Wayne Winegarden was featured in Nor Cal Record in Sarah Downey’s piece “Greenhouse gas litigation is disincentiving energy innovation, Pacific Research Institute finds” discussing his recent climate change lawsuit study:
With gas prices now above $6 in California and continuing to rise, a new Pacific Research Institute brief has found that all the litigation over greenhouse gas emissions is hurting consumers and disincentivizing robust innovation in the energy sector.
“To the extent the lawsuits are successful, the payment to the states/cities increase the costs on the oil companies; these costs will get priced into the cost of gas, which raises prices for consumers,” Winegarden told the Record. “These payments will also impact the profitability of the companies, diminishing the funds available for clean energy innovation.”
And perhaps equally important, the lawsuits are a negative signal for potential innovators, Winegarden said.
“Just like natural gas was once heralded as an important low-emission source but is now subject to lawsuits, the litigation creates a new risk for today’s potential innovators that their technologies will be subject to future lawsuits,” Winegarden said. “The increase in risks requires a higher return, which means less innovation.”