Utility lies and misdeeds…

The fourth most common lie… “There’s an energy shortage!” When you hear we need new transmission and lots of new big generation, it’s a bunch of hooey! Here’s what the industry organization says:

North American Electric Reliability Council Reliability Assessment 2002-2011

“Reserve margins are nearly twice what’s needed” (p. 17)
“These are low estimates” – (p. 48)

Since then, why, there’s so much electricity supply they can’t sell it all!
Surplus of Electricity Supplies May Persist at Least Until 2005
Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2003

FERC told no end yet seen for US power market woes Reuters Jan. 16, 2003

Even the Minnesota Utility Investors can’t deny the market disaster:
As Problems Mount for Utilities, Cities Pull Plug on Deregulation

And of course Greg Palast has a thing or two to say – from “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, California Reamin’: California and the Power Pirates” and what about changing the dim bulb in the White House.

But don’t think that this corporate behavior is only “over there” on the coasts, because our own Xcel got caught — NRG was one of the primary price-gougers in San Diego’s electricity crisis. When the electricity market caught up and generation development overran demand, the energy glut caught NRG by surprise and its 300% profits disappeared overnight and turned into massive losses that threaten Xcel.

Bankrupt NRG zaps Xcel’s Q2 earnings

As its non-utility business teeters, Xcel hangs in there

Xcel subsidiary bankrupt…blaming a prolonged slump in demand for its product… (scroll down)

For some refreshing regulatory action, keep an eye on Attorney General Mike Hatch’ in the PUC docket regarding the Xcel submorph “TRANSLink,” transmission insulating invention of the corporate kind. Hatch is actively protecting Minnesota consumers, the lone watchdog protecting our public interest in this transmission ownership shell game: Power line plan zapped

TRANSLink website:

TRANSLink filings: Formation Filings, Minnesota-Xcel

PUC Staff Briefing Papers:(pdf)

Hatch has more than a few things to say about the corporate responsibility that is so sorely lacking these days:(pdf)

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