Commenting on Washington, D.C.-based utility Pepco’s application to the Obama administration for $254 million in federal stimulus grants to upgrade its grid, Pepco region president Thomas Graham said in a statement,
“Every dollar we obtain from the federal government offsets the cost customers would otherwise pay to make these important improvements to the system.”
While this is technically true, it overlooks the fact that Pepco customers will be paying for the improvements through taxes.
Moreover, since virtually all utilities plan on tapping into the taxpayer honeypot, all ratepayers and taxpayers will be paying for all the money utilities obtain from the Obama stimulus ATM.
To paraphrase Milton Friedman, there is no such thing as a “free grid improvement.”
If Graham doesn’t know that, then Pepco needs to hire smarter executives. If Graham did know that, then Pepco needs to hire more honest executives.