The local paper is reporting that electricity rates have been climbing at shocking rates over the last two decades and having a marked impact on the state's business climate:
The price of electricity has shot up faster in Wisconsin than in all but five other states since 2000, which could pose a threat to the state's economic competitiveness, a new analysis by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says.
Wisconsin businesses and homeowners are paying more than most surrounding states, as the state continues to pay for power plant upgrades that followed near-brownouts in the late 1990s.
That, coupled with rising natural gas and coal prices, has pushed rates up. The state's electricity prices, which ranked 11th-lowest in the nation in 1990, now rank 20th-highest, the report found.
"We need to recognize that energy prices really do have an effect on the competitiveness of the state," said Kyle Christianson, policy research analyst at the nonpartisan Taxpayers Alliance. "We're talking about trying to attract employers and adding new jobs, and particularly in a manufacturing-intensive economy like Wisconsin, energy prices are a major cost of doing business."
And despite what the radio squawkers or their echo chamber on the right side of the Cheddarsphere would have you believe, it has nothing to do with those evil unions, taxes, cap and trade or any of the other ecofriendly laws and regulations.
But don't expect the TEA Parties, Americans for Prosperity or any of these other fools holding a rally in front of We Energies anytime soon. After all, these "grassroots" groupies are being sponsored and propped up by the likes of these very culprits.
Wisconsin Energy Corp. said Tuesday its profit in the third quarter nearly doubled, as customers used record amounts of electricity during a hot, humid summer.
The higher profit for We Energies' parent company was also linked to an electricity price increase that hit customers in January, as well as completion of the utility's first new power plant in Oak Creek.
Net income from continuing operations was $112.3 million or 95 cents a share, up 93% from $58.2 million or 49 cents a share in last year’s third quarter. The results were 9 cents higher than the projection of 12 Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.
Sales in the third quarter rose by 19%, or $157.7 million, to $973.2 million.
The TEA Parties, AFP and the rest are nothing more than a very well executed exercise of misdirection and distraction. While they've gotten their base all riled up and mad as hell at the government, they continue to plunder and loot us even as they encourage their followers to howl even louder.
I just wonder if their followers will wake up and smell the coffee before they allow the country to be driven all the way over the brink.