Friday, December 19, 2014

SWPA, TVA, WFEC, and Plains & Eastern Clean Line Section 1222

Lets get back to that memo from former Energy Secretary Steven Chu telling Power Marketing Agencies to start pushing wind energy for a moment.  So if former Energy Secretary Chu’s memo to exploit Section 1222 for the wind industry raised a ruckus, who was complaining?  It wasn’t the public.  We weren’t aware of it at the time.  Apparently, the Western Farmer’s Electric Cooperative in Oklahoma and New Mexico was one of the objectors.  Here's a portion of their statement. 

(FYI, PMA are Power Management Agencies, like the Southwestern Power Administration who manages the electricity generated from Corp of Engineer's hydroelectric dams.)

Like the other PMAs, SWPA charges the “lowest possible rates, consistent with sound business principles” (Section 5 of the Flood Control Act of 1944). This means that SWPA sets its wholesale power rates at levels that are sufficient to recover the investment costs of the hydropower and transmission system – plus interest – as well as the annual operating and maintenance costs of the Corps’ hydro plants and SWPA. The PMAs are one of the few federal programs that recover all associated federal costs. But Secretary Chu wants the PMAs to take on new responsibilities well beyond simply marketing federal hydropower. What does this mean?
Mission creep for DOE and higher costs for electric consumers!

The Western Farmer’s Electric Cooperative predicted this one correctly.  This abuse of Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act is mission creep.   The WFEC continues with more insight.

Get ready for a bunch more proposals for SWPA to use its federal eminent domain authority to acquire rights-of-way for transmission lines that  likely will provide little or no benefit to federal power delivery and could provide little or no benefit to interconnectivity of the grid – another goal identified earlier in the Chu memo. There is no provision in the memo to seek changes in Section 1222 to shield PMA hydro customers from any of the costs or other liabilities associated with
SWPA’s participation in transmission construction for third parties. 
That sums up Plains & Eastern Clean Line fairly well.

The Daily Signal also had commentary about the Chu memo to use the SWPA to implement the Administration’s green agenda.

If the PMAs need such investments, then they should be made because it makes business sense—and funded through PMA revenues—not with taxpayer dollars because the President is running out of more transparent ways to advance his green energy agenda.

So if the SWPA has to sell energy at below market rates, how is the SWPA allowed to sponsor Plains & Eastern to sell at a premium to wholesale rates?   

For that matter, does the SWPA feel betrayed and used by the administration to promote a wind energy agenda?   

Section 1222 was added to the 2005 Energy Policy Act to promote the SWPA advance hydroelectric energy, Plain & Simple.  The Administration has abused Section 1222 to the point where the Department of Energy is using the SWPA as a surrogate to obtain an easement through eminent domain for Clean Line Energy, who intends to sell the project to National Grid once the Right-of-Way is acquired.  What ever happened to the SWPA’s original purpose to generate and market hydroelectricity? 

In the end, we still have the Obama’s Administration using the Department of Energy to force the Southwestern Power Administration to utilize a portion of the 2005 Energy Policy Act to use eminent domain muscle to acquire of 16,000 acres of easement through Oklahoma and Arkansas for a privately owned speculation company to build a powerline to promote the members of the American Wind Energy Association.  There is no one to appeal this seizure of private property other than the Department of Energy who is under control by the President of the United States.  

What about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?  
What happened to the appreciation of private ownership of property?  
The Declaration of Independence?  
The Constitution?  
The Rule of Law?  

 We live in a new area of a “living breathing Constitution” where the Administration is not bound to laws.  The Administration through the Department of Energy can seize your land to build a speculation company's powerline to advance a political agenda.  

It is a good guess that the SPWA is asking the same questions and has the same contempt for Clean Line Energy with there Plains & Eastern Clean Line as Arkansas residence and others in the Midwest fearful of an abuse of eminent domain by the federal government to promote a political agenda.   In the end, the Obama administration, wind energy and Clean Line are nothing more than looters that used the guise of “clean” energy to justify the seizure of our means of living, income from our farms, our homes and privately owned lands.  With Secretary Chu gone and Secretary Ernest Moniz holding the job, prudence will prevail and this abuse of Section 1222 will come to an end. 

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