Saturday, January 28, 2006

Energy Trends Have Special Meaning for Memphis

I am still puzzling over Monday's top story in the New York Times by Edmund Andrews.

Here goes:

"At a time when energy prices and industry profits are soaring, the federal government collected little more money last year than it did five years ago from the companies that extracted more than $60 billion in oil and gas from publicly owned lands and coastal waters.

"If royalty payments in fiscal 2005 for natural gas had risen in step with market prices, the government would have received about $700 million more than it actually did, a three-month investigation by The New York Times has found.

"[But due to byzantine federal regulations]... the nation's taxpayers -- collectively, the biggest owner of American oil and gas reserves -- have missed much of the recent energy bonanza."

Now tell me again why Mayor Herenton wants to sell off MLGW? True, our utility does not produce energy. And it's also true that there would be a short-term financial gain. Further, the Mayor has shown little interest in staffing MLGW with energy (or even management) professionals. But where is the long-term benefit for Memphis taxpayers?

The New York Times piece is a cautionary tale for Memphians.

4 comments:

Larry said...

Why does Willie want to sell MLG&W? - Corruption!

It's time to Free Willie thru a Recall.

mike said...

Why does the Mayor want to sell MLG&W? As you note, for the one-time financial windfall, which he apparently thinks will be enough to haul the City out of the financial mess he, his administration, and the City Council have put us in.

Then there's the finanacial "incentives" for him and his cronies for the sale. Then there's the wining and dining, and wheeling and dealing, and schmoozing he will endure as all these utility companies vie for the new contracts. It will be very lucrative for him, and his buddies. And City Councillors. Very lucrative.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a poll. How many of the 50 largest cities in the US own their own utility? ZERO.
So this means that every other city in the US is wrong and Memphis is right. There's a first!!!!

MLG&W is one of the most inefficient utilities I have ever dealt with. I say this with experience as I have lived all over the country and have never had worse service than with MLG&W. The private sector can always do it better than the government. As such, Memphis should sell MLG&W, pay down the city's debt and lower property taxes. Memphis would instantly go from one of the poorest, fiscally sensative city's in the US, to one of the richest.

To say it revolves around corruption shows a complete lack of understanding of the situation and shows a total lack of ability to think outside of the box. I hope neither one of you are our next mayor!

Anonymous said...

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