Been There, Done That on Unaffordable Energy Mandates

Been There, Done That on Unaffordable Energy Mandates

The Biden Administration wants to impose a national version of California’s unrealistic and unaffordable renewable energy mandates.

California Has “Been There, Done That”

California has established the nation’s most aggressive renewable portfolio goal, which was just recently increased in 2018, with a goal of generating 100 percent of its electricity from zero-emission energy sources by 2045 (and 50 percent by 2025).

Taking California’s renewable energy mandates national will mean higher energy costs and fewer job opportunities, especially in poor, rural, and minority communities.

Ironically, California actually did a less effective job of lowering emissions than states like Ohio and West Virginia, even with expensive, big government energy mandates in place.

How the California Blue Wave Could Increase America’s Energy Costs

“. . . California drivers paid a 37 percent premium for gasoline versus the national average when they filled up their cars in 2019.”
“Californians Could Save Big If Lawmakers Legislate Energy Prosperity,” Wayne Winegarden and Daniel Turner, Orange County Register, 6/18/2020
“This approach has contributed to the state having the highest average electricity prices among the lower 48 states.”
“California’s energy mandates amount to state-legislated energy poverty,” Wayne Winegarden, Orange County Register, 12/21/18
“Despite the higher prices we’re paying for energy, California’s policies haven’t been as effective as the rest of the country in reducing emissions.  The PRI report documents that emissions have fallen 14% in the U.S. since 2007, but just 9% in California.”
“Reducing Energy Mandates Could Help Fresno Save Big in Economic Downturn,” Wayne Winegarden, GV Wire, 6/24/20

Read the Study

How Working Class Americans Can Avoid Massive Energy Bills

If Congress embraces market-based energy policies, Americans can save big on their energy bills, while still continuing to lower emissions.

  • As the 2020 PRI study Legislating Energy Prosperity documented, reforming the California-only energy mandates could save Californians (depending on consumption) up to $9.6 billion annually in lower gasoline costs and (depending on the scenario) between $5.3 billion and $15.7 billion in average annual electricity savings.
  • To achieve lower energy costs for all Americans, policymakers must avoid the costly mandates, taxes, and regulations that California has enacted that have artificially driven up the costs of traditional energy sources, and in their stead, implement policies that increase the use of cleaner and more efficient natural gas, and promote zero-emission nuclear power.


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Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.