Virginia proposes repealing some state renewable-energy incentives

posted at 8:11 pm on January 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Like many states, Virginia has implemented certain tax breaks, quotas, and/or incentives on behalf of particular green technologies over the years, not because it was a legitimately excellent idea (read: California), but because it was just the vogue political thing to do at the time. Now that the economy is decidedly on the strugglebus and incomes are shrinking, of course, Virginia is wondering if perhaps it isn’t time to reevaluate the pragmatism of high-minded yet ill-thought-out regulatory and financial interference that has failed to provide any demonstrable environmental benefits and created costly consequences for the state’s consumers, reports WaPo:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the state’s largest electric utilities are proposing to repeal financial incentives for using renewable energy after a report last year found that the millions of dollars in bonuses haven’t yielded the intended environmental gains and have contributed to increases in customer bills.

Under the agreement announced Tuesday by the attorney general’s office, Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power would no longer be eligible to receive the bonuses called “adders” for using sources of renewable energy or building new power plants that use fossil fuels. Incentives will still remain for nuclear and offshore wind, but the bonuses would be reduced.

The agreement does not, however, repeal the state’s voluntary goals that utilities have 15 percent of their generation coming from renewable sources by 2025. And utilities can still seek to recover the costs related to reaching those goals, officials said.

The move would save Dominion customers $38.5 million and Appalachian Power customers $7.75 million annually through 2025, the attorney general’s office said.

With all of Virginia’s newfound purplishness, Cuccinelli is likely looking at a heated contest against Democrat Terry McAuliffe; the very, very preliminary polling is already indicating what could be a neck-and-neck race with a lot of undecideds (because, “independence” — all the cool kids are doing it, you know).

The expensive costs and cronyish tendencies of renewables’ special treatment on the federal level was a big issue for grassroots conservatives during the presidential election cycle, and no doubt Cuccinelli is hoping to capitalize on some of that indignation by touting this as part of a pro-growth platform of fiscal sustainability (similarly, he recently won a big case against the oversteppin’ EPA that we Virginians will almost certainly be hearing about again before the gubernatorial election this November) — and I am for it. Again, I have nothing against renewable energy on principle, but I most certainly do have something against quixotically jacking up my tax burden and my utility bills (which has a disproportionate impact on those who can least afford it, by the way!) for the sake of defiantly propping up politically-favored pet technologies that have not passed the test of voluntary mass consumption or price efficiency in the free market. That is all.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

JugEars will be scolding someone!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM

It is a start. Good for VA.

indypat on January 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM

First Heineman, then Pence, then that sheriff in Oregon, now these guys. I’m starting to see a pattern.

CurtZHP on January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

the vogue political thing

This ^^^ is a big part of the problem.

Bmore on January 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Stick it up dog-eater’s bony arse, and lower your citizens’ electric bill in the process. What’s not to like?

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

First Heineman, then Pence, then that sheriff in Oregon, now these guys. I’m starting to see a pattern.

CurtZHP on January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Somebody has to stand up to the man-child, dictator wanna-be. Boehner sure as hell isn’t.

predator on January 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM

How can you tax renewable energies? Aren’t they considered a …

CHURCH???

HondaV65 on January 16, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Stick it up dog-eater’s bony arse, and lower your citizens’ electric bill in the process. What’s not to like?

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

I’m having breakfast with a couple or three of Dominion’s VPs in the morning. I’ll relay your sentiments :-) They pretty much match mine…and theirs. Electric rates here in the Old Dominion are pretty reasonable already. I pay about $200 a month year around for an all electric home of about 2500sqft..and I don’t even make an attempt to conserve.

Oldnuke on January 16, 2013 at 8:33 PM

First Heineman, then Pence, then that sheriff in Oregon, now these guys. I’m starting to see a pattern.

CurtZHP on January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I’ve been saying for quite a while that the answers aren’t going to come from Washington but from the states standing up and saying … “NO!”.

And the beautiful thing is – you can COUNT on Obama continuing to antagonize the Red States into opposing him.

HondaV65 on January 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM

How can you tax renewable energies? Aren’t they considered a …

CHURCH???

HondaV65 on January 16, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Oh I dunno. I consider them to be a fairy tale but then I understand that conservation of energy and mass thingy.

Oldnuke on January 16, 2013 at 8:35 PM

I’ve been saying for quite a while that the answers aren’t going to come from Washington but from the states standing up and saying … “NO!”.

And the beautiful thing is – you can COUNT on Obama continuing to antagonize the Red States into opposing him.

HondaV65 on January 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM

As dangerous as this is, I’m thinking that this is necessary. Because, and please correct me if I’m wrong, nothing short of states being antagonized until they’re like Daffy Duck in a temper tantrum (“Thith ith the LATHT THTRAW!“) will get people to get up and publicly oppose Obama’s will.

MelonCollie on January 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM

As dangerous as this is, I’m thinking that this is necessary. Because, and please correct me if I’m wrong, nothing short of states being antagonized until they’re like Daffy Duck in a temper tantrum (“Thith ith the LATHT THTRAW!“) will get people to get up and publicly oppose Obama’s will.

MelonCollie on January 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Can’t disagree with that but I also can’t help thinking that the last time we had this much disagreement between the Feds and the States it ended up with a lot of dead Americans and a surrender at Appomattox. I realize that’s a stretch but I just can’t shake the feeling. I don’t remember any time in my life that the country has been this divided and I was an adult back in the 60s.

Oldnuke on January 16, 2013 at 8:44 PM

I too believe the division is not going to end well. And I think it is being done on purpose. Chaos is what O wants and that is what he is getting.

CoffeeLover on January 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Can’t disagree with that but I also can’t help thinking that the last time we had this much disagreement between the Feds and the States it ended up with a lot of dead Americans and a surrender at Appomattox.

Oldnuke on January 16, 2013 at 8:44 PM

I’m going to be very frank: I don’t think God let the South win the first time because the war was fundamentally about whether they could treat people like property. Likewise I am absolutely positive He helped us all win against England because we were fighting for freedom in a way the world had not seen before.

There is a Bible verse that is very damning about what had been going on for decades – Jeremiah 22:13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages.

If you lost relatives, land, or wealth in the Civil War, I’m deeply sorry. All of America paid the price for thinking that the wickedness of slavery “would die out on its own” – this was said repeatedly until Eli Whitney’s gin turned a trickle into a tide. We’re still paying the price, actually, because the people that were supposed to be good workers have in fact turned out to be the laziest bunch of Democrats imaginable.

MelonCollie on January 16, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I like Cuccinelli. First, he stands up to the admin by refusing to cooperate with the provisions of Obamacare. Now, the proposal to reduce/eliminate subsidies to green development. I would like to see him succeed McDonell. Both good guys.

freedomfirst on January 16, 2013 at 11:26 PM

How about getting rid of the ABC stores and allowing private companies to sell the stuff? Lower prices, more sold, more sales tax revenue – a win, win, win scenario that also downsizes government at the same time.

ajacksonian on January 17, 2013 at 8:39 AM

millions of dollars in bonuses haven’t yielded the intended environmental gains and have contributed to increases in customer bills.

Consumers really have no idea about these things, they are like the tax on your cell phone that makes your cell phone bill unaffordable, and gives free Obama Phones to Obama voters. Just greener.

In MA where I live, the news papers read stories of getting your Free Energy Audit. And getting your Free insulation…windows…energy efficient furnaces…that kind of thing.

But it turns out that it is not free, the cost of your gas bill or your electricity bill ends up artificially inflated so that the utility company can give someone a check to do that for you. Rebates for buying energy efficient appliances work that way.

So, you don’t save on your electric bill for buying the more energy efficient model, the cost of the bill goes up because they are paying out rebates and doing free energy audits.

And now, some companies that do the Free Energy Audit, are now selling the customer a lot of the things that the Energy Audit says they need. They pretend that they can do it more cheaply than a local contractor…but the money comes from the same place, and you would get it if you fill in the forms on the website.

All these things should end. Scams.

Fleuries on January 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Does anyone know if the Smith Mountain lake water power counts as renewable? I had heard environmentalists had decided that water power can’t count because…arbitrary reasons, like they are mad about dams and don’t want dams built. Electricity in that part of VA is fairly inexpensive as I recall.

Fleuries on January 17, 2013 at 9:37 AM

It’s a good idea, but if McAwful wins in November, they’ll be right back in place. Need to make sure Terry the Clintonista isn’t elected!

Bob in VA on January 17, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Yesterday there was a big discussion about whether Obama care is fascist in the comment section. I didn’t count the comments but it appeared that those of us in the affirmative were in the majority by more than ten to one. Today we have another example of fascism.

for the sake of defiantly propping up politically-favored pet technologies that have not passed the test of voluntary mass consumption or price efficiency in the free market

burt on January 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

How can you tax renewable energies? Aren’t they considered a …

CHURCH???

HondaV65 on January 16, 2013 at 8:32 PM

TOUCHE!!!

landlines on January 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM