Argument: Renewable Energy Standard increases energy prices, kills jobs


Karen Kerrigan. “Commentary: Renewable energy legislation would add to drain on small business.” Washington Post. July 26th, 2010: “In response to challenging economic conditions, local Virginia retailer Barb Werner has cut costs to the bone, eaten every cost increase without raising prices and forgone her own salary to maintain her employees. Her shop, Black-Eyed Susan, on Church Street in Vienna, is known for its unique merchandise at reasonable prices. If energy costs go up, she says she will have to cut staff. Her margins only allow her to absorb so much. And she predicts that everyone she buys from — mainly small U.S. manufacturers — will be forced to raise their prices, too, which means she will be forced to raise hers and lose the competitive advantage she currently enjoys. Higher energy prices are one more cost burden she — and all small-business owners — would have to bear. ‘It’s a slap in the face,’ she said.

A comprehensive energy policy is critical for our nation, but it cannot come at the expense of the small-business sector — the backbone of our economy. President Obama and congressional leaders say they want to help small businesses create jobs and grow, but the RES mandate along with other intrusive regulations that will raise costs are non-starters.”

Ronald Bailey. “Forcing Consumers to Buy Renewable Energy.” Reason Foundation. July 13, 2010: “The claim that renewable energy mandates boost overall job creation is persistent and powerful, but the experience of other countries clearly shows that such mandates destroy more jobs than they create. A study last October by an independent German economics think tank found that each solar power job cost $240,000 and overall the result of renewable energy subsidies was higher energy prices, lost jobs in other sectors of the economy, and reduced consumer purchasing power. The German study mirrored the findings of an earlier Spanish university study which reported that every green job created by subsidizing renewable energy destroyed 2.2 jobs in other sectors of the economy.”

“Lame Policy for Lame Duck.” Heritage Foundation Blog. September 21st, 2010: “Analysis of a generic RES that starts at 3 percent in 2012 and rises by 1.5 percent per year (reaching 15 percent by 2020) would kill a million jobs and cut a trillion dollars from national income by the end of the decade. Proposing such policies can only dampen the investor confidence and make it that much harder to grow the economy out of its current downturn.”

David Kreutzer, Ph.D. , Karen Campbell, Ph.D., William Beach, Ben Lieberman and Nicolas Loris. “A Renewable Electricity Standard: What It Will Really Cost Americans.” Heritage Foundation. May 5th, 2010: “Abstract: Renewable energy—harnessing the power of the wind and the sun—sounds wonderful until confronted with the facts. While wind and sun are indeed free, turning their energy into consumer-accessible electricity is not. Nor is it easy. Wind power must be used at the moment the wind is blowing— which it generally does not do during blazing-hot summer days, the peak of electricity use. Both solar and wind power require costly installations and transmission mechanisms. Instead of saving money for Americans, renewable energy sources are much more likely to spike their utility bills. Nevertheless, Congress is considering a mandate for a nationwide renewable electricity standard (RES). Heritage Foundation energy policy experts explain why an imposed national RES would be bad for families, bad for business, and bad for the economy.”