A much more reasonable approach would be to test those assumptions and scenarios by having states--the laboratories of democracy--implement the ideas and generate data. Then, it would be possible to assess whether the dogma is true and should be exported to other states. Wouldn't that be a great experiment in federalism?
For example, consider the State of New Hampshire and its Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) which those who worship at the altar of environmentalism hail as a stellar achievement.
Studying the RPS, researchers at Suffolk University have applied the State Tax Analysis Modeling Program model to estimate the economic effects of the New Hampshire Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).
The study's findings:
- Current RPS mandates will raise the cost of electricity by $70M for the state's electricity consumers in 2025.
- Electricity prices will rise by 3.7% by 2025.
"Okay. So what?" those who worship at the altar of environmentalism conclude. "Why not pay a little more for electricity if it means a more pristine environment?"
Whoa! Wait just one minute. Isn't that a regressive tax? Raising the cost of electricity negatively impacts the poor more than the rich, doesn't it? What kind of social justice is that?
But, The Motley Monk digresses.
Consider the negative impact those increased energy prices will have upon residents and businesses in New Hampshire. Even more importantly, harm to the State's economy. In 2025, the Suffolk University study expects RPS to:
- reduce employment by an expected 720 jobs;
- reduce real disposable income by $70M;
- decrease investment by $10M; and,
- increase the average household electricity bill by $40/year, commercial businesses by $230/year, and industrial businesses by an expected $3,655/year.
"Oh, but that's a small price to pay for the 'investment' that needs to be made. The State's people and economy can deal with that. After all, we're talking about clean air!" those who worship at the altar of environmentalism will respond.
What they have conveniently overlooked is the fact that electricity demand in the Granite State tends to be flat, meaning that the RPS-mandated renewable sources will compel utilities to retire existing coal and gas sources and increase the number of solar and wind sources.
And that's to say nothing about the EPA regulations that are currently being written into the books. But, The Motley Monk digresses (again--it happens when it comes to those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and their dogma).
To that end, the Granite State will require in 2025 that 9.5% of its electricity come from renewable sources or else the State will compel providers to pay a "compliance fee" (aka, "tax"). That's "Or else!" The Suffolk University study found that most of this particular requirement will be met with those compliance fees, meaning that this share of RPS will contribute 0% in terms of cleaner sources of electricity in New Hampshire.
With the outcome:
- The amount of dispatchable electricity generation under baseload conditions will be reduced.
- Utilities will be forced to use peak electricity generation sources when wind and solar sources are not available, raising the cost of electricity to individuals and businesses.
- The RPS policy will not reduce harmful emissions, but send jobs and capital investment outside the State.
Let the stormy petrels cry. In one laboratory of democracy--the Granite State--their dogma isn't working and it should not be exported to other states. In fact, the only way their dogma would work is if those who worship at the altar of environmentalism actually get their way...replacing a democratic republic and free market, capitalistic economy with a dictatorship and a centrally-planned, statist economy.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Suffolk University study, click on the following link:
"The Economic Impact of New Hampshire's Renewable Portfolio standard."