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Renewable Energy Credits should not be renewed

June 13, 2013

Here is another reason why electricity rates are so high and why we need to get government regulators out of the electricity business. I recently attended a hearing at the Arizona Corporation Commission on the subject of renewable energy credits, referred to as “RECs” by the insiders. These RECs are totally the result of government regulations and would not exist in the private market. As far as I could tell, I was the only member of the public in attendance. But there were many lawyers and accountants and consultants that were drawing down hundreds of dollars per hour in fees.

The sad part of this story is that the public is paying for all of these high priced people to fight with each other. We pay for all the Corporation Commission facilities and staff costs through our taxes and we pay for all the APS consultants in our electric rates. We even pay for the consumer representative, RUCO, through a fee on our electric bills and we pay for all the other business representatives through higher fees they must charge for goods and services they sell.

Can you imagine if government regulated the convenience stores and we had to have public hearings about what products they sell or how much solar energy they use? The government regulation gives us nothing but higher prices. The market, not government bureaucrats, should determine what kind of energy APS uses; just as the market now determines where convenience stores are located and what products they sell. With multiple forms of electric generation and transmission and distribution there is no need for this government created monopoly. It would not exist if it were not mandated by law. Let’s end the monopoly and find productive employment for all these consultants.

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