March 3, 2008

Ratepayer's Chump Award

Recall that in January Bill Ritter went to Fort Carson to present his Governor's Renewable Energy Award to the post for its 2 megawatt solar array? Recall also that Bill Ritter recently appointed Matt Baker, a vocal opponent of coal powered electrical generation to the Public Utilities Commission.

There is a reason that Matt Baker is on a board that has traditionally protected rate payers from unreasonable rate hikes, and that reason is that Governor Bill Ritter wants utility rates to go through the roof to fund his solar economy boondoggle.

While the Fort Carson award was a great publicity stunt for the Bill Ritter, it was not such a good deal for Colorado Springs rate payers. Calling it "not such a good deal" is a major understatement. Colorado Springs rate payers appear to be on the hook to subsidize Fort Carson utility bills for years to come. That's not the way it is supposed to work.

This, including the Matt Baker appointment was predictable. A February 22 Denver Symposium on Global Warming keynote speaker zeroed in on the problem:

Bill Schroeder, the lunch and keynote speaker, did an outstanding job of presenting the position that utilities are being put because of "green" legislation. Of course, the costs of generating electricity will go up, which means that consumer's utility bills will also go up. Mr. Schroeder is a former member of the Colorado State Legislature.

Colorado has a bunch of lawyers running the state. It would do much better if it had fewer lawyers and more businessmen in key positions. Meanwhile, those folks who voted for Bill Ritter get to pay for the ratepayer's chump award. Unfortunately, those who didn't also get to pay for it, too.

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