Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Lil FERC'r Philip Moeller and Other Hustler's for Big Wind

You never know what will come out of the mouths of billionaires.  They’re kind of like toddlers and say the darnedest things.  Recently it has been reported Michael Zilkha used the term “BIG PIMPING” in a public statement.  It was said everyone laughed as someone with such a proper English accent said “BIG PIMPING”.   

The overflow crowd stayed as quiet and polite as it could while Menil board member Michael Zilkha introduced everyone onstage, but the room couldn't help but crack up when he was forced to pronounce "Big Pimpin'" in his distinguished-sounding accent.
Well, Mr. Zilkha, as an investor in Clean Line Energy Partners llc, should know a thing or two about that.  What else do you call using eminent domain to obtain selling someone else’s property only to sell it against the owner’s will?  What else do you call using the Department of Energy as a “partner” for Plains & Eastern to obtain the easements through a never before used federal eminent domain?

While on the subject of shamelessly promoting an industry with farmers and landowners standing in the way of wind energy’s transmission projects, there are former FERC Commissioner John Norris and current commissioner Philip Moeller.  Last year John Norris stepped down from his position stating a future Senate reconfirmation was impossible.  He claimed the coal industry was out to get him and he could not get reconfirmed. 

So when the position of Agriculture’s Ambassador to Rome became available, Norris promptly left FERC.  Agriculture Ambassador to Rome….what kind of lame gravy position is that?   Agriculture plus the Vatican doesn’t sound like a logical combination.  It is bothersome that former FERC Commissioner John Norris felt his duty was to promote the wind industry through new transmission and representing the consumers was a priority somewhere below that.

Norris left behind fellow wind promoter, Commissioner Philip Moeller, to become Agriculture’s Ambassador to Rome.   Moeller’s recent statement about the RITELine shows just how far he will go to shamelessly promote the wind industry. 

In particular, because RITELine will allow power to move from the west to the east, this project can help nuclear and wind power move from the west, where it is produced, to the east, where it is needed.
“This action thus sets up a collision between two federal agencies that regulate the energy industry. That is, while the Environmental Protection Agency is moving to limit carbon dioxide, which will require more transmission lines, this Commission is changing its policies on transmission incentives in a manner that actually discourages the very transmission that will be needed to satisfy EPA requirements.

Maybe it’s a myth to think FERC Commissioners are supposed to represent the nation’s ratepayers.  If so, FERC’s Mission Statement should be revised

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Mission
Reliable, Efficient, and Sustainable Energy for Consumers
Assist consumers in obtaining reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means

Fulfilling this mission involves pursuing two primary goals:

1.     Ensure that rates, terms and conditions are just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential.
2.     Promote the development of safe, reliable, and efficient energy infrastructure that serves the public’s interest.

With a Mission like that how hard is it to lose focus and believe their job as a FERC Commissioners is to promote transmission for wind energy with incentives.  The consumer be damned.  Wind corporations come first to Philip Moeller.  It’s not east BIG PIMPING for the wind corporations.  Then again, maybe Moeller has spent too much time inside the Beltway. 

Philip Moeller’s term as a FERC Commissioner ends this summer.  Maybe he can get a job being a special ambassador to Rome for wind energy.  He can tell Pope the Vatican needs a wind turbine in St. Peter’s Square and see how receptive Rome is his ideas.  

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