Crippling Our Economic Competitiveness

As reported by The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 27, the respected North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) has determined that proposed new federal power plant rules will force the closure of electric generating plants representing 7 percent of America's capacity. These are not the highly controversial carbon dioxide regulate-and-cap rules, but additional ones. They will force electricity consumers to finance the replacement of perfectly good coal plants with more expensive natural gas ones.

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Michigan's bipartisan political class is also doing its bit. Acting under authority granted by a law passed in 2008 mandating that utilities get 10 percent of their power from "renewable" energy sources, late last year the Michigan Public Service Commission ruled that investors in two substantial coal-fired plants had failed to demonstrate a "need" for them, and so shut down both proposed projects.

Meanwhile, through mandates, prohibitions and cash subsidies, the same bipartisan political class is causing billions of dollars to be misallocated into "renewable" wind and solar projects that, even if granted the most optimistic possible assumptions, can never provide more than a tiny fraction of the energy needed to sustain an industrial civilization like ours.

The effect of all these actions is to drive the cost of electricity higher for both households and businesses. Indeed, that is the intention of many who are behind these policies. What they ignore is that our competitors in places like China, Korea and India are not similarly hobbled by such destructive political "green" agendas.