Monday, August 8, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
What's Worse Than Energy Taxes? Renewable Electricity Standards
By Heritage Foundation @ 11:00 AM :: 10777 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics, World News, Family

On March 15th, appearing with labor and environmental leaders, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a new alternative energy plan that he said would ensure the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would meet his goal of securing 20% of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by December 31st. At the time, he claimed it would create 16,000 jobs and only raise consumer electric bills between 8.8% and 28.4%. But less than two weeks later those energy rate hike estimates had skyrocketed with the DWP saying it needed to raise rates by 37% in order to meet the renewable energy standards. Los Angeles' already shrinking business community revolted and by April Mayor Villaraigosa's plan had been soundly defeated.

What played out in Los Angeles is now about to play out in Washington. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has been marshaling his American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACELA) through committee and is set to move it to the floor soon. The heart of Bingaman's plan is essentially the same as Mayor Villaraigosa's: a renewable electricity standard (RES) that mandates sellers of electricity to produce a growing percentage of their power from renewable energy sources every two years. And like Mayor Villaraigosa's plan, Sen. Bingaman's renewable energy standards would also mean higher electricity prices for all Americans.

The inconvenient truth is this: nearly half of America’s electricity is generated from coal. Natural gas and nuclear energy add about 20 percent each. Most of the rest is provided by renewable sources, primarily hydroelectric energy at 6 percent. Non-hydro renewables like wind, solar energy and biomass total only 3 percent. And this is after decades of existing generous renewable subsidies. If electricity created by wind and other renewables were cost competitive, consumers would use more of it without a federal law to force consumption. But renewable energy is not cost competitive, hence the need for government coercion to force the American people to buy it.

But just how much more will we have to pay for energy under renewable electricity standards? There are federal studies of the costs of an RES that conclude that it would add no more than a few percent to electric rates. But these studies do not take the full cost of wind and other renewables into account, including the additional resources needed to overcome the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind energy or the construction of new transmission lines connecting rural wind generation to urban power needs.

Taking all these additional factors into account, the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis has crunched the numbers and found that at an RES would: 1) Raise electricity prices by 36 percent for households and 60 percent for industry; 2) Cut national income (GDP) by $5.2 trillion between 2012 and 2035; 3) Cut national income by $2,400 per year for a family of four; 4) Reduce employment by more than 1,000,000 jobs; and 5) Add more than $10,000 to a family of four’s share of the national debt by 2035.

The CDA report concludes: "Electric power is one of the most critical inputs to a modern economy. Thus, it is no surprise that forcing the cost of electricity to rise dampens economic activity. The cost increase for electricity can be viewed as a particularly damaging energy tax, because a renewable mandate, unlike the case of a normal tax, provides no revenue to at least partially offset the higher cost. By way of comparison, the highway use tax on gasoline raises the price of gasoline, but it also generates revenues for building and maintaining roads and bridges. On the other hand, a renewable energy standard raises costs in the form of less efficient production, which provides no economic benefit."

---30---

RELATED: Wind Energy's Ghosts

RECENT ENTRIES

QUICK HITS

  • Following last weeks announcement that Freddie Mac lost $6.7 billion in the first quarter of 2010 and needed another $10.6 billion in bailout cash from taxpayers, Fannie Mae announced yesterday that it has lost $11.5 billion so far this year and needs a fresh $8.4 billion taxpayer bailout.
  • Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) introduced an amendment to the Dodd financial regulation bill that requires Fannie and Freddie to begin paying state and local sales taxes like their private sector competitors, and calls for the government to end its control of the companies within two years.
  • President Obama plans to instruct federal agencies to hire government workers faster so the government can better compete with the private sector for top talent.
  • Families who add their 26 year-old children to their insurance plans under Obamacare will see their premiums rise as a result.
  • Today at 3:30 pm former Attorney General Ed Meese will join Heritage Foundation colleague Robert Alt for a special online town hall to discuss Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court Nomination.
Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT