Harriet Hageman:

Boneheaded “Green” Policies Cause Massive Electricity Rate Increase

For the Herald
Posted 9/20/23

I have often said that there is a special place in hell for those who pursue policies that are intended to increase the price of food, energy, and housing.

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Harriet Hageman:

Boneheaded “Green” Policies Cause Massive Electricity Rate Increase


I have often said that there is a special place in hell for those who pursue policies that are intended to increase the price of food, energy, and housing. Yet, we currently have people in positions of power who are pushing energy poverty as official policy, and as the cost of energy increases, the cost of everything else quickly follows.

Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) recently proposed a 22% rate increase, on top of the almost 8% increase applied for earlier this year, for an eye-popping 30% surge in energy costs. These proposed increases are yet another step towards institutionalizing energy poverty as our “new normal,” while radical and unserious government “leaders” pursue an unrealistic, destructive, and infeasible “green new deal” that will put our businesses at a distinct competitive disadvantage, undermine food production, and cripple our economy. This gigantic rate increase is just one of the many negative (but entirely foreseeable) consequences of replacing clean, reliable, accessible, and affordable energy with intermittent and unreliable alternatives that will leave us cold, hungry, and dependent on malign actors who seek to destroy our prosperity and way of life.

Over the course of the last several decades the far left, in an escalating apoplectic (and apocalyptic) tone, has ranted about “global cooling,” then “global warming,” followed by “climate change,” with the recent iteration being “climate crisis,” while screaming that any change in weather (rain, no rain, snow, no snow, wind, no wind, cold, hot) is Armageddon.  We are now in a situation where the outright dishonesty - backed by botched science, cooked books, ignorance of the urban heat index and the impact of changes in land use patterns, a lack of understanding about opportunity costs and trade-offs, bloated federal agencies that thrive on crisis, and a doom-loop dependent on dire predictions spewed out by corrupted climate models  -- has created a real crisis, and we all suffer the consequences. 

Both state and federal governments are working together to try to force our 21st century modern economy to depend on 8th century technology to meet the energy needs of hundreds of millions of people (in the U.S. alone), all while expecting our businesses and industries to continue to operate at the speed of commerce, while avoiding a seismic shift in every aspect of our lives.  That is absurd, and such policies will not only ultimately wreck most everything that we rely on to support our First World economy, including access to affordable food and housing, but will also undermine our national security and defense.

These misguided policies have real-world implications, and our electric utility providers now find themselves in need of a massive infusion of cash to operate. Why? Because the green utopia isn’t working out. 

Wyoming ratepayers should not be forced to subsidize the bad policies coming out of Washington, DC, Colorado, and California. We have all the resources necessary to produce affordable and reliable electricity right here; if Colorado and California don’t want our power, they can find their own alternatives. A 30% rate increase on Wyoming citizens and businesses so that they don’t have to isn’t the right answer. Nor is retiring 2,614 megawatts worth of coal capacity over the next 10 years, as RMP is planning to do. That would only make the situation worse.    

Over the past decade, and especially in the last 5 years, Wyoming has seen vast swaths of land turned into huge industrial sites to plant never-ending 30 ton concrete foundations for turbines which wreak havoc on our bird populations, ruin our viewsheds, are cluttering our landfills, and are kept heated in the winter with fossil fuels (oil/diesel) to operate.

Thousands of acres of grasslands have been destroyed nationwide by solar farms, none of which are able to meet the country’s on-demand energy needs.

These “green energy solutions,” in other words, are not solutions at all, require vast land resources to produce even one unit of energy, and depend on slave labor in other countries to produce the resources needed to manufacture the infrastructure to operate them. 

In short, little about these projects make economic, environmental, or intellectual sense. The “follow the money” mantra thus takes on a whole new meaning: the primary reason our energy companies have pursued such folly is because they are being paid to do so by the federal government and states such as California. Take away the subsidies, tax credits, and other financial incentives funded by your tax dollars and few if any of these companies would pursue development of unreliable energy resources. Even with billions of dollars in such incentives and grants, however, these unreliable resources do not pay, and that is why RMP is seeking to increase its rates by 30%.    

In contrast, Wyoming’s coal, oil, and natural gas provide clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Developing our uranium resources would also increase electrical output. Those political leaders and companies who are unwilling to recognize those basic facts are not supporting Wyoming’s citizens and businesses, they are working against them. 

Wyoming families know that, due to Bidenomics and war on the west, current inflationary pressures have forced them to spend $709 per month(at a minimum) more than they were just two years ago. Skyrocketing energy prices crushes the livelihoods of the most vulnerable among us.  Imposing a 30% increase in electricity costs on our farmers will leave center pivots idle, crush the competitiveness of some of our most important industries (trona, oil and gas), and force local diners to close their doors.    

Our utilities are state sanctioned monopolies and are tasked with providing reliable and affordable electricity. Many have bought into the “green” agenda by focusing on developing unreliable energy, while failing to maintain and upgrade their infrastructure. They now look to mitigate the consequences of those decisions by forcing someone else to pay for it.          

I have made it a cornerstone of my congressional tenure to fight against policies that further institutionalize energy poverty. I will push back against those efforts by the Biden administration and will also stand against them as they are instituted in the State of Wyoming by our political and business leaders.

We are blessed with more than ample resources right here in Wyoming to power this country into the long-distant future. RMP should look to retooling its mission and rethinking its role. It can either further Joe Biden’s, Gavin Newsom’s, and Jared Polis’s radical environmental agenda, or it can return to its roots of providing affordable electricity to Wyoming citizens by using Wyoming’s abundance of energy resources.