Sunday, November 15, 2015

 
TENASKA NATURAL GAS GENERATING PLANT APPEARS TO BE ON INDEFINITE HOLD

The Herald is reporting the development of the Tenaska plant is on an indefinite hold.  The reason, falling fuel prices has made Tenaska less competitive,  thereby leaving insufficient buyers to buy the power generated, not already committed to Brownsville.

You will never move forward if you fail to take a chance.  The world energy market while good for the consumer - mostly - has been a disaster for producers. 

So now the question becomes, if Tenaska cannot commit to a time frame for development of the plant because it has no buyers for the electricity, how much longer must BPUB rate payers have to pay a higher rate to fund the non-existent plant? 

The city commission needs to take a serious look at this issue.  The problem is, five years from now the price of fossil fuels could double and the cost of natural gas electricity could be a steal - but the plant was never built. 

But the city and BPUB needs to sit down with Tenaska and get a straight answer. Do they or do they not have a consumer base to buy the 600 megawatts they need to sell before they build the plant.  If they cannot make the commitment then within the terms of the agreement the BPUB Board needs to pull out of the deal and begin the process of lowering the rates the people pay.

There was no con here.  There was basically dead silence when President Obama stopped the Keystone pipeline.  Why?  The U.S. fossil fuel industry is overwhelmed with fossil fuel which originates in the U.S. and do not want our limited facilities used by the Canadians.  The market is already flooded without adding more Canadian product.

No one predicted what is happening world wide with the glut of fossil fuels.  Venezuela with the largest reserves in the world is bankrupt as a consequence of the fossil fuel glut and incredibly stupid economic policies.

My BPUB bill has consistently gone down since the rate increases because I have taken action.  This month's bill is $60.00 less than last years for the same time period.  I am saving on the AC and water efficient toilets for which the BPUB pays a $50.00 rebate, which is half the cost of the toilet.

But while I agree a change in the supply of fossil fuels world wide has brought down the cost of generating electricity, I cannot support consumers of the BPUB continuing to pay higher rates to fund the construction of a natural gas plant, which by all indications seems to no longer be an option.

To the extent without penalty the BPUB can cancel the contract so as to be able to lower rates until such time as Tenaska can sell its 600 megawatts, the BPUB needs to end its association with Tenaska.

It is no one's fault.  Every fossil fuel producing country is feeling the effects of the over production of fossil fuels. The fact the Republicans did not declare the end of humanity as we know it when President Obama ended the Keystone pipeline proves even the U.S. fossil fuel companies saw the Keystone pipeline as bad business for the U.S. based companies.

The plan was good, but overproduction killed it.  It is time to put Tenaska to bed and for the BPUB to lower rates. I know it is futile for the city and the BPUB to investigate whether Tenaska oversold its market base through fraud, but I believe the representations made by Tenasks need to be revisited.  But in the end what has happened to the price of fuel was not predictable.  It is time we accept the new reality and move on from Tenaska to the extent our contract with Tenaska allows for the BPUB to back out of the deal. 

When the price of fuel goes back up, and it will then the BPUB can reenter a new agreement with Tenaska.

A SIDE NOTE ON AIRLINES

The airlines are saving a fortune on fuel, but continue to raise the cost of flying.  Three months out from Christmas I could not get a good fair.  I could not even cash in 25,000 miles for a ticket.  Hell I cannot even cash in 25,000 for NY for March for my birthday.  I refuse to spend 50,000 miles, so I am going to pay cash for March.  The price of the ticket with lower fuel costs is about $50.00 more than last year.

The airline industry suffered losses for years.  The low cost of fuel with higher fairs is allowing the airlines to build their reserves.  For the industry this is good, but bad for the consumer.  Airline tickets is the one place consumers have not benefited from the lower cost of fuel.

BE WARNED OF AIRLINE CREDIT CARD SCAM

The other night I found an AA fair of $566 with good arrival and departure times.  Since September United arrival times to NY and departure times back to Brownsville have been horrible.  They just were not an option.

So I decided on the American ticket because they were running an ad that if I applied for AA Advantage when I booked I would get a $100 off.  So I chose the flights with good times and then followed the directions for applying for the AA Advantage Card.  They approve me for $4000.  But then they tell you, you cannot use the card for 10 days until you receive it in the mail.  Well by then there will no longer be a ticket for $566,  AA blamed Citibank and Citibank blamed AA for putting up a misleading ad.  I cancelled the card.  Christmas will be in Brownsville, but my B-Day will be in New York.

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