & Commentary

Sep 13, 2011 — by: P. Henry
Categories: Economics, Government

Math is a curious thing. For the most part math deals in absolutes: 2+2 is 4. That's just the way it is. You can try to claim otherwise but when it comes down to it 2+2 is 4.

That's what has me puzzled about Pacific Power, like any other business, needs to generate more revenue than incurred expenses to survive. It is in the business of making electricity and then selling that at a profit (selling electricity for MORE than it costs to produce). And yet if you put in a solar power array, Pacific Power is willing to pay you 4-5x the going rate to buy that electricity. What? Yeah, that's what I think. Who in their right mind would pay 5x the going rate to buy something that they make below the market rate.

Is electricity generated by solar panels more powerful than electricity generated by coal or hyrdo? Of course not. Matter of fact solar is far less efficient than either of those by a magnitude. Yet Pacific Power is paying solar "farms" 4-5x the going rate. Not only why, but how do they do that and stay in business?

Well first they must be making a very healthy profit. Normally I would cheer such an effort. One thing our economy needs is profitable businesses. Profitable businesses are job and wealth creators. But I'm not cheering for Pacific Power for their profits. Why? Because they don't operate in a free market. Instead they are a regional monopoly. If you don't think so, tell me who else you can get your electricity from in the Basin. Answer no one. It's Pacific Power, generate your own or live like it is 1911 — not great choices. Because of this regional monopoly Pacific Power's pricing is controlled by a Public Utility Commission, or PUC. The PUC is a group of appointed officials that either allows or disallows Pacific Power to raise prices each year. Right now the going rate for electricity buyers (all of us) is high enough that Pacific Power can cover their expenses and still pay people who put in solar power arrays 4-5x the going rate.

We are being overcharged to do something Pacific Power wants to do — install solar power. That's the only way the math works. Now if Pacific Power wants to encourage people to install solar, that's fine — but not on our dime. Right now we are being overcharged, or in a sense taxed, without representation. It is clear that solar power doesn't add up. Solar power doesn't pay for itself, so all sorts of government and corporate subsidies must be issued to get people to have solar make sense. This is not how America works. This is how soft-tyranny works. "The government will pay you $7,500 to buy an electric car it produces". This is just wrong as it makes government the kingmaker of what businesses and what techologies win or lose. America is built on free-markets and competition. The best business and the best technologies win and it benefits all of us. Government is only concerned with maintaining and growing its power (influence). They do not care about what is best for all, just what is best for them.

In a time when each Basin resident needs every nickel and dime they can find under the couch cushion, we are being overcharge to install solar power arrays that degrade over time and are useless in 20 years. This operation, where a company is in bed with government, is called one of two things: Crony Capitalism or Fascism. I'll let you decide which applies.


  1. Finnious T. Fogbottom ~ Sep. 14, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    I guess the thing to consider is whether or not the power company is the bad guy or if they are at the mercy of the real and true bad guys. Now I’ve noticed a pattern which involves the FERC dam re-licensing process which can too often end in dam removal. At the headwaters of the bad guy system I see dam fools or the people who want to pretty much tear down all of the dams at least in the US. Today the nature-over-civilization groups do seem to have the power to tear down dams; dams which provide income to power companies and jobs for their employees and service providers. Thus one could say that they (the green crazies) have power over the power companies. Be it logging, manufacturing, farming, mining, fishing etc. capitalism seems to have been losing out regularly to green economic regressionists. It doesn’t take any genius either to figure out that good paying Oregon jobs have also gone away simultaneously. Without a resource usage and development base there is no economy, regardless of what the left tries to tell us or what ridiculous practices they try to force us into. Now there is sadly something that is actually working our regional futures over and it is called the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils. In fact when you look into it you will see that every state is now divided into watersheds and those sheds, regions etc. have non-elected councils, stakeholders or whatever who in Maoist terms control the water and thus control the people. Those ecogovernance groups may jealously see power companies who generate hydroelectric power as entities who have what they want – watershed influence. PG& E ended up giving up (or forcefully relinquishing) a lot of control over Northern California watershed not so very long ago. You can bet that hydro power production will not increase in those areas. The Marxist mindset preached in the U.S. today is unfriendly to corporations, the activist portion of the judicial system is unfriendly to capitalism, schools are teaching our young to be sustainability freaks and the bulk of media and entertainment promote anything but those which actually sustain and secure our nation. When one sees true fascism what one sees is government forcefully taking over business – not the reverse. Stupid businesses go away. Stupid governments go on and on until everyone starves. It’s just the way it is. As a wise man once said, “It’s a little bit hard to just walk away and cool off when two gorillas are holding your feet in the fire.” Always as always, Finnius T. Fogbottom #
  2. The Constitution ~ Sep. 18, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    Very interesting thoughts in this post. However, I must take issue with your solar knowledge. We have lived off the grid for 18 years now; our panels were here when we bought the place and were about 6 years old then. So our panels are about 24 years old and still just as effective as the day they were installed. So, pretty cheap electricity if you ask me. Your high power bills come from—among other things—your own poor power management. For example, your T.V., DVD’s, computers, ect., pull the same current whether they are on or the power button is off. A simple power strip is all that is need to prevent this “phantom current” that raises your power bill. Of course there is an inconvenience to this little trick, you must wait for your cable box to power up, and you cannot record with your DVR. I guess in the end, it comes down to each individual’s priorities. Save Money, or Give it away needlessly to Pacific Power? #

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