Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
RGGI is a scam designed to extract green rent from energy consumers to fill the coffers of corporatists and swell the virtuous reputations of politicians.
We know why Tom Wolf is insisting on RGGI; he simply wants to impress his prep school peers in polite ruling class society. He’s thought of nothing else. A truly thinking person, though, will notice the whole thing is nothing but a green rent scheme by those hedge-funders who seek profits, not in earnings but, rather, in ripping off consumers with government protection.
A recent Today In Energy post by the folks at the Energy Information Administration serves to illustrate the RGGI scam. Here are the key excerpts (emphasis added):
The most recent Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) quarterly auction (held on December 1, 2021) resulted in a clearing price of $13.00 per allowance, surpassing the previous auction’s record price of $9.30 per allowance. Each allowance represents a limited authorization for power plants to emit one short ton of CO2.
The RGGI is a market-based effort in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the electric power sector. The latest RGGI auction sold 27 million CO2 allowances, an increase from 23 million allowances sold at the previous auction…
The December auction generated $351.5 million for RGGI states. States can invest these funds into programs that encourage the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy, reduce customers’ energy expenditures, or otherwise support greenhouse gas abatement programs.
Climate goals and commitments of the RGGI participating states, such as renewable portfolio standards (RPS) (which require increasing renewable-powered electricity generation), have been changing since 2018. For example, Maine increased the stringency of its RPS in mid-2019, and Maryland revised its standard in 2021.
The notion that RGGI is a market-based program is, of course, fig leaf nonsense. RGGI is dependent on arbitrary state standards that force energy companies to buy CO2 allowances. That is an indirect subsidy to renewables investors. Moreover, the money generated also goes into renewables subsidies, so the scammers “profit” coming and going, although it’s hardly profit in the old-fashioned sense of earning it. RGGI allowance prices aren’t votes by consumers, which is what we used to mean by market-based. No, RGGI is a government created and distorted market; a board game where only renewables investors are permitted to win.
Worse, energy consumers are perpetually designated losers in this board game. That $351.5 million generated by December RGGI auctions reflects, annualized, amounts to a $4.2 billion yearly tax on consumers that eventually goes into the pockets of hedge-funders invested in green rent schemes. And, this is on top of the indirect subsidies obtained through Renewable Portfolio Standards that force utilities to use uneconomical solar and wind while maintaining dispatchable energy natural gas plants to provide the electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. RPS requirements, by themselves, independent of purchased CO2 allowances, are a significant tax on consumers, meaning RGGI is a corporatist tool and nothing more.
Rubbing salt into the consumer wounds is the fact the whole scam is pursued in the name of science that is completely unsettled, as Obama Undersecretary for Science Steven Koonin so effectively explains in his book of the same name. We are living in an age of government tyranny as the Wu-Flu debacle has so sadly demonstrated. The fact I find myself aligned with an Obama appointee on global warming and with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Naomi Wolf on the COVID threat to our freedoms, tells me something. Things are rapidly changing politically. True patriots on both the left and right are aligning with each other to call a halt to the tyrannical exploitation of science for political and, most financial, purposes. May it continue.
This post appeared first on Natural Gas Now.