Pennsylvanians Face Higher Electric Bills Thanks To Democrats
By Leo Knepper
In February, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) requested that the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) delay joining the Regional Green House Gas Initiative (RGGI) for a year. On Tuesday, July 13, the EQB ignored that request and approved the RGGI regulation. As we’ve mentioned previously, this is an attempt by Governor Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to sidestep the General Assembly. Joining RGGI will bring the Commonwealth into a regional cap-and-trade scheme, devastate a swath of the economy, and increase electric bills for every ratepayer in PA.
It is hard to overstate just how much damage joining RGGI will do to PA’s economy. In their statement on the EQB’s vote, the Power PA Jobs Alliance did an excellent job in summarizing some of the problems this will cause:
“RGGI will also preclude the construction of any new natural gas fired electric generation plants within the Commonwealth that could otherwise replace lost generation from the closure of older fossil fuel plants. In recent years, Pennsylvania union workers built more than a dozen major natural gas plants within the Commonwealth at a cost of over $14 billion. Under RGGI, these projects will no longer occur within Pennsylvania and, as we have already seen just from the threat of RGGI, Ohio and West Virginia are benefiting from billions of capital investment in existing coal and natural gas plants, but also new natural gas plants.”
Power PA Jobs also notes that three coal-fired power plants in Indiana and Armstrong Counties are responsible have a $2.87 billion impact on the economy. This impact includes hundreds of direct employees and thousands of associated jobs. Governor Wolf’s misguided attempt to remake the Pennsylvania economy as he sees fit will destroy the livelihoods of these people and their families.
The House and Senate are considering legislation to prevent the Governor from unilaterally entering RGGI. The Senate passed SB 119 with a veto-proof majority in June; it is awaiting action in the House. The legislation is currently assigned to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Bidens Pro Ukraine Energy While Anti-US Energy Or Things That Make You Go Hmm –Put this in the category of things that make you go hmmmm. Joe Biden wants to end fracking (and the entire oil industry for that matter) in America. His son Hunter was on the board of directors of Burisma, which is one of Europe’s major producer of natural gas.
Hmmmm. There must be a logical explanation for it!!
Bidens Pro Ukraine Energy While Anti-US Energy Or Things That Make You Go Hmm
Joe Biden Mansions Show He’s Fake On Climate Change — Working class Joe Biden’s primary residence is a 6,850-square-foot mansion in Greenville, Del. and a 4,800-square-foot vacation house in Rehoboth Beach. Further he is renting a 12,000 square feet mansion that boasts marble fireplaces, a sauna, five bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and a gym in McLean, Va.
You seriously think he seriously believes that global warming is a problem?
My Democrat friends, you are being conned.
Joe Biden Mansions Show He’s Fake On Climate Change
Dems Hate America, The Proof –Here’s a story that you likely missed. When the cost of oil crashed in March, President Trump sought to restock the strategic petroleum reserve. The Democrats killed the $3 billion deal a week later. They called it a bailout for big business. Leave aside a purchase at what was thought at the time a bargain basement price to fill a strategic need is anything but a bailout, failing to recognize that a strong domestic oil industry is necessary to our security is rather anti-American. It’s almost treasonous.
But they did it. No harm though. When the price of oil went negative, Trump offered to let the oil companies use the strategic reserve for storage, and the oil firms took him up on it using oil in lieu of dollars to pay the rent. Win-win all around, it seems. It was actually kind of brilliant on Trump’s part.
One downside is that the original plan called for filling the reserve to its capacity which would have required 77 million barrels The new plan calls for the storage of just 30 million barrels and, of course, the oil companies continue to own the stored oil.
Still the Democrat Party sabotaged a plan to increase our security at a bargain basement price and help an essential, job-intensive industry. We’ll call it treason.
Back in January, we shared a Guest Post with our readers on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). The author, Lowman Henry, noted:
“[T]he Wolf Administration has entered into an agreement with nine other mostly northeastern states to cap each of the states’ carbon emissions from transportation (your car). The states have one year to come up with a plan. Such plans will most certainly include additional taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel…the money will be “redistributed” to “low carbon transportation systems” – in other words urban mass transit…Thus the lofty sounding Transportation and Climate Initiative allows Governor Wolf to advance two of his top agenda items: establish a new revenue stream to keep urban mass transit afloat and penalize users of carbon-based fuels. Keep in mind, those users include you every time you start your car or use a product that was delivered to the store by motor vehicle, which is to say everything.” (Emphasis added)
The TCI plan was released on Dec. 17, and it is everything we feared it would be. The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, CAP, has joined with allies from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in voicing our opposition to this plan. We noted in a joint letter:
“Legislators should not allow one citizen of a state — the governor — to impose such serious financial burdens on all other citizens. Such a decision rightfully belongs to the people’s representatives and should be reached through the legislative process, not by the decree of a single executive. “The TCI is a poorly conceived, fundamentally regressive, and economically damaging proposal.”
Pennsylvania already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country. According to TCI’s own estimates carbon emissions will decrease by 19 percent from 2022-2032. They don’t think that’s good enough. Instead, the TCI is advocating a new gas tax ranging from five to seventeen cents per gallon in order to reduce emissions by only an additional one to six percent. The mere fact that Governor Wolf would consider increasing the tax yet again is appalling. The question now is whether or not the legislature will take substantive action to reclaim its power of the purse to combat the measure.
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf’s executive action to impose a Cap and Trade system on carbon dioxide emissions is easily his most harmful act in his two terms as chief executive of the state. As one of the most liberal governors in the nation, his progressive impulses have, until now, been constrained by a GOP-controlled House and Senate. His move to bring the Keystone State into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and impose a costly and economically crippling carbon trading system is an attempted end-run around the GOP to implement a tax without legislative approval.
On Oct. 3, Wolf signed an executive order that began the process of adding Pennsylvania to a group of northeastern states that constitute what has been called the “first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” It is now up to the Department of Environmental Protection to draft the proposed regulation and then go through possibly two years of a legislative comment period. According to news reports, the legislature does not have veto power, although we expect to hear disagreement on that point.
In short, the program would establish a market through which electricity providers purchase “emission allowances” to offset their CO2 emissions. The current market rate for purchasing these carbon offsets is $5.20 per ton of CO2 emitted. According to the most recent statewide data (2016) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) these energy providers emitted 82 million metric tons which would have generated about $400 million in revenues.
The overall goal of the plan is to make electricity derived from fossil fuels more expensive and, hence, renewable energy more competitive.
According to the RGGI, the state would “invest” the money generated into “energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other consumer-benefit programs.” That would likely include subsidies for wind and solar projects, home and office weatherizing and expansion of public transportation programs in the state’s largest urban areas to name a few beneficiaries.
That nearly half-billion dollars in costs would not be absorbed by the power generators but would be passed on to consumers in the form of increased energy costs. Not only would this make Pennsylvania a more expensive place to live, it would render the state less competitive for energy intensive businesses compared to neighboring Ohio and West Virginia and other locales that have no plans for artificially inflating electricity costs.
A review of the effects of the RGGI last year revealed that member states saw a 12 percent drop in goods production and a 34 percent drop in production of energy-intensive goods. This is likely attributable to a 64 percent increase in electricity prices in RGGI states between 2007-2015.
Additionally, according to the study, the cost of wind and solar power has averaged two to three times the megawatt-hour rate as compared to existing conventional fuel sources. Any increase of renewable energy supplies would necessarily further the price increases to consumers.
An important but overlooked factor in the decision-making process for the state is just how much or how little effect a reduction in the state’s CO2 emissions would have on future temperature changes. The overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to lower the future temperature of the Earth, so how much temperature rise would be averted by eliminating all of Pennsylvania’s CO2 emissions from coal and natural gas-fired sources? Using the calculations for predicting warming from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, if 100 percent of the state’s electricity generation emissions were eliminated, only 0.001 degree Fahrenheit in warming would be averted by the year 2050. This difference is well below our ability to measure global temperature.
This extremely small — and immeasurable — effect should not be overlooked in discussions of whether to impose the significant burdens of Governor Wolf’s proposal on the state and its citizens. How many lost jobs is a reduction in temperature measured in thousandths of a degree worth?
In short, the governor would infringe on the freedoms of people and make them significantly poorer for virtually no advancement of his stated intention to avert global warming. The legislature, the business community and all right-thinking citizens should stand against his economically crippling proposal.
Mr. Wrightstone is the author of Inconvenient Facts: The science Al Gore doesn’t want you to know
Brian Fitzpatrick Carbon Tax Bill — Brian Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania’s 1st District Republican congressman, will be introducing a “carbon tax bill” today says the Washington Examiner. It will be similar to Market Choice Act introduced in 2018 by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FLA26) which died in committee.
The Curbelo bill imposed a tax of $24 per metric ton on industrial carbon-dioxide emissions, beginning in 2020 and rising annually at a rate of 2 percent above inflation.
In return, federal taxes on gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel would be repealed. The payers would mostly be operators of coal and natural gas power plants.
This means paying more for lighting, air-conditioning and heat, and maybe less for food and transportation.
And of course, coal plants (and mines and their jobs) would soon disappear as natural gas produces much less CO2.
Which would naturally mean less revenue which means someone is going to pound his fist and say we need to bring back the gasoline tax.
The claim that most of carbon tax money will be used to rebuild infrastructure also deserves a big LOL as that is what the gasoline and diesel tax is supposed to do now and obviously doesn’t.
We can’t jump on Fitzpatrick too much. Our wish is to replace all coal and NG plants with nuclear and hydro-electric ones so we give him credit for trying.
Hey Brian, if you really want to fix infrastructure repeal the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Studies show it adds 20 percent to the cost of federal projects. Repealing it means 20 percent more work with same amount of money. Infrastructure problem are solved. It’s almost like magic.
And on the other hand there is Pat Toomey.
Pennsylvania’s “Republican” senator joined the Democrats in again futilely voting to repeal President Trump’s court-approved use of emergency funds to build the much-needed wall on the Mexican border.
This wall is not anti-immigration. The wall is anti-drug smuggling and anti-child trafficking. If border crossers are forced to use supervised ports of entry it becomes a whole lot harder to bring children here to be molested.
Solar and wind are not serious solutions to the problems of global energy demand.
Nuclear power is a stable, profit-generating 24/7 carbon-free energy source that uses the existing power grid and fully proven technology.
Almost all the deaths involving nuclear power come from the 1986 Chernobyl accident. The Three Mile Island incident caused neither deaths nor an increase in cancer, and the 2011 Fukushima incident caused neither death or disease from exposure to radiation. (Side note: Chernobyl was designed by socialists.)
Most significantly, a nuclear plant produces as much toxic waste in a year that a coal plant produces in an hour.
Rie and Emery also describe how South Korean nuclear plants are extremely profitable as they have all been built from an identical design.
We despise global warming fanatics but minimizing carbon emissions is obviously a desirable thing.
And really, are global warming fanatics worse than no-nuke ones?
Here’s an irony: If the AGW-gonna-kill-us-all-in-12-years crowd is right, Jane Fonda will literally be responsible for destroying the world.
In 2017 the nuclear power industry began lobbying Pennsylvania lawmakers to institute a bailout scheme. Due to federal regulations and an abundant supply of natural gas, the electricity produced by nuclear power plants costs more than electricity generated by other sources. Lobbyists for the nuclear power industry found little appetite in the General Assembly for the kinds of bailouts enacted by other states. The nuclear power industry has been undeterred and is now attempting to convince lawmakers to support a stealth bailout of the industry via Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS).
You may not have ever heard of the AEPS, but you are paying for it every month in your electric bill. Simply put, AEPS requires an electric company to purchase a certain percentage of their electricity from solar, wind, and other “alternative energy” sources regardless of cost. Because it costs more to generate electricity from alternative energy sources, consumers pay more for their power than they would under free-market conditions.
Being included in the AEPS list has certainly given alternative energy sources an unfair advantage over traditional energy sources. The best thing for consumers would be to eliminate the AEPS list. However, the nuclear power industry has decided that they want in on the game. They and their allies argue that being included on the AEPS shouldn’t be called a bailout; they have a point, but it is something far worse.
With a bailout, taxpayers would know up front just how much we will be responsible for adding to the nuclear industry’s bottom line. By lobbying for inclusion in the AEPS, the financial commitment from consumers is open-ended and undefined. According to the Commonwealth Foundation, the cost to Pennsylvania for the current AEPS regime is estimated to be a $700 million increase in energy costs and the loss of 11,400 jobs by 2025.
Members of the General Assembly should be appalled by the suggestion to expand the AEPS. If they wanted to help the nuclear power industry compete, they should take the government’s finger off the scale entirely and eliminate the preferential treatment given to some producers over others. Let the free-market work; not only would this help the nuclear power industry, but it would also reduce the costs for consumers.