Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wind Power Bad for the Economy?

A gem today from our friends on the right wing:
Officials are also expressing concerns about wind power’s role in the Texas electric grid. Wind accounted for 8.7 percent of the grid’s energy for the first eight months of this year. But some officials recently complained that the turbines bring down wholesale electricity prices because their fuel — wind — is free, and the production tax credit reduces the price further, so sometimes it is even negative. As the theory goes, this cheap energy cuts into the profitability of companies that operate natural gas- or coal-fired power plants, making them disinclined to build new plants, which are needed to keep the lights on.  
So first they try to discredit alternative energy as unviable (remember, Mitt can't operate his car with a wind turbine on top of it).  Then when it is demonstrated that it actually works, and in a big way, the true reason for their opposition - it will hurt the oil and fossil fuel companies that line their pockets.

Who cares about slowing global warming, energy independence or just simple clean energy when the profits of oil baron's might be at stake!

References: 1) KATE GALBRAITH. 13-Sep-2012. An Expiring Tax Credit Threatens the Wind Power Industry. Texas Tribune/New York Times

Friday, July 27, 2012

Too Big To Fail Fail

The failure of "Too Big to Fail" was highlighted recently by Sandy Weill, former CEO of Citigroup.  On CNBC's "Squawk Box" he called for the breakup of the big banks.  Hindsight is 20-20, but its shocking that these intelligent captains of business can't take the time to study history and understand the rationale for why regulations like Glass-Steagall were put in place in the first place. I suppose at the end of the day, the 1% are starting to realize that, after they've squeezed all the money out of the 99%, no matter what the effective tax rate is, they will be the only ones with the money to pay in, so they will be stuck with the bill.
On Wednesday, Mr. Weill called for a wall between a bank’s deposit-taking operations and its risky trading businesses. In other words, he would like to resurrect the regulation that he once fought.
“What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking,” Mr. Weill, the former chief executive of Citigroup, told CNBC. “Have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not going to be too big to fail.”1
References: 1) 25-Jul-2012. De La Merced, Michael J. Weill Calls for Splitting Up Big Banks. New York Times.