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Real Clear Energy: Money & Power: New FOIA’d Documents Offer Ugly Candor About ‘Green Energy’

The article below was originally written by Chris Horner and it appeared at Real Clear Energy. I've added my own commentary within the text of the article below. "Recently, excerpts from notes taken at a meeting at the Rockefeller family mansion between activists, donors and political appointees emerged. They contain further revelations, beyond those first reported. These notes quote numerous, high-ranking political appointees from state government making quite clear that the costly lessons of scandalous Obama-era parade of high-profile and costly green energy boondoggles changed nothing. “Green energy” remains about money and power. As in keeping power, not generating it. The handwritten and typed notes...

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Our Perspective: Xcel Quarterly Profits up 35 Percent, Buoyed by Rate Increases

The Star Tribune published a bombshell story last Thursday entitled "Xcel Quarterly Profits up 35 Percent, Buoyed by Rate Increases," which reported Xcel Energy's quarterly profits for the last quarter of 2019, but unfortunately, unless people understand energy policy in Minnesota, they would have no idea why this story is so explosive. According to the Star Tribune article: "Xcel Energy’s fourth-quarter profits rose 35% and beat Wall Street forecasts, aided by rate increases in several states." Higher electric and natural gas profit margins, primarily due to rate increases, added 37 cents per share in 2019, said a report Thursday by Travis Miller, a...

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Wisconsin Utilities Rake in Increased Profits as Wind and Solar, Transmission Spending Increases

Government-approved monopoly utility companies in the Midwest continue to pad their guaranteed corporate profits by building more wind and solar installations, along with the transmission lines needed to transport the energy generated by them to far-away population centers. This time, it is Wisconsin utilities that are doing the profit padding by adopting the same language used by Xcel Energy to mislead consumers on the cost of their electricity, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. "Alliant Energy announced a 7% increase in its 2020 dividends Wednesday as it reported earnings of $226 million in the third quarter of 2019. That’s up almost 10 percent...

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Xcel Energy CEO Made $26.2 Million in 2018 As Your Electric Bill Reached a New All-Time High

The Star Tribune recently ran a piece announcing that Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke was the third-highest paid CEO in Minnesota in 2018 with a total pay of $26.2 million for the year. This wouldn't necessarily be outrageous compensation if Xcel Energy were a private company competing for your businesses in a free market, but the fact that Xcel customers are literally forced by the government to buy their electricity from the  government-approved monopoly makes this level of compensation unconscionable. Why does the Xcel CEO get paid so much? According to the Star Tribune: "Fowke’s annual bonus is based on five factors: employee...

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Should EV Charging Stations Be Regulated as Utilities? Kentucky Joins Majority to Say ‘No,’ Minnesota Should Too

Last week, Kentucky regulators ruled that electric vehicle charging stations were not considered utilities under state law, according to Utility Dive. In doing so, Kentucky joins Iowa, Vermont and California in determining that chargers do not provide a public service in the same way that other electric services do. This makes sense, because owning an electric car is a luxury item. The graph below from the Energy Information Administration shows most electric car owners make more than $100,000. Not surprisingly, most of the household that own electric cars also have a regular car. Therefore, the argument that electric car chargers are a vital public...

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Utility Dive Names Xcel Energy “Utility of the Year.” We’re Less Impressed

Utility Dive, a website that covers the ongoings of the electric utility industry, has named Xcel Energy the Utility of the Year for 2018, commending the company for retiring coal-fired power plants and investing billions in future wind, solar, and natural gas installations. As for us, we don't think Xcel should be applauded for pursuing policies that result in higher profits for Xcel shareholders at the expense of the families and businesses who have no choice but to buy their electricity from the monopoly utility. ...

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If Wind Energy Saves Ratepayers Money, Why Does Xcel Brag About How Wind Investments Increase Profits for Shareholders?

Wind energy is supposed to be the cheapest energy source available, providing energy savings to Minnesota businesses and families.  Just read this opening paragraph of a StarTribune article, which claims that “The cost of wind energy in Minnesota, even without tax subsidies, now appears lower than that of electricity produced from both natural gas and coal.”  The validity of this statement can be proven false simply by using public data provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As you can see from the graph below, the cost of electricity from wind farms is more expensive than both coal and natural gas plants.  Figure 1 The capacity factor of a power plant can...

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Confessions of a Former Xcel Energy Employee- Can Minnesota Avoid Wreckage Seen in Colorado?

A tell-all from Duane Richards, a former Xcel Energy employee, who plainly states that the company's "Steel for Fuel" agenda is an attempt to bolster shareholder profits at the expense of Colorado ratepayers, who will be stuck footing the bill. We can learn a lot in Minnesota from our friends in the west about the wisdom of pushing for greater renewable energy mandates, as some candidates for public office are advocating....

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