Letter: Gov. Walker must think we’re foolsWisconsin Governor Scott Walker has included in his new budget proposal the optional selling off of the state-owned steam and electric generating facilities to private enterprise without even a bid process.
By: Noble Nygaard, Roberts, River Falls Journal
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has included in his new budget proposal the optional selling off of the state-owned steam and electric generating facilities to private enterprise without even a bid process.
His reason? “It will save us money.”
What we’re talking about here are mostly steam generating facilities for the university system and other state-owned buildings.
Walker wants to sell these boiler plants, most of which are in the middle of campuses, to private owners. The state doesn’t even have to go through the bid process, thereby not getting the highest price for these plants.
Currently, the state entities that use the steam for heating and cooling their buildings are getting this energy for cost. Many of the boiler plants have been paid for long ago. There are of course, operational maintenance and employee costs.
If the state sells these facilities, let’s say to Koch Industries, the company must have a return on investment or ROI.
This means that it has to charge enough for their product to pay for the physical plant it just purchased and earn a reasonable profit. This is basic business 101.
The beauty of this for the business is it has a guaranteed captive customer who has nowhere else to go to purchase energy.
Let’s take this to its logical end. After years of letting these plants fall into disrepair while ignoring maintenance to increase profits, big business will conveniently walk away at the end of its contract and leave the taxpayer holding the bag for the repairs needed to keep these facilities running.
Does this sound anything like “saving the taxpayers money?”
Going from purchasing our energy at cost to lining big business pockets? This is an insult to our intelligence.
How dare the governor take us for such fools!