Cause and Demand, Effect and Supply

By June 1, 2007Energy

In this memorable week of Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein being sorta right on a couple of things, we note this should-have-been-in-bold paragraph from his piece today criticizing electric deregulation in Maryland.

To be fair, the big driver of Maryland’s rate increases is simply the sharp rise in the cost of generating fuels, particularly oil and natural gas, since deregulation began. And Virginia’s advantage comes in no small part because Dominion Power relies on cheaper coal and nuclear plants for more than two-thirds of its power.

Right. To be fair. And what’s happening in Maryland to change this underlying supply-and-demand imbalance?

Well, there’s this from earlier in the month.

A proposed LNG plant in Baltimore county could bring an estimated $50 million in annual economic impact to the area, but concerned citizens have stood as a roadblock.

And this, from April.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) have introduced legislation (S. 1174) to give state and local governments the right to veto the location of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals. The measure would strike a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that gave the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) power to preempt state and local concerns about the location, construction and operation of LNG facilities.

Which is related to this from April.

Federal lawmakers are moving to block construction of the Sparrows Point natural gas facility outside of Baltimore as power companies blame skyrocketing bills on coal and gas prices.

We do tend to harp on this blog about supply and demand, supply and demand, supply and demand. Part of that policy equation is, of course, cause and effect, cause and effect, cause and effect.

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