Sun’s Jay Hancock Is on Fire – Finally

Remember my clueless blogger posts?  Back in September and October 2010, I did a series of posts on some horribly ignorant stories Baltimore Sun business columnist Jay Hancock did on PATH.  Several of those posts recommended that Mr. Hancock needed to do more research.

Well, it looks like Mr. Hancock took my advice.  Here is what he has been writing lately:

Maryland’s economy has begun growing again after the recession.

And even with conservation, even with the revolution of efficient lighting and proliferating solar panels, we’re going to need new, large, cleaner generators.

But rather than delivering them, deregulation has pretty much ensured they’ll never arrive. PJM, heavily influenced by power companies, has produced a set of rules in which the companies collect billions for owning generation capacity — basically pure profit on top of whatever they spend to run a plant.

The capacity charge, which I have figured costs a typical BGE household $175 a year, was supposed to incentivize the companies to build generators for Maryland. But why should they? New plants would lower the capacity bonus, and right now they’re getting rich doing nothing.

Back in October, Mr. Hancock said this:

The end of the Calvert Cliffs project makes it even more crucial to approve the PATH and TRAIL transmission lines from the west.

Now, he says this:

It’s time for Maryland to stop waiting, stop playing the victim and take control of its fate. The Public Service Commission has pointed the way. In a little noticed, pre-New Year filing, the PSC published a blueprint for building new generation plants and requiring BGE or Potomac Electric Power Co. — or both — to buy that electricity.

Congratulations, Mr. Hancock.  You have finally caught up to what us NIMBYs (as you called us in September) have been saying for the last three years.

Where did Mr. Hancock have his epiphany?  At a Washington, DC meeting of the American Public Power Association last week.

Of course, Mr. Hancock could have learned the APPA’s position on PJM’s failed capacity market system by reading The Power Line’s often viewed post titled What is PJM?.  In that June 2009 post, I quoted extensively from an APPA Vice President’s testimony before the PA Public Utilities Commission.

Mr. Hancock has a lot to learn from us NIMBYs.  Maybe he can keep up on his homework now that he is beginning to pick up a few clues.