Federal wind ruling is bad news for consumers
Wednesdays Statesman editorial claiming last weeks ruling is a win for customers is puzzling. If Idaho Power must purchase unlimited amounts of expensive wind energy during light-load periods, creating higher costs to ramp up coal resources when the wind dies that raises rates. Thats not a win for customers.
PURPA is intended to ensure market access, but it also requires customers be held neutral in terms of price. FERCs order ignores this requirement. Idaho Power focuses on keeping rates low, while the editorial speculates about future generation costs without any factual support.
The statement Idaho Power isnt going to phase out coal ignores the fact that the Boardman, Ore., plant is slated for shutdown in 2020. More importantly, our large hydroelectric generation base means Idaho Power has among the lowest carbon emissions of any electric utility in the country. We also have the highest percentage of wind generation capacity of any Northwest utility.
FERCs order is contrary to the interests of Idahoans, and harmful to our customers. It addresses issues currently before the Public Utilities Commission. We are preparing to challenge the order as part of our commitment to provide safe, reliable, fair-priced electricity to our customers. Learn more at getpluggedin.com.
BILL SHAWVER, corporate communication director, Idaho Power
Alternative suppliers face tough challenges
Mr. Hayen (letters, Alternative power, Sept. 11) is correct in stating that there is no viable electrical power storage system. Electrical power generated by sources such as wind and solar cannot be counted on to coincide with the power companys demand. Such sources could (at least in Idaho) be used when they are available to pump water back into reservoirs for future use in hydroelectric power production, which can be coordinated with demand. It seems that the rate that the power company pays for this stored energy should be competitive to the companys cost to produce comparable energy by conventional means.
If in 2012 the alternative energy suppliers cannot generate and store their energy and make a return on and return of their investment when paid at this rate, either they must figure out how to operate more efficiently or wait until market conditions change so that they can operate profitably.
JON CARTER, Meridian
Government cant pay for all medical needs
The nonpartisan chief actuary, Centers for Medicare/Medicaid, warned, Financial projections for Medicare do not represent reasonable expectations for actual program operations ... short range (from unsustainable reductions in physician payments) or long range (statutory reductions in price updates ... will not be viable). The calculated alternative using more reasonable figures results in even higher costs. Medicare will rely on the treasurys general revenues for over 45 percent of expenses this year. By law, this situation requires a president to submit, within 15 days of his next budget, a detailed legislative proposal to prevent the shortfall. Obama has never complied with this requirement, which has been in effect every year of his term. Instead, the health care law raids over $500 billion from Medicare. Obama claims this makes Medicare solvent while paying for the new law.
Ive heard no congressmen say anything but, We must save Medicare. Government has no bottomless pit of money. The $16 trillion debt is more than the entire earnings of all Americans combined.
The rich dont have more than the total wealth of all Americans combined.
Congress should stop pretending government can pay for everyones medical needs with their health care law and retirement needs with their Social Security. These programs should have never been implemented.
DARRYL FORD, Caldwell
Expensive diamonds go with her wardrobe
Just the facts.
Cathy Parsons (letters, Sept. 13) may be viewing the elections via emotion. She needs to seek out the facts, then she can comment directly.
I would like to point out that Michelle Obama is using her position as the wife of a president to do her own thing, at the taxpayers expense. Her trip to Spain cost $467,000, and that is only what could be seen on a public record. Her trip to her brother, 11-vehicle motorcade (I was not aware she was the president), the cost of an airplane, the cars, the personnel cost is beyond belief.
She snuck away at night to go to Aspen, Colo., where it cost thousands of tax dollars for her and her entourage.
Hundred-dollar dresses? Please, she was wearing diamond cuffs worth $42,000 and on and on. Designers give her dresses and the rest she buys. She may buy $100 dresses, but they are few and far between. We the taxpayer have paid this year for 42 days of vacation trips. It is public knowledge how wasteful she really is. Mrs. Romney pays for her own designer clothes. Use Google to see spending by Michelle.
JAN BARSBY, Middleton
Nothing cheap about Michelles clothing
Cathy Parsons, crawl out from under your rock. People, along with the liberal mainstream media, only seem to be interested in the cost of the clothing of Republican women. The media choose not to report on Michelle Obamas high-priced clothing; however, they are very interested in Ann Romneys.
Although Obama is well-known for boosting sales at J Crew and Target, her expensive fashion rivals that of Ann Romney. From Balenciaga, Helmut Lang, Michael Kors and Marchesa, shes been known to wear big-name, expensive, designer fashions.
During her Hawaiian vacation last December, she was spotted wearing a $2,000 designer sundress. Later she donned a $950 skirt for a visit with troops and their families. In May at the Kids Choice Awards, she wore a $2,250 designer jacket. I still recall those $540 sneakers she wore while serving at a soup kitchen in 2009. How did you miss the $6,800 jacket she wore in July when attending the Olympics reception at Buckingham Palace? Need I continue?
DEB KLICK, Boise
Writer misunderstands purpose of testimony
Bob Jessen (letters, Sept. 17) complained that he and others were puzzled why Sandra Fluke believes we should assist in paying for her contraceptives. Ms. Fluke never asked anyone to pay for her contraceptives. She was actually speaking for others who were using contraceptives to treat medical issues other than contraception.
Let me summarize for him: Ms. Fluke spoke in support of women who work and pay for their health insurance.
Women feel that they should be able to get contraceptives, if they want or need them, with no extra copayment. There is nothing free about them. One of the purposes of this rule is to make it easier for women, especially married women, to exercise their freedom of choice and avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Her testimony, however, was particularly focused on women who use contraceptive pills for health problems unrelated to contraception. Contraceptive pills and devices are only one of the many items that will be available with no copayment under Obamacare rules.
Maybe if Mr. Jessen had been less focused on Ms. Flukes alleged recreational activities, he would have understood her testimony more clearly.
CAROL BENZ, Boise