Side Effects

You all must cringe at what you hear on TV as you watch all the pharmaceutical commercials that dominate the air waves.  Side effects are enumerated and include some rather severe consequences, including death!  One could simply dismiss these warnings as a hedge against lawsuits.  Others could argue that these side effects are rare but possible consequences.

I cringe that so much money is being spent on promoting items consumers do not simply go out and buy … they are clearly there to raise the awareness of possible improvements so the viewing audience will go and ask their doctors for them.

As I remember this trend over time, I seem to conclude that fixing my bald spot dominated the news years ago.  Now, these ads seem to be focused on quality of life improvements that clearly raise the cost of medicine.  Well, wait a minute … didn’t we just go through an election where the cost of health care was a significant bi-partisan priority?

Our industry has been aware of side effects in energy policy and regulatory agendas for years.  We call it “unintended consequences” to refer to things that can go wrong with seemingly wonderful primary energy policy agendas.  Seems to me that we are embroiled in just such challenges associated with feed in tariffs and energy efficiency incentives during a time when loads and load factors are declining.

Medical discussions seem quite comfortable with warnings about side effects.  Maybe our industry should learn something from them as we continue our journey toward better energy alternatives for consumers.



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