This is simply unreal. Tommywonk has John Austin and Patricia Gearity’s analysis of NRG’s approach to “negotiating” with Delaware (i.e you and me).

(Tom’s comments are the non-block quotes italics.)

However, it appears the rest of the settlement was driven not by NRG’s technical inability to meet Regulation 1146 requirements, but by corporate financial considerations. NRG made no secret of its refusal to comply with Regulation 1146 for Units 1 and 2 (now 50 years old with no pollution controls and no capital expenses). Compliance would require retrofitting the old units at great expense, or shutting them down. Since Units 1 and 2 provide NRG with massive profits, it makes business sense to keep them operating as long as possible.

John and Pat have it exactly right. With the capital costs long since paid for, NRG can operate these units as cash cows, throwing off profits without the need for further investment in them.

However, the deal to delay reduction of toxic sulfur dioxide, or SO2, and nitrogen oxide, or NOx, comes with a big price tag for Delaware. According to the Office of Management & Budget, each reduction of one ton of SO2 saves approximately $7,300 in health care costs and mortality-based benefits. Reduction in NOx emissions saves $1,300 per ton in mortality-based benefits alone.

“Mortality-based benefits” is a term used by economists to quantify the cost of people dying prematurely.
The settlement allows NRG to emit 23,000 tons more sulfur dioxide from 2009-2011 than is allowed under Regulation 1146. Based on OMB’s calculation for SO2, delaying full compliance with Regulation 1146 will cost $167.9 million in extra health care costs and mortality-based benefits.

How brazen can NRG get? Can someone explain to me how NRG’s business model is any different from having the right to spray machine gun fire down Union street in Milton?

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