Recently I attended a tour of the Ameren UE nuclear power plant in Callaway County. This is the first time I have toured a power plant in my seven years as a Missouri House Representative. Although the plant is visible to motorists from the I-70, I have never been very close to it. The steam column always looks ominous from a distance. Although the steam column is the most visible, the nuclear power generation actually takes place in the domed building next to it. This plant is so well reinforced, I felt as though I were in the “mission-control room” of a well constructed fort!
Our electric rates are projected to double or triple if the congress in Washington DC creates new hardships and punishes those who use coal fueled power plants through the proposed “Cap and Trade” Bill. Nuclear power is the least expensive form of electric generation available, but only about 20% of our electricity comes from a nuclear source. Electricity has been the source of our financial development and stability. Ask your grandmother how it improved her life when the washing machine & dryer, air conditioning, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, electric mixer and other labor saving devices were made available!
Despite what you may have heard about wind and solar, Missouri does not have ideal conditions for either. To get enough sun requires building in the southwest where they don’t have so many cloudy days. To get enough wind requires building in the Northwest. Missouri has days when we have neither sun nor wind to produce any electricity whatsoever, so building a supplemental power plant remains in our future.
While you may not think your electric bill is anything to brag about, our rates in Missouri are currently among the lowest in the nation. Part of the reason for this has to do with our ability to use plants that were built and paid for decades ago. Current projections show that our demand for electricity will increase 20-30 % over the next 20 years. Our current power plants will not be able to supply enough for this demand. In general, people are using more electricity per capita with all the new electronic appliances, flat screen TVs, phone chargers, AC adapters and every other gadget you can imagine. I love living in the age of modern conveniences and appreciate all the utilities that save us time and make our lives better. This has an economic impact of making us more productive, well groomed and able to spend more time doing what we truly enjoy.
If our congress passes the “Cap and Trade Bill” get ready to see your electric rates really go up. The best way to understand Cap and Trade is to consider the game of musical chairs. Right now, there are enough chairs for everybody, but Cap and Trade seeks to remove chairs every year until there are only a few players left in the game. The end result will be less electricity available at very high prices. If you didn’t like what happened when gas went up to over $4 per gallon, you are really not going to like this!
Link here to read: Who Really Pays For Cap & Trade? And here to read What Cap & Trade will cost families.
I asked my source at Ameren UE what happens if those in Washington don’t pass the bill once they realize that a recession is a horrible time to inflict additional, undue hardship on the American people. He said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already has enough power to levy these taxes. The blame still falls to Congress who created and gives this power to the EPA. Our congress has the power to create, direct and dismantle the EPA like a robot.
Here is the bottom line: Those representing us are asking all the wrong questions. Instead of trying to further destabilize the economy by increasing the cost of living expenses on the citizens, they should be asking, “How can we help our citizens and free markets gain access to less expensive utilities?” Perhaps the best answer is for congress to curtail their interference in our lives. This Cap and Trade experiment may turn out to be a great test of whether Congress cares more about their constituents or the lobbyists.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Cynthia Davis: Cap and Trade a punishment for all of us
In her latest newsletter, Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon takes aim at federal cap and trade legislation: