SB 31 Update

Georgia Online News Service has a report on the bill.

Don Balfour told the State House that S.B. 31 is “pro-America,” which means he really has no good selling points on this bill.

Then there is this:

If the bill doesn’t pass, “you run the risk of pulling nuclear as a viable option off the table as a future option for Georgia,” said Oscar Harper, Georgia Power vice president of nuclear development.

I haven’t read all the news reports of S.B. 31, but I was commenting to a friend yesterday that it was only a matter of time before Georgia Power pulled the doom and gloom scenario on this issue.

Less than 24 hours later, here we are.

Question: are state legislators so retarded that they believe this crap?


  1. Jason Pye says:

    If the bill doesn’t pass, “you run the risk of pulling nuclear as a viable option off the table as a future option for Georgia,” said Oscar Harper, Georgia Power vice president of nuclear development.

    They’ve said they’ll build if the bill doesn’t pass. I’m calling BS on that.

  2. benjycompson says:

    If there was a such thing as a free competitive market in the service of electricity production, the long term capital investments would be built into the market price anyway (just like Ga Pwr wants to do now) . The consumer would be paying for it one way or another.

    The problem is- the government is setting the price through legislative control. There is no real choice for consumers, and there is no punishment for bad decisions made by GPWR.

    How do we undo this distorted market?

  3. How do we undo this distorted market?

    Slowly, but purposely, get rid of protectionist laws and open the market to competition. If another group gets together enough investors to build a plant, a solar farm, a wind farm, build a dam on their own land or a methane burning plant over an old land fill or some other power producing entity… government would stay out of the way (other than safety, environmental and production standards) and let them tie into the grid at some nominal charge to whoever is maintaining the grid.

    Wasn’t there a time when a farmer could sell excess power generated and the power company had to purchase it at the same price they were selling it for? As in the meters would run in reverse? Is this still the case?

  4. Icarus says:

    So you’re just going to infringe a little bit on the private property rights of the stockholders who own the grid for your exercise in pure liberty?

  5. One or the other…. allow others to run wires or if not and government grants a monopoly infrastructure… then others get to use it. When AT&T was broke up or when I place a call from my cingular The New AT&T phone to a Verizon, Sprint or Nextell phone… the call still makes it from A to B (at some parts of the transmission using shared phone lines). Why can’t power go from producer to consumer in the same manner? Why can’t some points the infrastructure is shared? Hell, we’re using a shared infrastructure with multiple service providers to make these comments.

  6. Icarus says:

    You mean that network of phone circuits that remains heavily regulated by the government?

    You asked me earlier for an example, but I think it’s much more important for you to first come up with an example of any “natural monopoly” that has ever been successfully replaced by private competitors without heavy government regulation.

    Answer, there isn’t one.

    Further answer, what you’re describing is actually pretty close to how the power generation industry already works. GA power isn’t the only producer of power for their customers. There are other producers here in GA. GA Power (or the EMC’s) generally have an exclusive delivery system, but are not the only producers of the energy.

  7. Game Fan says:

    You’re already able to sell excess power back into the grid at the residential level if I’m not mistaken. But I have no idea what’s viable and what isn’t. But for personal use, (and for saving money) I’m thinking about one of those solar water heaters. They’re all over the place in China.

  8. AubieTurtle says:

    Outside of the pundit class, does that issue have any visibility with the public? I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard anyone who isn’t a political junkie mention it.

  9. Icarus says:

    Therein lies the problem Aubie.

    Not just the problem for the consumer who isn’t yet aware, but the problem for the politicians, particularly Republican leadership, when it does get on their radar screen. Hindsight is a bitch when it is used by a pissed off public, and all they can see are pols too close to big business interests when they look in their rear view mirror.

  10. Progressive Dem says:

    The Integrated Transmission System serves the entire state except for some TVA areas in north Georgia is jointly owned, maintained and operated by Georgia Power, the EMCs and the Municipal Electric Authority of Ga. The shared system has worked well for everyone and kept transmission and substation costs to a minimum. It has also permitted competition.

    Large power users >900 kW have a choice of power suppliers when they first go online. It is a one time decision, and the customer is forever locked to that utility at that facility. The competition between the EMCs and GPC has been intense for some kinds of customers that have a fairly constant demand for power. Certaintly more competition could be introduced for large power suppliers, but there would be negative consequences to compeition that could lead to increased rates for residential customers if the market was completely open. If company A has fixed capacity and costs to provide power and loses a large industrial customer, rates for all other consumers would increase to pay for the fixed costs. If every consumer goes to company B for lower prices, but company B now must build new plant or purchase expensive peak load, prices will rise for all customers. The point is: a complete free market system for electricity is probably not going to reduce costs or improve service, but some additional competition could be thoughtfully added to make utilities more cost concious and customer oriented.

  11. DoubleDawg3 says:

    “Question: are state legislators so retarded that they believe this crap?”

    Yep, Don Balfour is. Then again, everyone knows that when you “know it all” as D.B. does, you don’t care what the informed public thinks.

    Question: Is there a bigger blowhard in the Senate? (I’ll keep the House in its own category, b/c Earl & King Glenn will have to have a battle royale to see who is THE biggest blowhard in the House)

  12. but I think it’s much more important for you to first come up with an example of any “natural monopoly” that has ever been successfully replaced by private competitors without heavy government regulation.

    In order to do that, I would first have to believe that a “natural” monopoly ever existed. I contend that without protectionist government regulation, monopolies can’t/don’t remain in existence for very long. Someone is always out to build a better mouse trap. And if not restrained by government/big business collusion, someone usually does.
    This being said, your answer “there isn’t one”… I can agree with.

  13. Daniel, don’t confuse Icarus with economic facts, such as the fact that a “natural monopoly” is a collectivist myth. He’ll respond with misdirection and ad hominem attacks, instead of serious economic discussion. Good luck.

  14. Taft,
    Actually, sometimes, I think Icarus is playing devil’s advocate just to keep us on our toes. He reminds me of a professor I once had. Towards the end of the semester, he finally let me know that all he had taught, he, himself didn’t believe. By teaching the opposite of what he really believed he forced us to make arguments that tempered our beliefs and conclusion that he already had come to himself and we then could better fiend off those that disagreed. He just happened to be my economics professor. One of the best professors I ever had. He taught what I later learned was Keynesian, when in fact he was steeped in Austrian economics and a member of the Mises Institute.

    Here are a couple of links you’ll probably enjoy:
    The Myth of Natural Monopoly
    Competitive Markets for Electricity Generation Which is way over my head, but in a way makes the argument that at least the US is leading the way in reintroducing competition to the electricity generation market. So we must be doing something right. But then again freedom is in our blood.

  15. Taft,
    Just stay on topic and he won’t. I poke at EE all the time, but he’s a good guy who has a product he has every right to protect (even though he has statist tendencies). And we do believe in property rights.

    I was one of those that got kick off of redstate. Actually, I think the result was a net gain for Cong. Paul.

    I need you to stick around, so don’t be a martyr and get bounced.

    SB31 sux… (see how that works, stay on topic).

    good night.

  16. See, Daniel, it’s funny to me, because I’ve only been discussing things like the Fed, Constitutional money, etc. relatively recently. Before that, I had spates of focusing on the evil of murdering babies in the womb, and of defending the science of creationism vs. the faith-based Darwinism. No threads named after me there; it’s only when I spend time on real solutions to the economic crash (instead of status quo band-aids) that I get threatened with banning.

    But like you say, it’s Erick’s blog, I will obey his commands.

  17. Technocrat says:

    The era of CHEAP URANIUM is coming to an end just like oil. If the number of new reactors now planned are built we should hit the peak production point around 2024.
    Currently US produces only 5 Million pounds per year yet LOADS 50 Million pounds in it’s existing reactors. A much worse percentage than our oil imports.

    While China and Japan are buying up control of world production, “The United States believes that the free market will provide and is not trying to buy up assets”.

    “The US is very dependent on foreign imports, as shown in Figure 7, especially recycled Russian bomb material, which currently makes up 50% of nuclear fuel. Since about 20% of US electricity is from uranium, this means that 10% of our electricity supply is obtained from recycled Russian bombs.”

    Highlights from:

  18. bowersville says:

    It is estimated that 27,000 intact nuclear warheads exist.

    Of those 12,500 of the intact warheads are operational and 97% are in Russian and US custody.

    The Pentagon has custody of 10,000 stock piled nuclear weapons of which 5735 are operational or 4265 not operational.

    Russia has 16,000 (est) intact warheads with 5,830 operational or 10,170 warheads not operational.

    google us nuclear stock piles or any similar word soup.

    The concern of the world when the former Soviet Union broke apart was bomb grade nuclear material falling into the wrong hands. With 10,170 non operational Russian warheads on the market, the 50% number for Russian warheads supplying nuclear reactor material sounds like a solid US foreign policy to dispose of Russian warheads to me.

  19. William Gibson says:

    I can’t believe Balfour pulled the “this is pro America” argument out of his hat. Is it pro America to charge taxes on something six years in advance? Is it pro America to throw our Legislators out of office when they screw us over? It is and it’s high time we act like Americans and do just that. SB 31 seems more like Socialism than American. It is very UN Republican to push a tax increase and pro monopoly legislation. Has anyone looked at Balfour’s and Harbin’s disclosures? I wonder how much money Georgia Power, their lobbyists and attorneys have given them. They’ve given the Public Service Commissioners a lot so we’re going to get the short end of the stick no matter what but either way the Legislature should be working on solving problems not creating them.

  20. Technocrat says:

    The problem is our agreement with Russia expires in 2015 after that time these warheads are available to the highest bidder for their reactors.
    The point was at what cost will our reactors be fueled in the future.

    By the way Canada is the world’s largest producer of Uranium, just as it is the US largest single supplier of imported OIL.

    Obviously US will have to become more like Canada [socialistic] if we are to merge sucessfully.

  21. Icarus says:

    The best way to merge successfully with Canada is to put 100,000 troops in Maine, and 50,000 troops in Alaska, and ask them to meet up in the middle.

  22. Jon Hodges says:

    The Canadian Mounties are known for their frightening speed and devastating strikes on horesback. They strike fear in the hearts of their foes, if indeed they have any. Your strategy would mean the loss of many of our men due to the cold and shear boredom that comes with Canada.

  23. Dash Riptide says:

    The Canadian Mounties are known for their frightening speed and devastating strikes on horesback. They strike fear in the hearts of their foes, if indeed they have any.

    Well I think we know who writes the Nindy character now.

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