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3 Comments

  1. Well, if we do want to go into the whole exploration of CO2 reduction options, cap and trade is the “pre-banksterized” version of a CO2 reduction plan, in that it allows windfall profits to present-day emitters, a potential for large profits from arbitrage of permits for organizations like Goldman Sachs, and a highly variable, likely gamed back-door tax upon everyone.
    In the utility sector, I would rather like a carbon fee and rebate system, which is, at least, upfront and clear unlike the cap-and-trade system, whereas, everyone gets charged a uniform fee per kg of carbon emitted by the energy they purchase, and then get a rebate based on how much total energy they have purchased from all sources. A modified fee and rebate concept would be highly preferable to the cap-and-trade system, as it increases price transparency and cost certainty while effectively dissuading high-carbon sources from being built, and in fact, would lead to taking such units out of service as soon as possible.
    In a deregulated environment, fee and rebate would especially work, as consumers can theoretically choose between different sources of electricity – though in certain states, where deregulation has occurred, not many choices have become available for residential customers; this includes my state, Massachusetts. Perhaps 1/2 of the money from the steadily-increasing carbon fee could be refunded to consumers on a flat per kwh purchased basis (e.g. coal plant emits 5 units of carbon per 1 KWH consumed, each unit of carbon results in a fee of 2 mils, therefore, 10 mils per 1 KWH produced by the coal plant is paid as carbon fees, while every customer gets a 3 mil per KWH credit no matter where they purchase their electricity from), while 1/4 could be placed in a trust fund for purchase and deployment of low-carbon intensity power generation sources of the utility’s choice (e.g. lifecycle carbon emissions 90% or more below present day state of the art coal power plants without sequestration), while 1/4 could go into research, development, and test facilities of prototype low-carbon intensity power generation sources.
    In regulated states, sending the correct signals requires consideration of who makes choices regarding generating sources. Utilities have the choice of power generating sources in these states, not the customers. Therefore, it makes sense to impose a carbon fee directly on utilities and require that regulators ignore the cost imposed by that fee upon utilities while setting rates. Further, I would allow 75% of the fee imposed to be paid into a trust fund for the purchase of low-carbon energy sources by the regulated utility, while 25% could go to fund research. The problem will take care of itself, as the utility will be effectively required to spend the trust fund money on clean energy sources (such as nuclear and hydropower) if they wish to continue paying their stockholders the current dividend rates.

  2. Poor Rogers. He must still be under the delusion that the environmental groups think that the goal of this whole exercise is to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. It’s no wonder that he was surprised and upset when his “partners” suddenly reneged on the plan that they had worked out.

  3. Rod, please tell me you are kidding! Duke Energy is one of the most respected operators of nuke plants in the world. Keep in mind that Duke Energy inherited a large amount of coal generation when the merged with a Ohio utility.
    Duke Energy also has one of the most aggressive new nuke programs too.
    The same operational excellence Duke has with its nuke fleet also applies to coal generation,
    So far no one has been able to meet Rod’s desire to wave a magic wand and have a nuke plant pop up.

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