“CARBON NUTS – TULIP MANIA – MONEY FOR NOTHING” an essay by Cheryl Pass

Today’s Guest Saturday post comes to us from Cheryl Pass of the My Tea Party Chronicle blog. This essay was originally published on Friday, June 8, 2012.

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CARBON NUTS  – TULIP MANIA – MONEY FOR NOTHING

My mother, who had good points and bad, was very good at throwing out adages at appropriate times when I was a child.  She sort of left me to figure them out on my own.  I’d ask myself, “What do you suppose she meant by that?”  One of the things she often said was, “There is nothing new under the Sun.”  God bless her soul and hopefully she is resting in peace. She was an impatient mother.  She  had an air of authority that said, “Don’t question me, I know what I’m talking about.”  Later, I would go on about my life when those adages would pop back into my mind and I would then say to myself, “Oh, that’s what she meant by that.”  Today is one of those days.  I was reminded of this by someone who made a comment at WattsUpWithThat.  The article was regarding the carbon credit market crashing and the comment was regarding something called Tulip Mania.  Up popped my mother again, “There is nothing new under the Sun.”

According to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, Tulip Mania is a marketing craze over tulips that took place in the 1600’s.  Part of the description of Tulip Mania says this:  “The term “tulip mania” is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble (when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values. 
That pretty much describes a craze of no substance, which is what carbon trading is; no substance.  Which took me back to Enron.  Isn’t carbon trading fraud what the Enron debacle was about?  Power and Control Blog

How about a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program? The problem was  that CO2 is not a pollutant, and therefore the EPA had no authority to  cap its emission. Al Gore took office in 1993 and almost immediately  became infatuated with the idea of an international environmental  regulatory regime. He led a U.S. initiative to review new projects  around the world and issue ‘credits’ of so many tons of annual CO2  emission reduction. Under law a tradeable system was required, which was exactly what Enron also wanted because they were already trading  pollutant credits.
Thence Enron vigorously lobbied Clinton and  Congress, seeking EPA regulatory authority over CO2. From 1994 to 1996,  the Enron Foundation contributed nearly $1 million dollars – $990,000 –  to the Nature Conservancy, whose Climate Change Project promotes global  warming theories. Enron philanthropists lavished almost $1.5 million on  environmental groups that support international energy controls to “reduce” global warming. Executives at Enron worked closely with the  Clinton administration to help create a scaremongering climate science  environment because the company believed the treaty could provide it  with a monstrous financial windfall. The plan was that once the problem  was in place the solution would be trotted out.

But I digress.
The reason I am writing about this now (and again) is because it is all tied into the fraud the environmentalists, energy companies, and government are perpetrating on the public in the form of forced carbon reduction through taxing, tax incentives, and Smart Meters. 
As I go about educating myself and hopefully my readers on these subjects, I can tend to get sidetracked a bit when I come across some tangential information.  That happened today when I came across a great site with a timeline history of money.  As I read through it, I was instantly fascinated by the creation of money out of thin air.  Which is what carbon credits are exactly; creating money out of thin air.  It was interesting to find that “money changers” established the first central bank in the Netherlands in 1609, which is just before the timeline on Tulip Mania.
This post may seem like a stream of consciousness, moving back and forth from my mother to carbon trading schemes, to Tulip Mania, to “the money changers.”    That is where my mind went today.  Connecting the dots throughout.  History is a great teacher.  
Our legislators and elected officials, (read from Presidents on down through the entire chain of government) have been corrupt and derelict in their duties to protect the public from such frauds.  Worse than complicit, they are perpetrating the frauds.  The American public (That means you and I) are going to have to wake up and clean house.   I’m sick of this.  You are, too.  Just remember, we aren’t the first generation to be scammed and ruined by “money changers.”  We are just the latest.  It could be the end of America this time.  In the past, countries have been ruined.  The difference today is we have communication tools that allow the public to seek and find the truth. 
Side Notes:
Please go to the sites on my side bar for the best information on Climate Change truth.  Climate Depot, WattsUpWithThat, Al Fin, and several others are diligently getting the truth out there for you.  Every time you see another policy being set in place that relates to Climate Change (Smart Meters would be one, anything “green” would qualify) or redistribution of wealth based on “regional” land use, PLEASE go after your local, state, and national representatives.  Tell them NO.  Not just NO, but HELL NO.

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6 thoughts on ““CARBON NUTS – TULIP MANIA – MONEY FOR NOTHING” an essay by Cheryl Pass

  1. Having been an engineer at a power utility for a couple of years, and having marketed some of those dreaded utility controls for utilities to control hot water heaters and air conditioners, I feel it useful to make a statement about the economics of running a power utility.

    There are different classes of electric generators a utility uses. The largest and newest tend to be the most efficient and economical. The idea is to run these units flat out, 24-7. These are called base load generators. As the day progresses and the load on the system increases, older, and/or less efficient generators are added to the supply to meet demand. However, the blended cost of producing electricity goes up.

    Then, as the system reaches peaks (for a short time), other, and much more expensive generators are added to the system to cover a short term, peak load. These generators have been run by diesel fuel, natural gas, or fuel oil. Years ago, natural gas was much more expensive than now. Relatively speaking, the cost of running peaking generators may be ten times that of running the base load generators.

    You can see that the utility can become more efficient by managing the peak loads. If they could eliminate those peaks, they would save huge amounts of capital, and operational expenses. Hence, we come to the idea of turning off hot water heaters (for a few hours), an idea that was pioneered a half century ago in Detroit. The same idea was applied to air conditioners in the southern states. I know. I sold radio switches for Motorola to accomplish just that.

    It is easy to see where smart meters come into play. If a consumer knows that she is spending $1.00 per kilowatt hour to run her clothes dryer at 5:00 PM as opposed to $0.15 per kwh at 10:00 AM, she would objectively make an economic decision farorable to her, and, not so coincidentally, to the power utility. Smart meters have a place in the economic setting.

    As far as money creation goes, pretty much all money is created out of nothing. For example, when you get a loan at a bank, the banker will make an accounting entry in your account, increasing your available funds. Now, the bank only has a little cash to back up all their loans, but nobody challenges that unless there is a run on the bank. Similarly, the Fed can make accounting entries to add money to accounts. It is all imaginary, but because of the full faith in the US Government, we call those entries money. They were all created out of thin air.

    The Treasury will actually print money, but that is just for walking around cash. Lunch money.

  2. The good news is that cap and trade legislation never passed the Senate. That would have been an even bigger economic disaster than Obamacare is. The EU is having huge trouble with their own C&T program just trying to implement taxes on airlines flying into their airspace.

    Its of interest to note that enhanced fracking used to recover shale natural gas – hated by environmentalists and the Obama Administration – has been very successful. So many coal fired electric plants have been replaced with natural gas ones that it has significantly reducing U.S. CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

    I find that ironic as all get out.

    The reason?… up to now fracking has been unregulated by the EPA and has gone on like gangbusters on private lands in states like North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania.

    Btw way, your climate change link recommendations are top-of-the-line good.

  3. Hi Bob….I think what you describe on Smart Meters sounds good for energy providers, but not good for consumers. What do I mean by that? Let me count the ways.
    On turning off water heaters and air conditioners for periods of time, you did not discuss the increased use of energy re-heating the water after it loses it’s heat or re-conditioning the house after the temperature goes up again. It will take more energy to compensate for the loss of heat and the loss of cooling, so the consumer’s equipment gets more load trying to recoup. This is not good for the consumer’s equipment and most likely ends up using just as much energy as “saved.”

    Not to mention all of the other drawbacks; lack of privacy – monitoring of consumer activity, higher radiation exposure where banks of smart meters are congregated together, etc.

    I would ask, if the energy companies have been having “peak usage” issues for all of these decades, why have they not configured their output and facilities to reflect the need? Instead, they are figuring out how to sell less at higher rates, increasing their profits, but hurting their customers in the process. Fine, but these energy companies have monopolies. Consumers don’t have the luxury of going to another provider for the sake of competition.

    Do you really think it is honest for the energy companies to force the consumer to do laundry at odd hours, for instance? When air-conditioning is needed most, is the consumer supposed to turn up the temperature to 85 degrees inside or turn air-conditioning off entirely? If the energy company is allowed to charge more for peak hr. use, who do you think will get hurt the most? Poor and middle class …and elderly who can’t afford the higher charges? That would be my guess. I haven’t noticed the profits of energy companies suffering all of these years.

    Electricity fees have been averaged by an amount per kilowatt hour. You are saying now that people are expected to pay more for certain hours? How about that run on milk and bread when it snows….should the price go up at the grocery? Or how about charging more for milk for putting it on your cereal in the morning? You could monitor when exactly people drink that milk and charge them less for drinking it at 11:00 a.m? You know that is exactly what the transportation planners are doing as well…..looking to charge more for driving at “peak hours.” VMT is on the table.

    You see where this is going….and that I am not a fan of Smart Meters or this entire energy starvation plan.

    AZ, while it seemed like good news that Cap and Trade failed in congress…I only wish that had been an end to the matter. Cap and Trade policies are being implemented anyway through federal agencies, tax bribes, forcing states and local communities to implement energy restrictions. So, in a way it was all smoke and mirrors. Wish I could say better.

    Thanks on those links. They are as you say “top-of-the-line” good. I find them invaluable.

  4. Cheryl, I apologize that I was not able to articulate the basics of utility operation for you as I had intended.

    Smart metering and load management methodologies were invented to save both the utility and the consumer money. When you decrease the capital and operating costs of power utility, it costs less to generate and distribute electric power, and the consumer is offered an economic incentive. There are dozens of examples over the last fifty years. You might start your research with Detroit Edison (if they still exist).

    Do you really think it is honest for the energy companies to force the consumer to do laundry at odd hours, for instance? When air-conditioning is needed most…” That’s not what I said, or what I intended to say. The programs mentioned have always been voluntary, with real dollar incentives. If there is talk about forcing people to do things, my bet is it is a political scheme, not dreamed up by the power industry. After all, utilities don’t make money when the meters are not turning.

    You are correct about energy efficiency. When you turn off hot water heaters or air conditioners, those systems have to work harder to make up their particular energy deficits. The whole reason was for the consumer and utility to save money by not having to furnish the cost of capital and sky-high operating costs for serving peak demands. Energy efficiency was an issue, but economics dominated. That may be changing.

    Metering – Electric power costs are in two categories, DEMAND and OPERATIONS costs. Operations costs include the cost of energy (kilowatt hours, kwh). Demand charges reflect the capital investment in generation plant, transmission, and distribution lines.

    When I was a utility engineer, one of my jobs was to analyze what other utilities were charging us for power, and the bills had two parts, Demand and Energy, plus any adjustment to reflect volatile energy costs.

    Consumer meters are always single meters reading in KWH, with no provision for demand charges. The utility merges the two cost components for the consumer, and regulatory bodies spend lots of time and money to make sure they are realistic. That way, the consumer meter is very inexpensive, and avoids the placement of two meters, or a combination demand/kwh meter. Large installations are billed using two meters (or one device to measure two quantities). Note that kilowatts measure power, and kilowatt hours measure energy.

    why have they not configured their output and facilities to reflect the need?”Regulatory issues!. Historically, a power utility franchisee had to meet ALL consumer demand at ALL times, no matter how much the consumer uses. They had no choice.

    To sum up:
    1. Utilities have to operate the way state regulators tell them, and can only charge what regulators let them.
    2. Electric consumers have only one electric meter, and industrial customers have two. Consumer power bills have one merged number, and industrial consumers have two, or more components on their bills.
    3. Utilities have to build their systems to serve all customers, anywhere, at any load. There are probably exceptions, but not with basic consumers.
    4. Peak shaving schemes have been out there for over half a century, and they were always there to cut costs of serving consumers. To implement these schemes, the consumer has always been offered special rates or other economic incentives.
    5. Smart meters – They have been there for a while, and the idea once again is for the consumer to decide if they want to save money. These programs have always been voluntarily.

    It is is essential to understand the basics before automatically assuming ill intent. The reasons for smart meters and similar schemes are simple, and not malicious. They were born of economic necessity. Choice has always been a primary component of these schemes. How a technology is used is up to others.

    Unfortunately, the current environmental crazies are gaining in influence in government and state regulatory bodies. That is where the non-voluntary stuff is coming from. The utilities only want to make money, where the liberals in government want to control your life.

    I think I understand your reticence to accept smart meters, especially when their capabilities are added to Google and Facebook info, Obamacare national medical records available to hackers, and all the other stuff the government knows about us. It gets really scary.

  5. Bob, thanks, but I’m still not buying it. What you are missing is that this is not going to be voluntary and is already not voluntary in some states. There are laws right now that say it is not mandated and should be voluntary, but when the energy co. serviceman comes to your house and installs the Smart Meter…they have not been asking permission for this. You might want to google the question of Smart Meter lawsuits in various states. What you are calling voluntary is not happening. PG&E tried successfully to force Smart Meters on consumers and then finally, after lawsuits, some places are allowing an opt out ONLY by charging removal fees and monthly fees to NOT HAVE a SMART METER. What is voluntary about that? You can say it has more to do with regulations, but it is colllusion…. more like GE lobbying the government to ban incandescent light bulbs in order to cash in on CFL’s. Our energy companies in North Carolina are right in there pitching to get lower demand for energy at the same time as raising the rates AND taking government grants to support their schemes. As far as sympathizing with the energy companies to provide energy for peak demand, I do not. That is their job. If they can’t provide energy for air-conditioning when it is 90 degrees, what are they doing in the energy business?

    “3. Utilities have to build their systems to serve all customers, anywhere, at any load. There are probably exceptions, but not with basic consumers.”

    Isn’t that their job?

    The ONLY voluntary aspect of a Smart Meter is to NOT USE ENERGY when you need it. Cost “shaving” as you call it, could be done by someone on their own. If you want to monitor your home’s energy use, there are monitoring devices on the open market you can buy right now.

    I will grant you that the EPA and DOE are pursuing energy starvation policies and shutting down coal in the process, refusing to allow nuclear plants to be built, etc. But the States still have some say over these policies and need to fight back. Smart Meters will end in rationing….don’t doubt me. (as my mother would say) They are already resulting in skyrocketing rates. Who wants their water heater to talk to the energy provider? Who wants to roast to death in August? Or freeze in January? Who wants an apartment next to a bank of Smart Meters radiating EMF’s 24 – 7?

    Here is a site for you: http://stopsmartmeters.org/2012/04/13/smart-meter-lawsuits-multiplying/
    And another one: http://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/?p=950

    Below is just one example I found in two seconds on the web. Go looking and you will find what I am reporting….they aren’t asking permission to install them, but they are getting permission from Utilities Commissions to increase rates to cover the costs. Now if this is such a cost saving idea, why are consumers being forced to pay more for it?

    PG&E’s $2.2 billion, 10-million smart meter deployment continues apace in other regions, Moreno noted. That rollout is now hitting about 12,000 to 15,000 meters per day, or one every two seconds, Andrew Tang, PG&E’s director of smart energy web, said last week.

    Still, the tempest in Bakersfield underscores the public challenges utilities may face as they deploy smart grid systems such as smart meters. Utilities need approval from state regulators to increase their electricity rates to pay for the cost of such projects. Claims that the equipment is malfunctioning, whether true or false, could complicate that process.

    As for the lawsuit, it isn’t limiting its sights to PG&E. Other defendants named in the complaint include Wellington Energy Inc., the installer of the meters, as well as “DOE Defendants 1-100,” or any company that might have played any role in the utility’s smart meter deployment, from wireless communications to back-end software, as well as unspecified roles.

    Kelly said his law firm has been contacted by hundreds of people who have PG&E smart meters that have complaints about their power bills. That’s in line with numbers of Bakersfield residents who have brought similar complaints to California State Sen. Dean Florez, who brought the issue to public attention last month.

  6. Hi Cheryl, let me try to answer a couple of your points.

    If they can’t provide energy for air-conditioning when it is 90 degrees, what are they doing in the energy business?” You didn’t read what I said about the history of peak shaving and metering. All those schemes have been around for more than a half-century, and there is nothing new going on. The scheme were originated to save the utility money, and the regulators made them benefit the consumer, too. What is so hard about acknowledging that? It is just historical fact.

    True, in the future things could be different because of political reasons.

    Bob, thanks, but I’m still not buying it.

    Cheryl, you don’t have that choice. YOU HAVE NO LEGAL CHOICE, depending on where you live. Legally, the power company owns the meter and can install any kind of meter they want. You own the meter box, but they own the meter.

    I have had a smart meter on my house for the last three years, and there have been no problems. In the Georgia Power Company system, all consumer meters will be smart meters by the end of 2012. The entire program was approved by The Georgia Public Service Commission headed by our elected representatives. Theoretically speaking, the consumers in Georgia approved the program.

    The only negative is that your energy usage (hourly, etc) tells a story of your lifestyle. Indoor pot farmers are caught all of the time because of their power consumption pattern. That may be why so many people in California are against smart maters.

    Smart meters are more accurate than the old technology. They can turn your power off remotely, and they can turn it back on, too. In the future they will be able to do time-of-day metering. Like it or not, it is coming. The Obama Administration is all for higher electric rates to bolster their imaginary green economy.

    Trying to turn back the clock on technology will not protect your privacy, which seems to be your basic complaint.

    Like it or not, rates will rise. Obama has guaranteed it. Like it or not, power companies will be forced into time-of-day metering. Like it or not, you will be afforded the opportunity to use energy at less costly times of the day. Thank Obama for that, too.

    Other than the privacy issue, I cannot see why you would have a problem with the new technology.

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