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Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.
It seems like only last week we were lamenting the fact that home heating rates were headed up again this winter. That a record number of Michigan residents were facing termination of service. That burning natural gas was too expensive and that those who can least afford it would be better off burning their furniture to keep warm this winter.
We ain’t seen nothing yet. The wires are abuzz this morning with word out of the Michigan Public Service Commission that they expect a rise in home heating rates on the order of some 21 percent. That on the strength, or weakness, rather, of fuel prices alone. Guess that Democratic leadership team in DC really knows what they’re doing as they continue to stand in the way of domestic drilling that could drive these prices down.
But don’t worry. If you’re one of the 36,000 people who left the Michigan work force last month alone there’s a silver lining to the news that it just got that much significantly more expensive to keep your kids from freezing this winter. I don’t know what that silver lining is but I’m a big believer in positive thinking so there must be one somewhere. Right? Maybe not. According to the Detroit News:
Word of higher winter costs comes as natural gas shutoffs have been increasing because of unpaid bills in the state’s stumbling economy. Through June, natural gas shutoffs were up 7 percent, to 67,406, compared to the same period last year, regulators said.
John Austerberry, a spokesman for MichCon, a subsidiary of DTE Energy, which supplies natural gas to about 1.3 million customers, said the natural gas price hike is simply the result of market factors.
“We do, at this point, expect to see about a 20 percent increase in heating bills this year compared to last,” he said. “That’s due to the cost of gas because there has been no other change in any other costs associated with the service.”
No change in any other costs but a tidy little change in the way they’re allowed to calculate them via last week’s energy package.
Now if that 20 percent (or 21 if the MPSC is to be believed) is strictly the result of rising fuel costs then that means the extra $475 million in higher rates the Democrats in Lansing voted last week to give us are going to be tossed in on TOP of the new price-hike.
And here’s a warm and fuzzy thought to keep you toasty on those cold Michigan winter nights. Since the Democrats saw fit to legally eliminate energy competition and abolish state oversight, if the big wigs at DTE and Consumers decide a 21 percent rate hike isn’t enough come December they can just jump it up to 22. Or 30. Nothing we can do about it.
Lansing Democrats just deleted our legal recourse while at the same time voted to kill the free market, meaning we no longer have or will have the right to pursue cheaper rates via a cheaper supplier.
Thanks, Lansing. Thank you, Democrats in Washington, D.C.
The average Michigan winter heating bill last year was $154 per month. MPSC estimates that the 21% jump in fuel prices will skyrocket that bill to $193 each month. The official estimates out of the Capitol City after last week’s energy package pegged an additional rate hike at $13 a month which brings us to $206 in October, November, December, January, February and March (the six months for which these estimates hold).
That’s $52 a month times 6 months and we’re looking at an EXTRA $312 for the average Michigan family this winter alone. Did I already say “thanks,” Lansing and DC? One really doesn’t do it. THANK you, Lansing and DC. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Because all of the people who I know who have lost their jobs this last year, they had an extra $312 lying around. They were just killing themselves trying to figure out how to get rid of it. You’ve solved that problem. They can just BURN it!
But at least we aren’t being asked to fund $700 billion in give-aways to bad businesses and worse businessmen on Wall Street. Yet. Yesterday the Democratic led House of Representatives failed to approve Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s version of that monstrous federal bail-out. The Republicans were all but united in their opposition to the scheme while most but not all Democrats supported it. Had the majority party done a better job of whipping their caucus we’d be in deeper than we are today but don’t get too excited, the week is young.
Our Michigan delegation was fairly well divided on the issue as nine members of Congress voted NO (God bless them) and six voted YES. Tim Walberg, Joe Knollenberg, Mike Rogers, Candice Miller, Thaddeus McCotter and Pete Hoekstra all did the right thing in telling Pelosi and the President to take a flying leap.
Congressmen Ehlers, Upton and Camp voted YES. The state’s Democrats were split right down the middle, three on each side but those who voted NO claim they only did so because the plan didn’t give enough money to their favorite pet industries. If they don’t get a hand out, darn it all, no one is getting a hand out.
Quick note, did you see the final size of what started as a three-page bail-out bill? The thing was monstrous. And now they’ve got all of these worthless copies lying around. Hey, I know… maybe every member of Congress and their local staff can pile them into their cars the next time they come back to their districts so that Michigan moms and dads can burn them! The way the Democrats are raising our rates they’re going to need something to toss in the fireplace this winter just to keep warm.