Maine’s fuel going up…& stinky regulations…

Posted: 06/01/2009 in taxation
Tags: , , , ,
Gas prices are definitely on their way back up! Another penny per gallon hike was noticed as I drove by a couple of the stations today. California’s gas is climbing faster though, as this next video shows…

You know, this CO2 crap is really getting out of hand. I hear now that there are some people trying to make us eat a more carbonless diet to reduce our personal greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. Get real people! There is no global warming threat. Never has been, never will be. Take a look at this video clip that suggests how we can alter our eating habits and save the world that doesn’t need saving…

One of the long term drawbacks that following this ludicrous fantasy of global warming is that the price we pay for our energy will start to climb, even here in Maine. The harder we grip onto the Al Gore mantra the more costly it will become. We’ve partaken in two RGGI auctions to date, and I can almost guarantee the we’ll be seeing higher rates as the MPUC approves them. They have no choice since they are in on these auctions. According to the PUC’s Standard Rate Chart, The rate for 07/08 was $0.087994 per KWH for residential and small business, and climbed to $0.099739 per KWH for the 08/09 term ending in February. What will we see for the 09/10 period?

The Washington Times has an interesting article on the future of energy under the Great B.O…

New energy leaders comfortable with high-priced gasolineIf consumers were angry about $4-a-gallon gasoline, imagine how they will feel if it reaches $8 under President-elect Barack Obama’s watch, writes Ben Lieberman, senior policy analyst in the Heritage Foundation’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. The incoming administration and new Congress have indicated that they may reverse pro-domestic oil drilling measures. Energy Secretary-nominee Steven Chu has said that the U.S. needs to discourage driving by boosting gasoline prices to European levels. The Washington Times

But we’re having problems across the board, and energy costs may wind up being a minor inconvenience compared to what our new Legislature here in Maine may dish out to us in the new session. A Forbes article speaks of the budget committee hearings that got underway today (01-05) in light of the projected $140 million revenue shortfall. Cuts are coming, and it’s about time. Let’s hope they stick this time. We’ve gone through budget problems before here in Maine and programs get cut, only to have the funding reinstated after the media frenzy dies down.

Maine suffers from an anal view of taxation from the Democratic control over all levels of government. More taxation and more regulation is the key to a growing economy they say! Well, it may help grow the government, but it sure hasn’t done much for growing the economy. A good example of the excessive regulatory environment we have to deal with here in Maine comes from an article in the Biddeford Journal Tribune regarding ‘odor control.’ The article says “A draft of proposed regulations for odor control could make odors from waste facilities such as Maine Energy easier to regulate.” You have to wonder why we would need more regulation just for the odor of a plant. It sounds to me to be a pointed attempt to regulate one particular company out of business.

Maine Energy, a trash to energy plant in Saco has seemingly been the recipient of a negative campaign against them for some time. Saco even has a specific webpage addressing the issue and says “As of July 1, 2007 the City of Saco no longer has a contractual agreement with Maine Energy to handle the City’s waste. The Odor protocol was a part of the larger agreement, meaning that the previous protocol no longer exists.” They also list a phone number at the local police department to call if you have an odor complaint. Presumably the cops will take care of the problem. Like they have the technical skills to take care of an odor. But then, they should know about odor, I guess. The article concludes by saying “I’m hoping it would help,” said Johnston, adding, “I’m putting my faith in the court.” Johnston filed a lawsuit against Maine Energy this summer regarding the “offensive smell” that he said the facility emits.”

Another hot topic is the issue surrounding the remodeling of the Maine State Pier in Portland. Back to square one they go, and tonight the Portland City Council will be discussing options and possibilities. No matter how they look at the project, it’s going to be an uphill battle given the great economic picture we have to look at today.

Retail sales are dropping, manufacturing is in decline and real estate is slumping like a bag of wet noodles. A Morning Sentinel article says that “Maine’s Realtors sold 22 percent fewer existing single-family homes in November, compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Maine Real Estate Information System Inc., which tabulates Realtors’ sales.” Not looking good for the construction trades, is it?

But maybe the big news is still energy related in that the AP released an article a while ago that says that “Eleven Eastern states have agreed to adhere to a new fuel standard that they hope will reduce greenhouse gases…the states will decide on a single standard for the entire region. He says it will create a larger market for cleaner fuels and the development of related technology. The low carbon fuel standard requires a reduction in average greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy. It applies to fuel for transportation and home heating.” Sigh. Back on the road to $5.00 a gallon I suppose.

That’s Dan’s Maine view for today, January 05, 2009


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