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Pennsylvania — Green energy mandates will hit poor the hardest

Eric Boehm — Watchdog.org — December 18, 2012

HARRISBURG – A state mandate that requires electric providers to use more renewable and alternative sources in coming years will drive up the cost of electricity for all Pennsylvanians by $16 billion over the next eight years, according to a new study.

Worse, the costs will fall hardest on the state’s lowest income residents, making the alternative fuel requirement similar to a regressive tax.

“A small increase in electricity prices is really going to hit them, as a share of their spendable income, much harder than the upper income groups,” said Michael Head, a research economist for the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, a free-market think tank that conducted the study.

The state mandates were created by the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004, which requires utility companies to include increasing amounts of alternative energy in their overall production totals.  The law requires that 18 percent of all energy sales in Pennsylvania come from alternative sources by 2021.

It requires that 8 percent come from renewable energy resources – like solar and wind – and another 10 percent come from alternative energy sources, including waste coal and large-scale hydroelectric power.

The problem for consumers is that those types of energy are more expensive to produce than such traditional types as natural gas or coal.

“The law mandates that you use a more costly form of energy production, which will drive up costs,” Head said.

(To continue reading, click here)

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One Comment on “Pennsylvania — Green energy mandates will hit poor the hardest”

  1. Reality check December 19, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Candy Man Obama will just increase the LIEAP (free energy money) benefits. Problem solved. (Yes, he will also increase the eligibility income allowed, then tax the rich–as soon as they figure out if $400,000 or $1 million makes you rich.)

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