Archive for the ‘Immelt’ Category

Steve Milloy criticizes GE’s "smart-meter profiteering" via green mandates, but ignores state grants of "public utility" monopolies

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

Anti-enviro gadfly Steven Milloy has a new blog post up that rightly skewers the green mandates that are providing a taxpayer-funded stream of business and profits to GE.  Notes Milloy:

GE announced today that utility giant American Electric Power (AEP)
will purchase 110,000 smart meters from GE. And just how is AEP
managing to buy all these smart meters? President Obama and Congress
are making us pay for them.

On Sep. 1, AEP applied to the Department of Energy for $75 million in federal stimulus money for the smart meter purchase.

It’s a good thing that GE’s Immelt sits on Barack Obama’s Economic
Recovery Advisory Board — how else would the Department of Energy know
to direct smart meter purchases to GE?

Of course, AEP isn’t the only conduit for sending federal stimulus
money to GE. So far about 50 utilities have applied to DOE for a piece
of the almost $4 billion in stimulus money earmarked for smart meter

From an Austrian perspective, what`s wrong with this post? The simple fact that Milloy isn`t interested in problem-solving, but in bashing greens, Dems and GE. If he were a problem-solver, he would be a little less partisan and would devote a little more effort to throw light on some of the underlying factors that fuel green concerns and utility mandates, such a the little problem that states have prevented the development of free power markets by granting “public utility” monopoly status to local power providers, as I have noted in a number of posts.

A problem-solver might also devote some time to examining the entanglement of the state with other rent-seeking corporations, such as the coal producers; but those trapped in partisan, rent-seeking games are often good only at seeing the flaws of those whom they criticize, while ignoring the way that they themselves are co-opted by other rent-seekers.

I left Steven the following comment:

Steven I think your criticism of GE is fair, but it`s clearly lacking in context.

Where`s your post criticizing the states for their continuing grant
of monopoly status to “public utilities”, which is the chief reason why
there is no free market in providing power to consumers? With a free
markets, we`d have seen smart meters like GE`s years ago, and there
would be no basis for all of these “green power” mandates.