The Poor And Middle-Class Foot the Bill For Renewable Energy Mandates

Currently, 29 states have “green” energy mandates that require utilities to produce or sell a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware and Massachusetts all have these mandates. Incidentally, most of the states that are mandated to produce renewable energy are majority Democratic states.

Although Democrats often talk about helping the poor and the middle class and reducing income inequality, they are doing the exact opposite with these mandates. The mandates require utilities to purchase solar and wind power, which is expensive. The costs of these energy sources are then passed onto the poor and middle class.

In California, about one-third of electric power already comes from renewable sources. However, the state just passed a ridiculous law that will require all utilities to generate 100 percent of their electrical power from renewable sources by the year 2045. This will prove to be a monumental and expensive task for the state. Hawaii, another Democratic state, already has a 100 percent green energy mandate for the year 2045.

Renewable energy mandates hurt those who are already struggling economically. The poor pay a higher percentage of their income on utility bills compared to the rich. Studies show that the bottom 20 percent of earners spend 10 percent of their income on electricity. This percentage is seven times the portion that the top 20 percent pay.

Many people simply cannot pay their utility bills and end up going without electricity. In Texas, nearly 1 million homes were without electricity because of unpaid bills. In California, more than 700,000 homes lost power because residents were unable to pay. This number has increased significantly within the past decade, and will likely be even higher as more renewable energy mandates are implemented.

States like California and Hawaii already have much higher energy costs, and the new mandates will likely increase the costs even more, putting a strain on households that are already struggling.

The point of the mandates is to eliminate fossil fuels. The renewable energy industry has unfairly painted the coal and oil industries as being “dirty.” However, these two industries employ millions of Americans. Also, the renewable energy industry pushes unrealistic ideas about green power. Currently, 80 percent of the electric power in the United States comes from nuclear, coal and gas. Only 6 percent comes from wind and 1 percent from solar power. Moving towards a 100 percent reliance on renewable energy will severely disrupt our lives.

Solar and wind power only generate energy when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. The ability of a renewable energy grid to consistently supply power to customers without interruption is not feasible. In contrast, coal is one of the most affordable and reliable sources of energy.

Energy experts say that the reliability of fossil fuels are necessary to keep hospitals and schools functioning. Meeting the energy demands of communities is difficult with renewable energy alone. If we continue to push for a 100 percent reliance on renewable energy sources, the nation’s poor — and everyone else in America will pay.

~ Liberty Planet