Yesterday's editorial is a two-for-one. Not only does the editorial purposely distort for its own purposes President Obama's use of the word "crazy," it lies about the use of alternatives.
Here are the last four paragraphs:
So no one is attempting to keep consumers, through the utilities that serve them, from relying more on alternative energy sources. Again, the contrary is true: It is Obama, through the EPA, who is attempting to force consumers to pay much more for their electricity, in order to use alternatives.
After giving his speech Tuesday, Obama commented that he was ready after a two-week vacation to get back to Washington to do battle with political foes he referred to as "crazies."
That is how the president of the United States views Americans who prefer real choice in the marketplace - who would like to be able to choose coal, gas, wind, solar or any other source for their electricity.
"Crazies." Really, Mr. President.
This past Monday, the president spoke at two conferences: a green energy conference in the afternoon and a Democratic fundraiser in the evening. Here is how the AP summarized his first speech:
Earlier Monday, Obama spoke at a green energy conference where he accused fossil fuel interests and other critics of his energy policies of trying to restrict consumers from accessing solar, wind and other renewable sources in order to protect the status quo.
That evening, the president addressed a fundraiser. Again, from the AP:
At a Democratic fundraiser Monday night in Nevada, Obama declared himself ready for the challenges he faces this fall in dealing with a Republican Congress that disagrees with him on the budget, energy policy, education and much more.
Obama said that as he’d ridden to the fundraiser with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, they’d done some reminiscing and spent some time “figuring out how we are going to deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems.”
(Note -- once again the Intelligencer is up to its old trick of not carrying the original -- preferring to later interpret it in an editorial with some of the important details gone.)
I spent some time researching who the president was referencing with his "crazies" comment and, with one exception (Politico which argues that the "crazies" are those who oppose the agreement with Iran) the conclusion was that Obama probably was talking about some members of Congress but that he had no specific target in mind. Contrast that with the editorial which claims that he's calling those who want choice in the energy markets as "crazy."
These are two separate speeches with different audiences and different agendas yet the Intelligencer treats them as one and argues that the president is attacking as crazy those Americans "who prefer real choice." They know better but they don't care. Yes, it's more intellectual dishonesty and anti-Obama rhetoric from the Intelligencer in service to the coal companies and their owners.
Ignoring the recent WV legislative session and net metering
So no one is attempting to keep consumers, through the utilities that serve them, from relying more on alternative energy sources.
No one? How about electric utilities and state legislatures? Looking at just one example, net metering with solar energy, it looks like somebody is trying to prevent consumers from relying more on alternatives. From today's political monitor:
Net metering, which allows customers to sell excess electricity back to their local utility, was created in the 1990s and became a key component in launching the solar industry, especially for homes and small business.
But in some ways, the practice is under attack as the boom in solar power makes it more expensive for local utilities.
In Arizona, for example, state utility commissions have imposed a $50 monthly fee for customers who use net metering, and Nevada may follow suit. Wisconsin has also imposed a monthly fee, which faces legal opposition.
A report from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center says that 13 states are considering changes in net metering, and legislation to outlaw it entirely has been introduced in several states, although it has not passed so far.
And what about West Virginia? Here's what WV Public Broadcasting has reported:
Instead of being paid for generating power, net metering rules written by the state’s Public Service Commission in 2011 dictated solar customers receive a credit for the power they generate. They can then use the credit to buy power from the utility when they generate less than they need.
Those rules, however, were part of the state’s alternative and renewable energy portfolio act, an act that was repealed this session.
Why was the portfolio act repealed?
But this session, lobbyists from the coal industry told lawmakers the standards were hurting the mining industry, even though utilities testified they were already meeting the production standards. (Emphasis mine.)
(By the way, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported last month that the Public Service Commission, which is currently examining net metering, will make new recommendations next month.)
Finally, and I realize that I keep coming back to this, the Intelligencer never looks at externalities. (See posts immediately below this one.) Factor in the illness and death caused by carbon-based energy and examine what those energy sources are doing to the climate; then do some comparisons.