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Electricity More Expensive for Tennesseans Thanks to Democrats

The Consequences of Bad Energy Policy

The invaluable Michael Silence gets the hat tip this morning! He links to a Knoxville News Sentinel story reporting that, effective October 1st, TVA is increasing rates. Remember this post when you vote this November!

’20%: TVA Board Approves Largest Rate Hike in Decades’ not only tells us the hike is coming, it tells us what rising TVA expense is behind it.

Customers can expect a 20 percent rate increase on their October electric bills — the largest jump in more than 30 years.TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore announced a fuel adjustment rate increase of 17 percent at the agency’s board of director’s meeting this morning at its Knoxville headquarters. The increase will go into effect Oct. 1. The board also approved an additional 3 percent base rate increase, also to take take effect Oct. 1.TVA’s quarterly fuel adjustment, a provision approved by the board of directors in 2003, passes along fluctuations in the price of coal, natural gas and other fuels to its customers.

When fuels cost more, it costs more to produce electricity with them. Which political party and its allies have consistently, over decades, refused to implement Energy policies that work to keep energy prices low? Which political party and its allies have abandoned Washington, DC for a 5 week vacation instead of working to reduce the price of Energy? Which political party and its allies are on record as desiring high Energy prices? If you answered Democrats, you get the prize!

As they say on late-night commercials, “But wait, there’s more!” I’d say this fell into the arena of “unintended consequences” for the Democrats and their Energy policy. However, if they are not sharp enough to have seen this sort of thing coming, then they aren’t smart enough to trust with taking out the trash. Anyone opposing their strategies has been warning about exactly this sort of thing for years. What thing?

KNS reports there were people at the TVA hearing that spoke in opposition to the increase. Among them was

Bobby Glenn, general manager of a Panasonic electronics facility at Forks of the River Industrial Park in East Knox County, said a recent pattern of increases in electric rates threaten the company’s continued local presence. Three Panasonic facilities employ 300 people. Glenn manages an aluminum foil division that operates a high voltage electroplating operation that supplies process foil for use in capacitors produced in Knoxville and at other plants worldwide.Previous base rate and fuel-related increases this year have already added $3 million per year to the company’s electricity costs, Glenn said, making the plant less competitive among the Japanese company’s international operations.“We, as an internationally headquartered company, have to give our top management some view of the future operational costs and profitability at this location, but TVA has not put forth a plan that gives a road map for the future or that gives us any hope that the situation will ever change,” Glen said at the hearing.

The Democrats badly flawed Energy policy now threatens industry and employment in addition to hammering consumer’s pocketbooks. A company acknowledges that higher energy costs may force relocation. That means lost jobs, wages, taxes and a host of other consequences that impact “the little guy”; the very people Democrats claim to be defending.

What is it that Democrats expect of the real world? Is TVA supposed to run in the red and lose money when their costs for producing energy skyrocket? They cannot continue to produce power indefinitely if they lose money. Is Business supposed to run in the red and lose money when their costs for consuming energy skyrocket? They cannot continue to produce goods and services indefinitely if they lose money. Are consumers supposed to simply smile and live with choosing between heating their homes and feeding their families as their costs for consuming energy skyrocket?

The media is filled with stories about Consumers, at every level and in every sector, dealing with the problems high energy prices produce. It’s time for that same media to add the ‘Why’ and the “Who’ of that debate to the other 3′Ws’. Why does Energy cost so much? Who is preventing common sense, sound Economic principles from being applied to the matter? It’s not an effect without an easily identifiable cause. Democrats won’t drill. Democrats won’t debate. Democrats just shill. They won’t even legislate. And you and I are left to pick up the pieces.

Lost in all of this is another question that also needs asking. When some common sense and practical Economics are finally brought to bear on the discussion and Energy prices come back down, will the TVA immediately lower their prices or will they operate under governmental practices which resemble nothing so much as the Ferengi 1st Law of Acquisition, “Once you have their money, you never give it back!”?

Blue Collar Muse

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