The Montana Standard publishes letters from readers in the Opinion section. Here are this week's letters.
To submit a letter to the editor, go here.
Solar plan issue
Tom Lutey’s May 10, 2019 article explains NorthWestern Energy’s demand charge for new residential solar power customers. I served as the Public Service Commission’s chief economist from the mid 1980s until 2010. I also have an agreement with NWE to exchange energy and donate our annual excess solar energy to NWE.
NWE’s plan raises before the PSC serious public policy issues.
During my PSC career I helped implement federal and state statutes. My experience was that NWE, and MPC previously, did their utmost to impede renewable energy development. A pattern evolved whereby the utility would seek to recover costs for its resources that greatly exceeded the rates it sought to pay its competitors. This is expected monopoly/monopsony behavior that, if left unchecked by the PSC, is discriminatory.
As an existing solar power producer, the NWE letter sent us indicates we can choose to not be impacted by NWE’s demand charge proposal. That we may choose to avoid this charge is little consolation. The number of residential customers who bypass NWE by means of substitute fuels (wood, gas, efficient LED lights etc.,) surely dwarfs the 2,100 who use solar electric panels.
To impose demand charges based on a solar customer’s peak demand vis-a-vis the system peak demand totally ignores the importance of economic cost-based pricing. Even if it was premised on the correlation to the system peak demand, it is discriminatory vis-a-vis other residential customers whose coincident-peak demand is not demand metered.
Michael Lee, Helena
Dems aid Trump
You don’t have to be a fan of President Trump’s to see that House Democrats are playing into his hands — assuring his 2020 reelection.
The mantra “Congress has a duty to the American people to get the facts” (Boston Globe editorial a month ago) sounds noble. But Trump’s weep of unfair treatment will grow stronger in all the red states so long as House Dems waste time and money seeking “the little man who wasn’t … isn’t … there.”
You would think Democrats could make a case for replacing Trump based on their big issues: national health care, living wage for all, improved international relations and (not theirs, but should be) cleaning up the inner cities by providing increased youth job training and opportunity.
Let’s beat the impeachment drum, though it leaves a sound akin to “one hand clapping.”
In sum, the Dems might as well be campaigning for Trump.
Certainly, their behavior makes a strong case for congressional term limits.
Ed Chaberek, Superior
I was looking at the NorthWestern Energy net metering web page (NorthWesternEnergy.com/privategeneration) and was surprised to find it misleading.
The page makes no mention of the fact that at the end of a net meter customer's contract year, the account balance is zeroed out and excess kilowatt hours that were generated by the net meter customer go to NorthWestern for free.
NorthWestern should change the website to include this important piece of information. Better yet, they should use those kilowatt hours to help subsidize low-income households.
Terry Dokken, Missoula
Both the media and many politicians inundate us with warnings of doomsday catastrophes resulting from man-made climate change. One Congresswoman (AOC) actually said, “The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”
Too many people drink the Kool-Aid and believe the hype without ever listening to those climate scientists who disagree. And there are many who disagree that humans are causing global warming, but you never see these dissenters in the media.
That’s because they can illustrate how the climate forecaster’s science is flawed. Of primary concern is how the forecasters have reduced historic temperatures before inputting them into their models. By using lower than actual historic temperatures (which should be fixed and not subject to change), the forecasters predetermine that their models will predict high future temperatures.
Many of the dissenting scientists can be found on Youtube. Here are three relevant Youtube videos. The first is relatively short (15 min), and gives somewhat of a synopsis of the other two, which present much more scientific details. Go to Youtube and type in “Climate Fraud - NOAA’s Global Temperature Dataset”. The second is “Evaluating The Integrity Of Official Climate Records”. And finally, look at “Climategate II, NOAA Whistleblower, Exclusive Background”.
The last is a lengthy video, but well worth the time spent if you are truly interested in the global warming issue. It not only shows how data has been manipulated but also explains the ideology behind why climatologists are predicting global warming. All three sites contain actual quotes of highly regarded global warming forecasters, that question their integrity as scientists.
One of the principal forecasters petitioned the Obama administration to use the RICO Act to stamp out global warming dissenters! If his science is accurate and defendable, why is he afraid of the dissenters? Another, who was a lead author in a major (IPCC) climate report, said, “There is a fine line between telling the truth and being effective“!!!
Before you comment on this opinion letter, review these Youtube sites to see the other side of the climate change issue and then decide if you feel as strongly convinced that man made global warming is real! After studying both sides of the global warming issue, I am much less worried that our children and grandchildren are in danger of man-made global warming.
Gary Kump, Butte
Bullock should resign
Montana Governor Steve Bullock becomes Mr. 22 in the race for the Democratic presidential sweepstakes. Since he’ll be spending most of his time out of state, he should do the honorable thing and immediately resign as governor. A politician cannot serve two masters, so he should put down his veto pen and chase his folly. Resign now, Governor. Let the rest of us get on with taking care of the Treasure State.
Keith Ouzts, Helena