Meanwhile, in Energy Fantasyland

By June 18, 2008Energy

Today’s Washington Post carries a smallish story on legislation proposed by City Council Member Mary Cheh, who wants to make electricity more expensive for District consumers.

The energy bill, which would require that one-fifth of the energy used in the District come from renewable sources by 2020, is a streamlined version of the bill Cheh originally proposed. She removed language that would have legalized sub-meters, which allow landlords to charge tenants separately for utilities, reflecting concerns of some council members that the devices could lead to higher electric bills for low-income residents.

So there’s a renewable energy mandate, 20 percent, even though the prospects of reaching that percentage through regional generation are slim. Which then means purchase of more expensive electricity from elsewhere.

And Cheh has dropped the one provision she had proposed earlier, submetering, that would have introduced market forces and personal responsibility into energy consumption. Perish the thought that people should pay for the electricity they actually consume.

And then there’s this:

The bill proposes raising monthly electricity and natural gas rates citywide to help pay for the new programs, which the new privately run Sustainability Energy Utility would manage under the supervision of the D.C. Department of Environment and a new advisory board.

In the realm of pure symbolism the Council will also consider a measure to place electronic messaging boards outside of places like the baseball stadium to protest “taxation without representation,” i.e., no vote in Congress.

So they’re going to waste electricity to make the point? How about a nice, static billboard instead?

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