Letter: We need energy policy of, by, for peopleEllen Anderson was appointed Minnesota Public Utilities Commission chair by Gov. Mark Dayton last spring. Jan. 30.
By: Kristi Rosenquist, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Ellen Anderson was appointed Minnesota Public Utilities Commission chair by Gov. Mark Dayton last spring. Jan. 30 the Minnesota Senate did not confirm Anderson’s appointment, effectively removing her from the position. I’ve observed Anderson’s work and I applaud the Senate’s action.
The problem with Anderson chairing the MPUC is that the energy legislation she authored is in direct opposition to the MPUC’s mission statement to “ensure safe, reliable and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates.” Commissioners are supposed to “implement the state's energy policies” and deliberate in the public interest.
Laws promoted by Anderson while a state Senator effectively mandate industrial wind as the cornerstone of Minnesota’s energy policy. After being appointed chair, Anderson failed to notice the dilemma that other MPUC commissioners have made clear through statements at public hearings: the interests of the public are in conflict with the legislative mandate for industrial wind.
Wind generates electricity that cannot be stored, at times when it cannot be used, at great cost to consumers. Xcel Energy recently stated that without federal subsidies, wind rates would rise from $40 to $70 per megawatt hour.
Citizens pay both taxes and electric bills. We already bear the total cost.
The only thing wind turbines generate reliably is renewable energy credits to fuel the carbon exchanges for cap and trade. European carbon exchanges have already proven themselves a hot-bed of fraud and corruption.
Minnesota law states the MPUC “must” apply more stringent county standards to a permit, unless there is “good cause” not to. Anderson never articulated “good cause,” but she threw out the Goodhue County ordinance. “I don’t like it” was the only reason she gave.
When forced to choose between her legislative mandates and the public interest, Anderson chose her mandates. Removing her from the MPUC was a step in the right direction.
Faux environmental groups and crony capitalists have dictated energy policy in Minnesota for too long. “Energy policy of the lobbyist, by the lawyers, for their corporate clients” needs to be replaced with “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”