Besides, the mailer made two things pretty clear. First, not much would change with respect to energy generation in the state, and choosing the "green" option was stupid. Even with the subsidies, the "Clean Energy Option" mailer was forced to admit in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section what I already knew. Out of six Q&A's in this section, four of them assured me that Potomac Edison would be providing my electricity no matter what. How will it do that? By maintaining fossil fuel sources of electricity to supply most of the state's power, including enough such sources to replace the so-called "green" sources of power for when those "green sources" aren't actually providing any power, which is most of the time.
And one of the Q&A's assured me that I "can switch back at any time at no cost and with no interruption of service." Why did they feel the need to inform me of that? Because of what the sixth Q&A revealed:
Q. What will happen to my electricity bills?What's that? My power bill will be higher? Electricity is already expensive in Maryland. I'm sure it has nothing to do with our nanny state government always trying to control market forces. Of course, the mailer didn't mention how much "a little more" is, which is wise considering that we already pay about 20 percent more than the national average. Perhaps First Energy was worried that truth-telling might lead them to acknowledging that the road they are urging people to take could lead here:
A. In short, supporting new renewable energy development costs a little more than delivering polluting energy. That's because the energy you are choosing is better for you and the planet. When you add more renewable energy to the electric grid, you are reducing toxic waste and air pollution, making the world a healthier place with cleaner air.
The South Australian Government been forced to beg fossil fuel operators to bring mothballed plants back online, to contain wild swings in electricity spot price caused by unstable renewable production, prices which last month peaked at $14,000 / MWh – up from more normal prices of $100 / MWh which prevailed before political favouritism towards renewables messed up the market.But hey, who doesn't want "sustainable" energy?
The mailer also declined to acknowledge several other salient facts that kind of undermine the myth of "clean renewable energy." First, in Maryland, there are no wide open deserts of the sort ideally suited for solar power farms. Perhaps this is why First Energy, the parent company of Potomac Edison, which provides my electricity, according to a Q&A section on its website, owns no solar power generation capacity and has no plans to develop any:
Q. I have the very best property for a wind or solar farm. Who can I talk to about leasing my property or partnering with the Company?So they buy it from elsewhere. Except they don't, because availability is limited. But they pretend to, and they charge you more for your power even though it probably comes from coal or natural gas. It's not like you can direct energy to the user based on its source.
A. The FE operating companies do not own generation and are not looking for locations to site any generation.
They also don't mention that solar power farms fry birds by the thousands ever year. Might dampen your green-energy enthusiasm.
As for wind power, the turbines kill birds prodigiously. Also, the best wind power sites are hard to get to, making maintenance a problem. And, or course, wind turbine failures tend to be kind of spectacular, as anyone who has had a ceiling fan get out of balance can attest:
So, yeah, I opted to stop the madness. Now if only Maryland would allow First Energy to build another nuclear power plant.