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View Diary: Duke Energy wants to shift cost of closing coal ash ponds to customers (19 comments)

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  •  Aren't operating costs -normally- passed on? (3+ / 0-)
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    Chas 981, benamery21, brasilaaron

    It sounds to me like the argument being made is "we were getting cheap power because the cost of cleanup was not included, so we should continue to get cheap power". It's like a gas station that set its pump price too low. You don't get to demand that because of their mistake they can't charge actual price any more and you don't get to demand that their prices be competitive with other stations. If they want to add a few cents per gallon for a while to make up their losses, that's entirely up to them.

    If Duke's customers have to pay actual cost for coal-fired power, that might inspire more change than all the protests in the world could. And if Duke chooses to simply reduce profits and the shareholders take the hit, ditto. But it is their choice to make.

    And if Duke has violated regulations on its ash ponds and has to pay fines as well, that's got to come out of someone's pockets too, either shareholders or customers or both. Either way, another incentive to change.

    •  It's certainly better to do that (0+ / 0-)

      than to pass it on to neighbors or taxpayers.

      Too often, environmental dumping is ignored, until years later the neighbors and taxpayers have to figure out how to clean up somebody else's mess (and pay for it).

      It's appealing to penalize corporate managers and stockholders when they've done wrong, and fines are appropriate in many cases.  But the bottom line is:  Energy users ("customers") should pay the costs of producing energy, including clean-up and environmental expenses.  If that inspires them to use less energy... great!

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