Saturday, March 30, 2024

Juicing profits ...

While dark money giving to tax exempt groups is legal, a number of utilities have faced criticism for it. Composite: The Guardian/Getty Images/Unsplash

Reading this Guardian piece about the power companies gouging us rubes hits home as CT residents are getting hosed big time by Eversource by paying ever-increasing rates based on little evidence said rates are justified outside the fact you gotta juice profits. Seems Michigan is leading the way to eliminating this scam, hopefully other states will soon follow as the kind of crap Eversource, in particular, is doing goes beyond the pale without question.

US power companies have made political donations of at least $215m to dark money groups in recent years, according to a new analysis of 25 for-profit utilities, amid growing concerns around how they wield influence.

Such secretive donations to barely regulated non-profit groups have helped utilities increase electricity prices, hinder solar schemes and helped elect sympathetic legislators in recent years.

While dark money giving to tax-exempt groups is legal, a number of utilities have faced criticism for it. In Arizona and Alabama, power companies faced blowback after they used dark money to aid the election of friendly regulators. In Michigan, regulators barred another company from using dark money entirely after it spent $43m on politics in just three years.

It gets better ...

In another instance of ethically questionable actions, Florida Power and Light (FPL) used dark money to interfere with ballot initiatives, and the elections of five politicians who in part aimed to tackle the high prices of electric bills and environmental and climate goals.

“We are captive payers. To be funding lobbying against clean energy and climate that customers actually want goes against the public interest,” said Jean Su, a senior attorney at environmental group Center for Biological Diversity.

Customers can also lose out.

This was a scenario in Arizona when, in 2014, power company Arizona Public Service gave $10.7m to dark money groups that donated to key regulatory commission races. The two Republican commissioners backed by the groups won. In 2017, they went on to support the power company’s request for a $95m-a-year increase in electric bills, which ultimately was passed down to customers.

It took a subpoena from a regulator to finally prove in 2019 that the company had been behind the political spending.

Regarding Eversource ...


Government Actions:

Government Action: BBB reports on known government actions involving business’ marketplace conduct:

Eversource 2021

The following describes a government action that has been resolved by either a settlement or a decision by a court or administrative agency. If the matter is being appealed, it will be noted below.

On 10/27/2021, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved an agreement between The State of Connecticut and Eversource. This accountability plan seeks to address State identified deficiencies in Eversource’s handling of their response to Tropical Storm Isaias, improve Connecticut governances within Eversource, and to stabilize electric distribution rates until at least January 2024 for Connecticut consumers.

Under the agreement, Eversource will return $65 million dollars back to the customers in the form of credits on the December 2021 and January 2022 bills. An additional $10 million dollars from Eversource will be directed to assist customers having difficulty paying their bills, while an already established $28.4 million will continue to appear as a credits on all customer bills. This existing credit showing on bills as “TS Isaias Performance Penalty” is the result of a prior PURA penalty that Eversource, under this new agreement, has promised not to appeal.

This above outlined agreement was for settlement purposes only and should not be considered as an admission of guilt or finding of violation of the law. For more details, please click here.

We won't talk about the unneeded upgrades of telephone towers and clear cutting trees in my town but this one review regarding this utility kinda says it all. 

Eleanor's not alone ...

Any questions?

Thursday, March 28, 2024

2.8C & counting

2.8C and counting applies as banks start to renege on supporting environmentally friendly projects because it costs too much to do business due to regulatory demands but you already know that, right?

The Dali ...

About three years ago, yours truly wrote a piece about fragility and how 
it relates to supply chains. To whit ...

Well, the bit relevant to container ships is most apt considering the disaster befalling the Baltimore Bridge and the Dali, a cargo ship capable of holding nearly 10,000 containers at a time. The most interesting part of the NYTimes article is the fact the Dani's far from the largest ship of its kind as depicted by the chart seen below. 

From this perspective, the acme of producing stuff on planet earth has arrived as climate change and the inherent disruptions it will cause will negatively impact how the world does business as civilization moves further into the 21st century.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The only constant in life is change - Heraclitus

2Step/R. Moran

Since the beginning of time, man’s reality distortion field rules as our tiny take on existence
is but a dust mote in god’s eye, something readily understood by Heraclitus, in 500 BC, stating 
The only constant in life is change. 

Ignore this at your peril.

Here are the essential characteristics that define the success or failure of every endeavor.

500BC: The Art of War

Competency and situational awareness determine the success of any given initiative.
Selling the Big Lie, aka Propaganda, drives advertising, politics and war.

The "art" of persuasion


 All we lack is a religious genius capable of uprooting outmodedreligious practices and putting new ones in their place. We lack traditions and ritual. One day soon National Socialism will be the religion

Subjectivity rules based on the fact every person views reality in her own way.

The word assume kills clear thinking as it remains forever the ass of you and me.
“Question everything.” - Einstein
Inventing ways to “explain” the unknowable never ceases to amaze.
Politics and the English Language - Orwell
Governments lie. - I. F. Stone
Misery loves company.
It’s all about the money.
News as entertainment medium
Tech never sleeps.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Belly Button lint :)

George Carlin delivers a standup routine.

Praise be Saint George.

Profane, hilarious and all too intelligent, Carlin mattered ...

Laugh and cry at the same time, he's Diogenes using a mike, not a lantern, to discover the truth.
This particular riff indirectly channels Nathan Jessup's You Can't Handle the Truth! in A Few Good Men in more ways than one.

To whit:

Save the trees! Save the bees! Save the whales! Save those snails!

And the greatest arrogance of all: “Save the planet!” What?! Are these fucking people kidding me?! Save the planet?

We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet! We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the fucking planet?!

I’m getting tired of that shit!

It gets better.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet, nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine; the people are fucked! Difference! The planet is fine! Compared to the people, The planet is doing great: been here four and a half billion years!

Do you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here what? 100,000? Maybe 200,000? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over 200 years. 200 years versus four and a half billion.

And we have the conceit to think that somehow, we’re a threat?

There it is.

The planet is fine. The people are fucked.

The planet isn’t going anywhere; we are! We’re going away! Pack your shit, folks! We’re going away and we won’t leave much of a trace either, thank God for that. Maybe a little Styrofoam, maybe.

The planet will be here, we’ll be long gone; just another failed mutation; just another closed-end biological mistake; an evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas, a surface nuisance.

It's different now ... rev II

Crunching data at the level of Google's Gemini Pro is truly insane. Watch the video to see why. 

It's different now ... rev II

Monday, March 04, 2024

Night Moves

Had fun doing this short clip walking around the environs of Fairfield County in the dark. :)

Sunday, March 03, 2024

The singularity ... is already here

The video says it all. 

It's already here. 

Vinge is right. Click here to read his full paper. 

Saturday, March 02, 2024

Phase Transitions/Winter 2024

Over the space of 4 days, winter 2024 went through several phase transitions from light wet snow to bright crisp days with powder conditions rarely seen in New England. Seems global warming took a holiday for a change. Enjoy. :)