Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Noticing that Matt Drudge had linked to a story about rising electricity costs, I read it and found that, as I expected, environmentalist regulations have quite a bit to do with the problem:
The increase reflects higher fuel prices and the expense of replacing old power plants, including heavily polluting -- but cheap to operate -- coal plants that don't meet federal clean air requirements.And don't forget that environmentalists have kept us from taking advantage of a "clean" alternative, nuclear energy, for decades, now, not that building a plant any time soon would be feasible -- again, due to such required red tape as environmental impact studies and the omnipresent threat of litigation made possible by a court system more intent on redistributing wealth or dictating its use than on protecting the individual right to property.
None of this is really news to anyone who has followed this blog, but it occurred to me that another tentacle of the Big Government Octopus is intimately involved, to wit:
Residential demand for power dropped briefly in 2009 but rebounded strongly last year to a record high. Air-conditioners and household appliances use less power than ever. A new refrigerator consumes half the electricity as a similar one bought in 1990. But consumers have bigger houses, more air-conditioning and more electronics than before, outpacing gains in efficiency and conservation.How many people nationwide, thanks to the government's practice of "encouraging" home ownership at all costs, live in much larger houses than they can really afford? It is interesting to speculate on how much the artificial, government-produced demand for housing might be contributing to the strain on our utility grid, on top of the government-imposed restraints on the supply of electricity. And the people living in such houses get to pay for more electricity, and at a higher real cost, using inflated dollars.