Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Plains & Eastern Clean Line Sends out a RFI Lifeline as TVA Prepares to be Sold

A few of us have been watching this for a couple weeks now and figuring it would eventually reach Plains & Eastern Clean Line.  It would appear last week the call came and news reached Clean Line Energy.

Houston, you have a problem.

The TVA might be for sale.  Word is President Obama is actually preparing a 2014 budget.  The President's office is proposing to sell the TVA.  Privatize it. Break it up.

Break up the TVA?  Balderdash!  It's a golden child of the New Deal and institutionalized government social programs.  The TVA is also eighty years old. 

So the TVA needs to get all dressed up and looking sexy for possible suitors.  She might be 80 years old but a little lipstick on that old gal and guys are going to be knocking on her door. And here lies the problem for Clean Line Energy.

For the last year and a half Clean Line Energy has been proud to proclaim they have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the TVA.  Clean Line has sounded like they have a guaranteed market for wind energy from the Oklahoma pan handle.   Unfortunately for "Clean" Line, an MOU isn't worth squat as a legal document.

For the TVA to be sold, excess baggage from old political agenda's have to be discarded.  The TVA has proclaimed they wanted to add more and more renewables to their portfolio in spite of no "public policy statement" or Renewable Portfolio Standard.  FERC Commissioner John Norris praised the TVA last November for their commendable desires to add more wind energy from wherever they could find it.  If you read this blog often, you might remember FERC Commissioner John Norris and his glowing praise for transmission and powerlines for renewable energy.

The Department of Energy and the TVA worked up a grandiose plan to sneak federal eminent domain through on this project through Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Powers Act when "Clean" Line Energy was denied Public Utility Status by Arkansaw.

Like Keryn at STOPPATHWV points out this week wind energy is out and natural gas and nuclear energy is back in favor with the TVA.  In order to make the company more attractive to be sold, the TVA is aligning themselves with natural gas and nuclear.  The TVA has begun the process of creating a new long term plan for projecting demands and how it will be met with supplies.  Wind energy is  not apart of this plan.

The Scott Mansfield of Sierra Club as well as several other groups supported by the wind industry are not happy about this.

"We don't have any more room for hydroelectric dams in the Tennessee Valley," Mansfield said. "Renewables are very expensive. To get people to build renewables, you have to offer incentives."

 In a desperate to prove their own relevance "Clean" Line Energy put out a Request for Information (RFI) late last week asking wind companies about their "interest" in the Oklahoma Pan Handle is Plains & Eastern Clean Line were built.  Unfortunately, "interest" and commitment are entirely two different things.  

Any Blowitoutyourars Wind Energy Company will express an "interest" and will likely inflate their "interest" to be four times greater than potential likelihood.  Sure.  If  I was President of  Blowitoutyourars Wind Energy Company I would not want to potentially be left behind.  This RFI is non binding and confidential.  As President of Blowitoutyourars Wind Energy Company, I'd express a far greater interest than actual so potential is not limited.  

I suspect "Clean" Line Energy intends to take this information to the TVA and say "See. We can deliver and there is great interest from wind companies!"

The problem for "Clean" Line is the TVA is dressing themselves up to be sold.  The TVA doesn't want to be saddles with 20 year Power Purchasing Agreements for high priced wind energy.  EDP Renewables or any other wind company is not going to be buying the TVA.  If it is sold, more conventional energy producing companies will likly buy the TVA.  

Potential suitors for the TVA want to be able to sell energy at a competitive price.  An unnecessary long term agreement to wind energy companies at uncompetitive prices will be seen as a liability.  Potential suitors will also likely be more closely aligned with nuclear and natural gas energy production.

Last fall the TVA didn't give a damn about offering a competitive price to the consumer.  Following a Warshington agenda of "clean" wind energy was the objective.  Now the Boss at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue want to sell the TVA and priorities change!  This is what happens when politicians attempt to pick winners and losers.  Fortunately, the likelihood of the Plains & Eastern "Clean" Line being built are diminishing rapidly and this aerial sewer will not be built. 

Fortunately, others are starting to see the ratepayers point of view.  Whether it is Plains & Easter, Grain Belt Express, or RICL, these HVDC powerlines are not necessary.  They are not needed.  As ratepayers, we do not need to be saddled with these costs for high priced energy.  As landowners we do not want to see these unneeded aerial sewers running through our farms as monuments to Washington greed coupled with corporate vultcher capital companies.   

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dairy Cattle, "Clean" Line Energy, and Stray Voltage

Here's an interesting story from www.cattlenetwork.com about farmer opposition in Kansas.  Personally, I think its premature to say hvdc powerlines do not produce stray voltage that harm dairy cattle milk production.  I'd be curious about the data and studies.

It's amazing just how much is  written about stray voltage from hvdc powerlines being corrosive and harmful to pipelines.  Sure, the Electromagnetic Field issue is different with a DC powerline as opposed to the traditional AC powerlines, but stray voltage is still an issue, as the pipeline industry.

A friend in the pipeline industry explained it to me this way.  A pipeline wants to be the most negatively charged thing in the ground.  Like a direct current powerline, the gas is flowing one way and can create a negative charge.  When a hvdc powerline is much more negatively charged.  When there is short or stray voltage (and there always is some to a varying degree) , the powerline can be a far greater negative charge than the pipeline.  To put it in simple terms, this reverse flow of charged atoms away from the pipeline causes to pipeline to corrode.

It's amazing how little documentation there is about the potential health hazards hvdc is to people, but there is so much written about the hazards of hvdc to an inanimate object like a pipe.

Just google "hvdc corrosive pipeline"

The internet is littered with studies like this one.

One last comment about pipelines.  Is the Rock Island Clean Line really going to locate next to the Northern Borders pipeline or is the proposed right of way going to change again for the "safety" of the pipeline?  Would RICL desire to place the pipeline in the middle of the field, well away from the fence line for the "safety" (potential future liability) to the pipeline?

But no....according to "clean" line there is no hazard to people or dairy cattle.  Pardon me, I am having difficulty suspending my ability of disbelief to accept the claim stray voltage from a hvdc powerline is a problem to pipelines but not to dairy cattle.

Next week I'll probably read claims from hans&franz that living near a hvdc powerline cures gastroenteritis.

Ok, I have a question.  Suppose a HVDC powerline (RICL) is running parallel to an existing natural gas pipeline (Northern Borders).  Because of stray voltage issues and pipeline corrosion,  the powerline elects to seek a right of way 1000 feet away from the pipeline. 

Sure the powerline only wants to purchase a 200 foot wide right of way but they are effectively recieving a 1,200 foot wide right of way.  That 1,000 feet between the two right of ways is effectively useless.  You can't build on it and develope it.  No other company will seek a right of way between to two right of ways.

If there is a 1,000 foot gap between two right of ways and the HVDC powerline is only buying 200 feed width of right of way, the powerline company is effectively recieving the extra width that is five times larger than the 200 foot right of way for free.

If a powerline company thinks they can get away with this, they better think again.  Powerline executives better ask themselves this simple question.  What is a local county court going to determine in an eminent domain case?  I'll give you a hint.  The court is going to say buy the real right of way 6 times larger than the company intends at a FAIR price for a right of way.

The damages to the property value isn't going to be a few poles.  It will be much much wider than 200 feet. 

I am speaking from personal experience, here.  Another farm of my family has 3 or 4 pipelines next to each other plus a 100,000 volt powerline.  Two of the pipelines and the powerline lies on our property.  The other pipelines are on the neighbors property and come up to a quary pit.   When they start taking up more than their right of way, land gets used up quickly.

There is literally no more room for another right of way.  To the north is a enormous pit mine.  To the south are some massive hills, farm buildings and houses.  The next company that thinks they need to put a right of way through this corridor is going to have to think again.  The right of ways will have to start piling up on top of each other.  There is no more room.

Now I seriously doubt RICL will change their mind and move the powerline to the south of the Northern Borders pipeline and on to my property. There is a mountain of overburden from a gravel pit a few miles to the west of Prairie Center.  RICL will have to go to the north of that pile and it is unlikely they would the cut back south and affect me directly, but if they did, we wouldn't be talking about a paltry $8,500 per acre for a 200 foot right of way.  We would be starting at $45,000 an acre and the right of way would start at the edge of the Northern Borders pipeline right of way.

If RICL or Duke or any other powerline company thinks they can just take more land than their allotted right of way, they had better think again.  We've grown tired of this nonsense. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Finding The Value of a Right of Way

This is a good article from the Maryville Gazette in Kansas.  In an effort to give both sides of the story, the paper interviewed a pitchman for the company.  Mr. Mark Lawlor of “Clean” Line Energy gave some interesting talking points and quotes.

The company is offering payments of 100 percent of a “fair market value” for a one-time easement payment. They’ll also make structure payments to landowners, who can choose an annual or upfront lump sum. The company, which will have the right of eminent domain as a public utility in Kansas, will pay 20 percent of the value of that easement now.

“When construction time comes, we’d pay the remaining value on that,” Lawlor said. “If it doesn’t go, they keep the money. If it does, they’ll get a portion of it up front. …We decided to start that much earlier than anticipated.”

Wow that’s hardly fair.  What about the loss in value for the remainder of the property?

We want your land for perpetuity.  Give it to us.  We’ll pay “fair market value” with 20% down and 80% if the project is successful. 

So what’s “fair market value”  for a 500 mile long contiguous right of way?  More than “fair market value” 

Why is “Clean” Line willing to pay more in Illinois than in Arkansas?

Why is “Clean” Line will to pay much much less than Northern Pass in New Hampshire?

A Right of Way is a Right of Way for transmission.  So why the discrepancy?

So what is “Fair Market Value”?

What if a 500 mile long contiguous piece of land contained oil or natural gas?

Is it worth the same as if it were only farm land?

What if it contained coal or even frac sand or any other commodity?

“Fair Market Value” is the value of a 500 mile long by 200 foot wide right of way for a transmission line.  The current fair market value for the dirt as farmland has nothing to do with the fair market value of a transmission line right of way.

Suppose “Clean” Line Energy is successful to secure a 500 mile long right of way and no powerline is built but the right of way is purchased.  What is the fair market value if “Clean” were to sell the right of way to … say Goldman Sachs?

Can “Clean” Line sell the right of way for $25,000 an acre?  $50,000 an acre?  $100,000 an acre?

Seriously, what is the fair market value for a 500 mile long 200 foot wide right of way?  Heck, you can fit 2 almost 3 pipeline right of ways in there.

20% down?  Pullezze! 

 A 500 mile long by 200 foot wide right of way is worth far more than the value of the farmland. 
A 500 mile long by 200 foot wide right of way is worth far more than the value of the farmland.  It’s 12,000 acres of contiguous land. It’s rights to 12,000 acres of contiguous land for perpetuity. There is a value here beyond the present value of the land. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Illinois Agriculture Impact Mitagation Agreements, Damages to the Land, and RICL

Well, I’ve read the Rock Island Clean Line Agriculture impact Mitigation Agreement.  It’s a rather simple agreement.  Personally, I found this one about Future Gen Alliance to be a better agreement.  Even better reading material is the Agriculture Impact Statement required in Wisconsin.  It’s like an Environmental Impact Statement for farmers and great reading on a cold winter night.

Personally, I think utilities should be required to pay the Illinois Department of Agriculture to make a site specific Agriculture Impact Statement for each parcel of property.  List the soil types, productivity levels, erosion possibilities, income producing capabilities, and potential damages for each parcel.  Show the aerial maps and exactly the soils affected.  The utility company should be required to pay the Department of Agriculture to create these studies so it is not an additional burden on the state.    

Regardless, there are a couple loopholes this AIMA that should be discussed.  First, the AIMA must be listed in the Right of Way Agreement.  This is a non-binding agreement.  The binding agreement is the Right of Way Easement that is filed in the courts with your lawyer.  If it’s not listed in the Easement, the company will not follow it. 

The next big loophole is the words “unless the landowner specifies other arrangement that are acceptable to Clean Line”.  Now maybe “Clean” Line hasn’t figured this out yet (they have proven not to be that bright in the ways of right of way negotiations) but often times in the final negotiations of a Right of Way Easement, the utility company will make a cash payments to cover the damages to the property.  After that, it’s up to the landowner to make the repairs to the land.  In this situation, the landowner acts as a general contractor.  The landowner pays the local fertilizer company and pays for a custom operator for a subsoiler to chisel plow the ground.

From past personal experience, accepting the utility company’s money and acting as a general contractor is a mistake.  It’s not worth the headache to accept the responsibility.  When negotiating a right of way agreement, I’ve learned it’s better to dictate to the utility company exactly who will do the repairs and how they will be conducted.   

When an Illinois power company came through our pasture with a powerline a couple years ago, we stipulated the landscape company who will install the temporary electric fence and make the repairs to the fences when the project is complete.  In this instance, up to a certain amount would be allocated to the landscape contractor, perhaps $7,500.  This worked out very well.  We chose the landscape company to do the repairs and the repairs were done to our satisfaction.

Years earlier when the first pipelines came through, Dad had the pipeline company install the temporary fence and make repairs.  However they hired, did not know how to make a good fence.  The cheapest material possible was used.  Thin fence wire was used and it was constantly breaking while the project was on going.  The cheapest steel posts were also used.  Letting the utility company chose the contractors for agriculture matters was nothing but a headache.

I cannot over emphasize the importance of choosing your own contractors to make the repairs and forcing the utility company to pay them directly through the ROW easement agreement.  Do not get into the position where you are the general contractor for field repairs. 

This also protects the interest of the farmer when absentee landowners are involved.  Many absentee landowners are not in the best position to supervise the repairs to the land and act as a general contractor in such matters.  It’s better to consult the tenant and choose the fertilizer applicator and custom operator to make the repairs. 

If RICL comes through my aunt’s field, I would advise to list the local cooperative who will make the fertilizer improvements, the custom tillage operator to do the subsoil chisel plowing, and also list the local drainage tile installer.  Keep in mind the Agriculture Impact Mitigation Agreement specifies removing compaction to 18 inches.  Running a subsoiler that deep over many fields will likely tear out drainage tile that would otherwise not be damaged. 

There are several clay and plastic tiles 16 to 20 inches deep that won’t be disturbed by the monopoles or compaction from the cement trucks, but the tillage necessary to remove the compaction will likely damage several tiles.  This damage won’t be found immediately.

Page 7 of the FutureGen AIMA does a much better job describing who and what will be done to repair damaged tile with Point #3.  Point #4 on page 8 is also a good idea to list in a ROW agreement.     

“The company shall be responsible for installing such additional drainage measures, including additional tile lines, as necessary to properly drain wet areas on the permanent and temporary easements caused by construction equipment and/or the existence of the powerline.”

Seriously, damage to tile is not going to be known immediately.  Damage will more likely be cause by the ripping with a subsoiler than the installation of the monopole towers.  In a ROW easement agreement, make sure to protect yourself for damages found after the contractor is back home in Nebraska.

Chisel plowing with a subsoiler is another issue that should be specified in a ROW easement agreement.  It requires serious horsepower to run a subsoiler 18 inches deep.  As farmers, you know who to contract this out to much better than a utility company, and besides, it’s your land.  Chose the custom operator.  Chisel plowing with a subsoiler that deep is going to require multiple passes over two or three years.  List the custom operator who will do the subsoiling and force the utility company to pay them directly. 

 The utility company is not going to disagree to this.  They are not going to like it, but as my past experience with the fences in the pasture, they will go along with it.  They will agree to get the deal done.  While it’s in the utility company’s interest to get a powerline built and move on to operation, no utility company is willing to go to court over eminent domain for such trivial matters.

Speaking of Right of Ways, it’s my understanding the purchase of a ROW must include, not just damages to the 200 foot wide ROW, but payment for damages to the loss of value for the entire property.  If a Right of Way goes through a 200 acre property, the utility company needs to pay damages on the loss of property value for the entire 200 acres and not just damages to property value to the 4.5 acres of right of way.    Clean Line’s offer of $8,500 dollars per acre of ROW is a joke. 

I wonder if Clean Line knows they have to pay for damages to the entire property’s value and doesn’t want to admit it, or are they just that stupid.  The line between deceitful and foolishly naïve is often blurred.  They act like this is their first attempt to a Right of Way purchase in Illinois.  Actually it is Clean Line Energy’s first ROW purchase, and they are in way over their heads.

The opinions above are that of one individual. Ultimately it is best to hire a lawyer negotiate a Right of Way Easement. Do not attempt to negotiate yourself with a utility company. List above are suggestions on how to handle matters of damages to the land. Matters of Right of Way negotiations are done with real public utilities recognized by the state. To date, "Clean" Line Energy is not a real public utility recognized by the state of Illinois. Therefore, the commentary above should not be considered an approval of the company or an expectation the state will consider the company a public utility. The commentary above is only states as the timeliness of the subject matter considering AIMA's.  It is the opinion and hope of the author that Rock Island Clean Line or any other subsidiary of Clean Line Energy Partners NOT be considered a public utility in Illinois. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Presidential Memorandum -- Transforming our Nation's Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review

Last Friday, the White House quietly put out a memorandum on transmission.

It’s an interesting memo for governmental bureaucrats.  If I read between the lines, it says, if you want to keep your job, don’t stop powerlines coming through government lands.  If you want pay raises and promotions under the Obama Administration, push through transmission for my friends in the wind industry.  These are my words, not his, but read the memorandum and see what you think.

The Obama Administration has made Rapid Response Transmission Team (RRTT) to help push through a handful of projects on public lands.  Fortunately, none of these pet projects belong to “Clean” Line Energy.  Nevertheless, this is still disturbing.  The government builds a mountain of regulations designed to reduce abuses of private companies on public lands, but the current administration desires to streamline the process for the advancement of a political pet project, wind energy.

The President believes there is a need to create energy right-of-way corridors”…” minimize regulatory conflicts and impacts on environmental and cultural resources, and also address concerns of local communities” and “focus on facilitating renewable energy resources

Another interesting statement from the Executive Office of the President of the United States claims “The Secretary of Energy shall assess and synthesize current research” and put this synthesized information it into reports.  What does it actually mean to “synthesize current research”?  Is that when the global warming scientists make up their own data to support the liberal political argument?

Per President Obama’s direction, a report needs to be produced.  “Where research is available, the Report shall include an assessment of whether investment in co-locating with or upgrading existing transmission facilities, distributed generation, improved energy efficiency, or demand response may play a role in meeting these requirements. In preparing the Report, the Secretary of Energy shall consult with Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, affected industries, environmental and community representatives, transmission planning authorities, and other interested parties.”

“Other Interested Parties”….is that landowners and neighbors?   Because they weren’t otherwise recognized.

The report shall also “provide to the Steering Committee regional corridor assessments, which shall examine the need for additions, deletions, and revisions to the existing energy corridors for the Western States by region.”  It hasn’t been more than a couple years.  When was the Rapid Response Transmission Team created, 2009?  We’re already looking at deletions and revisions.  I would ask the value of such reports when as quick as five years, deletions and revisions need to be made to transmission projects. 

The most disturbing part of President Obama’s memorandum is SECTION 3 and SECTION 4

Sec. 3. Energy Corridors for the Non-Western States. The Secretaries, in collaboration with the Member Agencies, shall continue to analyze where energy corridors on Federal land in States other than those identified as Western States may be necessary to address the recommendations in the Report issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1 and the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, and to expedite the siting, permitting, and review of electric transmission projects on Federal lands in those States. By September 1, 2014, the Secretaries shall provide the Steering Committee with updated recommendations regarding designating energy corridors in those States.
Sec. 4. Improved Transmission Siting, Permitting, and Review Processes. (a) Member Agencies shall develop an integrated, interagency pre-application process for significant onshore electric transmission projects requiring Federal approval. The process shall be designed to: promote predictability in the Federal siting, permitting, and review processes; encourage early engagement, coordination, and collaboration of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public; increase the use of integrated project planning early in the siting, permitting, and review processes; facilitate early identification of issues that could diminish the likelihood that projects will ultimately be permitted; promote early planning for integrated and strategic mitigation plans; expedite siting, permitting, and review processes through a mutual understanding of the needs of all affected Federal agencies and State, local, and tribal governments; and improve environmental and cultural outcomes.

Looks like a plan is to be produced by September 30, 2013 to implement “improve siting, permitting, and review processes for all electric transmission projects, both onshore and offshore, requiring Federal approval” and “facilitate coordination, integration, and harmonization of the siting, permitting, and review processes of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments for transmission projects to reduce the overall regulatory burden while improving environmental and cultural outcomes.

The President’s Rapid Response Transmission Team is primarily for western states, but like many other policies, this memorandum starts in the west.  The policy invariably is moving into the Midwest and to the east.  Perhaps this memorandum will stay applied only to federal lands, but unlike earlier memorandums, this one is specific towards non-western states.  Yes, federal siting is a threat we have to watch closely.

President Obama’s memorandum is another step towards federal siting authority for public and private lands.  Until that point comes, having President Obama ramrod projects through the interior department bypassing regulations and paying millions for "mitigation" isn't the way an elected democracy is supposed to work.  Memorandums from President Obama.  The bureaucrats proceed.  

Then comes the shakedowns and bribes?  The government looks out for their own, but the public is supposed to relent quietly because "clean" wind energy is the best for society.

Finally, the Interior Secretary Salazar says;
"So here's the deal: I want $60 m [million] and I want it now."




Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hans Jumps the Shark

Well this was an interesting week.  There was probably the shortest career in the history of Clean Line Energy, a potential mass exodus from a bank and RICL finally completes an 8 page project with the Illinois Department of Ag.

It's an 8 page c&p document that is non binding unless directly listed in a Right of Way Agreement and RICL's guy is parading like it's a blessing of approval.  It was a tad overkill with the pr work.

What is going to happen this week? I'm guessing headlines will read "Hans jumps the shark".  If you're going for over the top, spike the football, go ahead, go all out, and jump the shark,

Seriously, google the name of any Illinois utility company and "aima".  Good luck finding another company so proud as RICL to have completed a mandatory project.

Suggestion for "clean" line energy.  Watch how other REAL energy companies conduct themselves.  You might want to copy what works....never mind.  What you all are doing now works for me. The bragging about obtaining an AIMA was a bit foolish.  Go ahead.    Jump the shark!

* Jumping the shark a term to describe a moment when something that was once a part of pop culture has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

C&P about PTC, RPS, IPA, FERC, RICL, PURPA, PUCHA, Cost Allocation, and Order 1000

OK, here's some interesting quotes from what I've been reading.  One is about Plains & Eastern Clean Line, a sister project to the Rock Island Clean Line (RICL or BLOCKRICL).  Others are from articles and blogs  for and opposing FERC Order 1000. Still others are classic economic literature and author Ayn Rand.

Perhaps this a good example of the crazy merry-go-round in my head.  While reading this, think about wind energy, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), 20 year Power Purchasing Agreements, the Illinois Power Agency (IPA),FERC, Order 1000, transmission lines for "wind" energy, the sacrifice Illinois landowners are being asked to make, PURPA, PUCHA repeal, and all the other concessions (protectionism) we give the wind industry, and oh yes, lets not forget "Clean" Line Energy and the Rock Island "Clean" Line (RICL). Oops, I almost forgot cost allocations.

My gosh! This is absurd! Look at all the protectionism the wind energy industry gets.  That entire paragraph above is protectionism for one industry.  How much more sacrifice do I need to make?

Consider this some odd experiment in abstract cut & paste.

“Regular people only need to understand that this is likely the most progressive clean energy action the federal government will take this year.” – Center for American Progress 

“Not only is the wind power ‘made in Oklahoma,’ so too is the natural gas power that will power generators needed to fully utilize the transmission line capacity available when the wind does not blow,” said OCC Vice Chair Bob Anthony

OCC Chair Dana Murphy noted that the new transmission-only utility it will also require a new kind of regulation

“We have seen very little opposition,” Glotfelty said. 

“We’re not here to solve all the problems,” (Glotfelty) said


It takes a special person to fully understand all 620 pages of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s new Order Number 1000, “
Regular people only need to understand that this is likely the most progressive clean energy action the federal government will take this year.
Congress can also meet the renewable energy industry’s unmet financing need by creating a Clean Energy Deployment Administration, which would provide a suite of financial products to help renewable energy projects attract capital.

Some day, perhaps, I shall speak to you also about association and organization, and we shall then see what you can expect of these idle fancies that you have allowed to lead you astray.
Meanwhile, let us see whether people are not doing you an injustice by passing laws that specify not only the persons from whom you are to buy the things you must have, such as bread, meat, linens, and woolens, but the price you are to pay for them.
Is it true that the policy of protectionism, which admittedly makes you pay higher prices for everything and in that respect harms you, also brings about a proportional increase in your wages?
Bastiat, Frédéric

To paraphrase the villain Ellsworth Toohey in Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead: “Just listen to any bureaucrat, and if you hear him speak of ‘broad cost allocation’ — run. Run faster than from a plague.” 

EEI’s Transmission Projects: At A Glance report from March 2013 found that, of the $51.1 billion of transmission projects they identified, “projects supporting the integration of renewable resources represent approximately $38.7 billion (76 percent).”

Every major horror of history was perpetrated—not by reason of and in the name of that which men held as evil, that is, selfishness—but through, by, for and in the name of an altruistic purpose. The Inquisition. Religious wars. Civil wars. The French Revolution. The German Revolution. The Russian Revolution. No act of selfishness has ever equaled the carnages perpetrated by disciples of altruism. Nor has any egotist ever roused masses of fanatical followers by enjoining them to go out to fight for his personal gain. Every leader gathered men through the slogans of a selfless purpose, through the plea for their self-sacrifice to a high altruistic goal: the salvation of others’ souls, the spread of enlightenment, the common good of their state.

[J]ust listen to any prophet and if you hear him speak of sacrifice—run. Run faster than from a plague. It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.

Ayn Rand www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/ayn-rand-altruism-part-3

Bootleggers and Baptists Abound
To better highlight the characters involved, let’s examine this issue in the context of the “bootleggers and baptists” theory of regulation. The Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading “baptist,” said about Order No. 1000: “the Commission should be commended for this transformative rule, which puts forth a framework that can move this country’s electric grid towards a clean energy future.”
The American Wind Energy Association, the biggest lobbyist for wind bootleggers, applauded FERC’s leadership and added that “the current system for determining how new power lines are paid for is flawed. The plans too narrowly define who should pay for new projects and stifle investment, resulting in inadequate expansion of the grid.
In one of his last letters, Frederic Bastiat asked a friend to “treat economic questions always from the consumer’s point of view, for the interest of the consumer is identical with that of mankind.” In that vein, Master Resource was keen to point out a powerful dynamicin the debate over the cronyism-riddled wind production tax credit.
As I’ve shown, the same dynamic applies to renewable energy mandates and socialized transmission costs — the bootleggers and baptists go to Washington to reap concentrated benefits, while the consumer minds his own business but gets fleeced. The dynamic plays out time and again, and the regulations keep coming, against the interest of the consumer and of mankind.