The $20 Billion Energy Tax
More than ten years after its passage, Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards continue to stunt our economy. The standards cost the state $4 billion annually, according to a study by the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University.
Researchers reviewed renewable portfolio standards in all states and found the law reduced Pennsylvanians' personal incomes by almost $20 billion from 2004 through 2009.
Data beyond 2009 is still forthcoming, but if the trend continues, alternative energy standards will have cost Pennsylvanians almost $50 billion to date. That's not too far off from the state's pension debt.
So what do these figures mean for each household in Pennsylvania? A loss of $10,000 in purchasing power. That's an enormous cost to bear for such a small benefit.
A recent Tribune Review article highlighting the study aptly notes this isn't an indictment of renewable energy but a reality check.
As technology advances, renewable energy will become cheaper and markets will shift to renewables as a matter of course. Mandating the shift before the technology is ready simply wastes our resources.
Up until this point, government efforts to transition to a clean energy economy have been costly and unsuccessful. Ultimately, it will be entrepreneurship, not government planning, that will make clean energy affordable and reliable for all.