Lawmakers are rushing a costly decision.
Larry G. Berg serves as director, forecast and planning at El Paso Electric Co.
Freedom from fossil fuels, fluctuating energy costs, unclean air and climate change aren’t just dreams of the everyday environmentalist any longer. Much of the world and key industry leaders have acknowledged that human actions likely have contributed, in some measure, to the current state of our environment. And greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from electric generating plants represent a significant portion of the total. Clearly, all stakeholders, from electric generators to end-use consumers, must feel a responsibility to address this matter with thoughtful planning and effective solutions.
As we navigate the choppy waters of transition to a new model of operation in the electric industry that is driven, in part, by the need to better protect the world in which we live, an important question has been asked and debated: What will be the cost impact to end-use customers if lawmakers enact currently proposed federal legislation regarding carbon emissions? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is proving to be elusive with heated debate having raged for months. Cost estimates for climate legislation seem to be as variable as the models initially predicting the causes and effects of climate change itself.