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Balance Key in Addressing Energy Grid, Household Cost Concerns

Balance Key in Addressing Energy Grid, Household Cost Concerns
(Threeyuth Chursuwan/Dreamstime)

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Thursday, 04 January 2018 01:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Several areas of the country lack the infrastructure to efficiently move the energy resources families need for basic heating and electricity on high-demand days without any bottlenecks or grid reliability issues.

And as such, prices for millions have climbed.

Large portions of our population are living in poverty, and they regularly spend a far larger percentage of their take-home income on energy-related expensive than those in other income brackets. In extreme cases, it can be 50 percent or more – meaning they’re often tasked with picking between heating or filling their tanks and putting food on the table.

The Mid-Atlantic religion, for instance, has collectively paid 117 percent above of the national average for electricity over the last two years, according to a recent Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) analysis. In New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has opposed several pipeline expansion proposals and implemented a hydraulic fracturing ban, it’s 141 percent.

It’s worse in New England, where states paid, on average, 151 percent more than the national average, climbing to 154 percent in Massachusetts and 161 percent in Connecticut, two states that have a history of rejecting infrastructure proposals – even if it includes renewable energy like the offshore wind farm that Cape Wind Associates just tabled in Nantucket Sound, following years of being stonewalled.

Across the Midwest, households have fared much better, paying on average 104 percent above the national average for electricity. Yet a rising wave of opposition against energy infrastructure that pits energy sources against one another, when opponents really want none of them, serves as a stark sign that price increases may be on the horizon.

Erecting unnecessary political barriers that increase energy prices is counterproductive to what all lawmakers claim they want: a reliable, resilient energy grid that lowers costs for families and small businesses while employing the best technology and science to protect our environment.

There are plenty of challenges facing the American energy grid without petty partisanship.

The physical condition of the energy grid in many regions is deteriorating. Vulnerability to cyberterrorism and physical sabotage is on the rise. New technology and market demands effects our ability to thoroughly integrate different generating resources.

There’s also the task of getting a properly trained workforce to maintain, upgrade and modernize almost every aspect of our energy supply chain from production and generation to transmission, not to mention the need to make all of this happen while protecting the environment.

However, what we routinely see is an all-out political assault on every type of energy resource, generation system and transmission project where only the unattainable will suffice as the only acceptable option.

Yet, we can and should expect more from our public officials and industry leaders.

This is why CEA recently convened an energy forum in Washington D.C., to discuss many of these challenges and possible solutions.

Here’s what we need: the transmission and pipeline proposals that have been rejected, the solar and wind farms yanked from consideration, the nuclear facilities on the verge of shuttering and the expansion of offshore energy exploration, denied, to be brought to the forefront of a thoughtful policy discussion.

We need to consider how more affordable energy produced here helps lighten the burden of families living below the poverty line; how modernizing our energy grid ensures resiliency during inclement weather; and how new materials and construction techniques can be utilized to make the production and transmission of energy even safer for our environment.

Only by engaging in a thoughtful, non-political dialogue will we be able to address the challenges facing our energy grid and help our friends and neighbors struggling with energy costs.

Join us in this conversation as we campaign for America’s energy.

David Holt is president of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).

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Balance Key in Addressing Energy Grid, Household Cost Concerns
balance, key, energy, grid, household, cost
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2018-27-04
Thursday, 04 January 2018 01:27 PM
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