Last week PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the electric grid for 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) held its 2015 capacity auction. These are the first real, market prices that take Obama’s most recent anti-coal regulations into account, and they prove that he is keeping his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”A vote is scheduled this Wednesday in the Senate to overturn the regulation.
The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.
Why the massive price increases? Andy Ott from PJM stated the obvious: “Capacity prices were higher than last year's because of retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting largely from environmental regulations which go into effect in 2015.” Northern Ohio is suffering from more forced coal-plant retirements than the rest of the region, hence the even higher price.
This regulation is truly insane - or rather, "transformative", in a heavy-handed, liberal-fascist sort of way. If this reg is not overturned, and if its inspiration is not tossed out on the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue in November, then I guess the lights will literally be going out all over America.
Update: West Virginia's Democratic leadership is feeling the heat.
In a move showing how politically toxic President Barack Obama has become in parts of the country, three prominent West Virginia Democrats announced Monday they will not attend the Democratic National Convention in September.
Those opting out of appearing at the gathering of Democrats from across the country to officially re-nominate Obama for president include Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall.