Among the many positive changes within the federal government since the end of the Obama Administration…
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FCC Should Preempt Individual State Attempts to Regulate the Internet

Among the many positive changes within the federal government since the end of the Obama Administration and the arrival of the Trump Administration, perhaps none surpass those brought by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under new Chairman Ajit Pai.

And the most welcome and beneficial change undertaken by the new FCC is its action to rescind Obama FCC decisions to begin regulating the internet as a "public utility" under statutes passed in the 1930s for old-fashioned, copper-wire telephone service.  The Obama FCC's action instantly began to stifle new broadband investment, and was subject to legal reversal.  The internet thrived for two decades under both the Clinton and Bush administrations precisely due to the federal government's "light touch" regulatory policy, and there…[more]

November 16, 2017 • 11:27 am

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An Imploding Energy Mandate Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Tuesday, February 21 2017
Governor Cuomo’s CES energy mandate plan should be repealed via legislation.

After just six months, a bipartisan consensus within New York has emerged that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) plan is a policy and political disaster.  It’s all a tawdry tale of crony capitalism, bureaucratic overreach, unilateral taxation and wasteful subsidies.

Now, the focus shifts to appropriate solutions going forward.

Last August, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) appointed entirely by Governor Cuomo passed the CES, which would require half of all New York energy by the year 2030 to derive from carbon-neutral sources.

Pursuant to that mandate, the CES aimed to subsidize financially unsound upstate New York nuclear power plants using something called Zero-Emission Credits (ZECs).  Other non-struggling utilities throughout the state would be required to buy those ZECs from a government clearinghouse, which had first obtained them from the upstate nuclear plants, which do not emit carbon in generating power. Thus, solvent power plants would be forced to prop up the failing plants to make the carbon-free energy requirement work.

Making matters worse, those mandatory subsidies would benefit a single company named Exelon.  It controls the struggling nuclear power plants that would receive CES subsidies, and that crony capitalist angle helps explain the broad bipartisan opposition that has emerged against this entire CES scheme.

But worst of all is the fact that the cost of this entire scheme would ultimately fall upon New York consumers and businesses, some of them located far from the plants to be subsidized.  That’s because the CES plan guarantees approximately $1 billion in subsidies to the struggling plants in the first two years alone, with costs reaching $8 billion through the year 2030. 

On that basis, environmentalists like Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group observed that, “These charges are essentially a tax to keep aging nuclear power plants online.”

Then, just four months into the plan, the PSC was forced to acknowledge failure by reducing the amount of renewable energy credits that utilities must purchase in 2017 by an astounding 94 percent after determining that few renewables would actually qualify to issue those required credits.

 With the CES failure now clear, where do we go from here?  What are the solutions going forward?

In the immediate term, Governor Cuomo’s CES energy mandate plan should be repealed via legislation.  That simple step will relieve New York consumers and employers of the prospect of burdensome new energy costs, and relieve other utilities of the needless burden of subsidizing other failing utilities for the benefit of a single beneficiary company.  Citizens should demand that their elected representatives support such a legislative solution.


This op-ed was originally published by the Sun Community News on February 21, 2017.

Question of the Week   
Thanksgiving was established as an annual event by presidential proclamation in which of the following years?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday, an opportunity for family reunions, bountiful feasts, marathon football games and the traditional kickoff of the Holiday Season. We travel home by car, train, plane and bus to come together with loved ones. As Americans gather with friends and family this week, let us not forget those brave men and women who put themselves in harms' way to protect our…[more]
 
 
—The Center for Individual Freedom
— The Center for Individual Freedom
 
Liberty Poll   

For Thanksgiving Dinner, how many recipes used by your family have been passed down through at least two generations?