Peter Shumlin, eager to leave some trace hints of helping Vermonters in time his upcoming re-election season, is putting some of his prior seed corn to use. Seed corn in the form of millions squeezed out of Entergy, the company that owns Vermont Yankee, and then using those millions to temporarily drop electricity rates – because he truly cares about the lives of Vermonters.
MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced that the Department of Public Service has reached agreement with key parties in the form of a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Green Mountain Power (GMP), IBM and the Associated Industries of Vermont (AIV) on a total rate decrease of nearly 2.46 percent for GMP customers over the next year beginning in October, 2014.
The Public Service Department and key stakeholders agreed to a 1.46 percent rate decrease, with an additional almost 1 percent decrease that resulted from a revenue sharing agreement credit from operations at Vermont Yankee in 2013. The remaining revenue sharing agreement funds will be delivered entirely to customers over the next three years through a credit on their bills.
A key component of the agreement also freezes IBM’s rates at this level for the next three years.
“At a time when other states in our region are seeing double digit increases in power costs, Vermonters are going to see rates go down this year,” Gov. Shumlin said.
Why are those costs going up, Peter? And why are Vermont’s rates going down?
Vermont’s rate is going down because the Shumlin administration actively extorted Entergy, the owner and operator of Vermont Yankee, into putting millions of dollars into the state’s coffers (never mind the hundreds of millions of dollars of personal income and corporate income taxes that resulted from decades of VY operation that allowed electricity costs to be much lower than national averages) that Peter knew he could then use to offset rates during his next election cycle.
And then take credit for lowering electricity rates when he’s the one primarily responsible for chasing out the lowest-cost provider of electricity in the state’s history, while managing to turn the company upside down on its way out so some more of their money falls out of their pockets into Peter’s political hands, which he then lavishes onto the proletariat. A favor for which I suppose we’re all expected to thank him for.
Peter has a long record of attacking the state’s cheapest energy supplier. Now that that fine work has been completed, he’s now giving Vermonters a chance to thank him for a brief rate reprieve, one that will inevitably disappear shortly after Peter has moved on to bigger and better things.
I’ll thank Peter for his work by doing him the favor of not voting for him again when it’s election season, and Peter’s out hyping up his anti-business, er, pro-business record by touting this rate cut. Peter’s comments make it sound like he’s championing IBM’s interests here in VT, too – a little icing on the electric cake he’s whipping up for us. Let’s remember that a then-Senator Shumlin called IBM’s spokesperson John O’Kane a liar in a public forum. He’s threatened the company with action because he didn’t believe they were sharing all the “numbers” with him. He’s the same governor who happily announced that the Circ Highway – once a critical infrastructure project in Vermont and for IBM’s continued growth, and is now largely a weed farm – will not be built.
Once Vermont Yankee goes off the grid, Vermonters will be forced to pay higher rates for electricity, and be subject to more spot-market pricing for power, since roughly 1/3 of their consistent, reliable, and cheap energy will be gone, helped, in large part, by the same governor who’s touting a temporary rate decrease as a win for Vermonters. Will Peter be in front of cameras taking credit for the inevitable rate increase? And will he also be available for comment when other businesses decide that the cost of doing business in Vermont makes their presence in Vermont financially ruinous?
Congratulations, Peter: Mission Accomplished.