Howdy Folks!! Welcome to Texas’ good neighbor policy

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

 . . . raining SOx, NOx, coal soot, and mercury on its neighboring states!

Political leaders and utility insiders in Texas are pounding the EPA once again.  In the wake of an anti government biennium legislative session and in the glow of the governor’s presidential aspirations, there is not much hope for protecting the environment in Texas or even in Texas’ neighboring states.  So, eat our soot Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Are you surprised? 

Simply stated, The EPA is concerned that some of the dirtiest coal-fired plants in Texas not only are fouling the air in the Lone Star State but also are sending their toxic message to downwind neighbors: Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  If this is the case, then the EPA has regulations that would require these plants to install equipment to reduce emissions. 

Not surprisingly, Texas politicians and businesses are not happy with the thought of spending money to employ yesterday’s scrubber technology to clean Texas’s dirty coal-fired plants.  According to news reports, lobbyists for Luminant, the wholesale power generation unit of Energy Future Holdings, are complaining that this regulation may trigger the closure of four antique coal-fired plants.

Martin Lake coal-fired plant

Martin Lake coal-fired plant

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Panic . . . business leaders apparently don’t like clean air either and are worried the price of electricity may increase.  Oh no.  Republicans and Democrats are complaining to Washington that the EPA should protect business not those of us that breathe air for living, and of course, our misnamed TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) with its three commissioners carefully selected by the governor whine that EPA decisions punish Texas.  Punish?  Really?

STOP!!  TEXAS, are you there?  Have you had enough?  It’s time to take a stand!

  • Governor, PUCT, TCEQ, Texas businesses; you are wrong.  The people of Texas are more interested in a clean air than cheap and dirty energy.  Just try asking.
  • TCEQ . . . honestly, consider resigning.
  • Texas politicians . . . who are your constituents?  Dirty air is not a political ideology.
  • Energy Future Holdings . . . is this our energy future – dirty, antiquated coal-fired plants? 
  • EPA . . . thank you . . . our children need a voice in this fight.

Citizens of Texas . . . what’s up?  

It was the 4th of July . . . now it’s time to act independently.  Install a small-scale solar electricity system on your home or business and retire those dirty coal plants with your own actions.  The governor and the state legislature do not make it easy, but they cannot stop you.  Take a stand for clean energy . . . one home, one business at a time.

A grid-tied solar electricity system is affordable, it’s economic, and it’s scalable.  A small-scale solar electricity system works just fine.  No fuel, no water, no noise, no moving parts, no emissions.  Your solar electricity system will last 30 to 40 years.

Say no to Texas insiders; say yes to a clean sustainable energy future . . . just a little at a time.  Do not wait on assistance or inspiration from your politicians.  They are busy.
Chet Boortz, CEO

SES21USA, LLC

[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]

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Rolling Blackouts Hit North Texas . . . lots of explanations

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

  . . . but Who’s Minding the Store?     Remembering the 3 R’s 

It’s ‘Super Bowl Week’ in Arlington, Texas (also Dallas and Fort Worth) . . . oops, there goes the electricity.  Meet rolling blackouts.  Really?  Who is in charge of the electricity?

The political portrayal of the deregulated Texas electricity markets from Austin could not be more exuberant . . . Texas is unique; Texas is special, all other regions of the U.S. envy Texas.

The Governor is on board and also running for President (circa 1998), and his hand selected PUCT Commissioners and ERCOT Board of Directors are the giddiest with pride.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas ensures a reliable electric grid and efficient electricity markets.

 

What was wrong with regulated electric utilities?  A regulated monopoly, rates set by a PUC, a franchise company supporting the community and local economic development . . . well, nothing was wrong, except it sent the wrong signal . . . private business can do it better!

So, in 2002, in non MOU and COOP markets, Texas chunked the 3 R’s of regulated electric utilities (Resilience, Reliability, and Redundancy) out the window and turn its investor owned electric utility markets (namely, Houston and Dallas) over to deregulation.  Nice job PUCT.

The results in the executive suite were positively ugly, and in 2007 with the PUCT approval, the Dallas Utility, TXU, was sold to a private equity trio comprised of KKR, TPG Capital, and Goldman Sachs, with a record $46B of junk bonds to finance the ‘deal’.  Nice job PUCT!

In Texas, we have disconnected (or deregulated if you like) electricity generation from electricity consumption.  We have IPP’s (Independent Power Producers) selling electricity to over 120 REP’s (Retail Electricity Providers) who resell electricity to ‘power to choose’ homes and businesses in deregulated markets with oversight provided by the PUCT and ERCOT.  The results have been less than splendid for electricity customers in deregulated markets.

PV solar electricity would not have solved the rolling blackouts.  No, PV panels do not work well when covered in ice and snow!  But it is no coincidence that the deregulated markets in Houston and Dallas (the sold out Oncor rebate notwithstanding) and the hundreds of REP’s have been the least receptive to distributive grid-tied PV.  In the case of distributive PV, customer choice does not fit their ‘power to choose’ business model.

You cannot expect deregulated electricity markets empowered by the PUCT to be concerned with your best interests.  It will not happen.  You simply are an economic actor in a ‘free market’ with 120 REP’s with small print contracts and perhaps call centers in India.  Good luck.

Whatever you choice for a REP, consider a grid-tied PV system for your home or business to reduce your electricity load.  This is your real choice.  PV is scalable, it’s affordable and economic, it’s renewable and sustainable, and it produces electricity for a very long time from light and without emissions.

Light from light.  How cool is that?

Chet Boortz, CEO

SES 21 USA

[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]

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