The Reality behind Clean Energy Standards
September 6, 2011
Climate activists failed to achieve comprehensive greenhouse gas controls in the United States in the form of a cap-and-trade program. And while they pursue incremental greenhouse gas regulation at both the federal and state level, they have not given up on their Holy Grail of a comprehensive national regime to control greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, they have rebranded their campaign, says Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
- The current incarnation of the greenhouse gas agenda is hidden in the campaign for a national Clean Energy Standard, or CES.
- Other terms for this approach are Renewable Energy Standards (RES), or, even more obliquely, Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).
- While many states have already implemented such standards, the push now is for federalization.
What they all come down to, at the end of the day, is a governmental mandate that energy utilities must buy and distribute a certain percentage of energy that comes from so-called "clean" sources, such as wind power, solar power, nuclear power, "clean coal," and so on.
Here's why Clean Energy Standards are a bad idea:
- They are hidden energy taxes.
- They are hidden subsidies.
- They are hidden greenhouse gas controls.
- They are hidden technology standards.
- They decrease consumer choice.
The new stealth approach to energy policy being pushed under the guise of a Clean Energy Standard is frankly dishonest, says Green.
Source: Kenneth P. Green, "Not Free to Choose: The Reality behind Clean Energy Standards," American Enterprise Institute, August 23, 2011.
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