Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Proposed electric monopoly wants customers to pay the costs of firing workers

There are stories that Chinese communists would execute prisoners with a gun shot to the back of the head and then charge the prisoners' families for the bullet.

Executives from the likely-to-be-merged Duke Energy and Progress Energy companies must have taken these stories to heart.

In a hearing yesterday by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which is considering whether to approve the companies' merger, executives made this jaw-dropping admission.
The chief executives of Duke Energy and Progress Energy said Tuesday that their companies will have to raise electricity rates to cover the cost of severance payments that will be paid to employees who lose their jobs as a result of the utilities' merger.

Who pays for severance costs remains the single biggest unresolved issue related to the Duke-Progress merger, which was announced in January and is expected to close before the end of the year.
The merger, which would reduce the already meager amount of competition in power generation, is expected to cost 2,000 workers their jobs. Many of those jobs would be in North Carolina.

It's bad enough that this unnecessary merger will weaken a struggling economy. Now energy executives and the companies' shareholders want local customers to foot the bill for the companies' destruction of jobs.

Somewhere a Chinese communist is smiling.

3 comments:

tarheelred said...

We could just hire all of North Carolina's unemployed to spin a turbine to generate electricity. This is a "jobs program", this is a company becoming more efficient.

You don't agree with Obama that ATMs contribute to the unemployment levels, or perhaps Jesse Jackson Jr. that the iPad adds to the problem in a similar manner, do you?

Anonymous said...

EU leak shows solar energy to double power bills

According to a leaked European Commission report on the future of energy in Europe, the slow switch to greener sources of energy is going to push the cost of electricity through the roof. The FT has the story:

"Average electricity prices for households and businesses would rise “strongly up to 2020-2030” under all scenarios, the document says, and the highest prices would occur after 2030 if renewable sources of power, such as wind and solar, make up a large share of energy production. For example, average prices for households could jump by more than 100 per cent by 2050 if this were the case but only by 43 per cent under a scenario that assumed more nuclear power and carbon capture and storage were used."

......

"But Europeans and Americans have money to burn compared to people in other parts of the world. India and China are not going to commit to this kind of cost structure; if the EU study is accurate it means that the developing world will never sign up to the ambitious energy targets northern greens want — and that means that no matter how high we jack up electricity prices in Europe and North America, carbon control efforts are doomed.

Unless the alternative energy cost picture changes radically from what the EU now expects, wind and solar will not do the trick."

Fred Gregory

Dave Ribar said...

Fred:

What does this have to do with the Duke/Progress merger?