Green dreams prove costly for utility customers

In ultra-liberal Austin, Texas, liberal elites in city government have for years promoted "Green energy" -- including wind-generated and solar power -- to fight global warming.  And no matter if "Green energy" was more expensive than power generated by fossil fuels: Fortunately, those who wanted the more expensive "Green" energy were --  under long-standing policy -- the ones who paid for it.

Now, however, the cost of the city's "Green energy" -- specifically, its wind-generated power -- has gotten so expensive that all of Austin's utility users will, it seems, have to pay for the cost of going "Green," according to liberal elites on the Austin City Council. AT warned  of this three days ago, when liberal greenies refused to pay the higher costs voluntarily.

As the Austin American-Statesman reports today:

The council's ambitious goal of getting 30 percent of the city's electricity from renewable sources by 2020 could be in jeopardy if Austin Energy relies exclusively on its landmark GreenChoice program, which offers wind-generated power at a cost that recently spiked to more than 50 percent higher than that of the standard electricity generated by fossil fuels.

Now, City Council members say, all Austin Energy customers may need to shoulder the cost of going green.

"If we have to spread the cost" to sell enough renewable energy, "that's something we should do," Council Member Sheryl Cole said. "Austin should move forward in its leadership role in heading off global warming."

The mentality here calls up a famous quote from William Graham Sumner, an influential academic in the 19th century. He  wrote:

The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests, as well as the ultimate effects on society through C's interests, are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man.

That phrase -- "The Forgotten Man" -- is also the title of Amity Shlaes'  recent book -- a fascinating revisionist history of the Great Depression. It provides a good read for those who want to understand how big government under FDR prolonged America's dark economic troubles rather than easing them. That liberal media elites have dubbed President Obama the "black FDR" says much about the direction the country is heading.
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