Saturday, June 07, 2014

In Some States, Emissions Cuts Defy Skeptics

JUNE 6, 2014

The cries of protest have been fierce, warning that President Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gases from power plants will bring soaring electricity bills and even plunge the nation into blackouts. By the time the administration is finished, one prominent critic said, “millions of Americans will be freezing in the dark.”

Yet cuts on the scale Mr. Obama is calling for — a 30 percent reduction in emissions from the nation’s electricity industry by 2030 — have already been accomplished in parts of the country.

At least 10 states cut their emissions by that amount or more between 2005 and 2012, and several other states were well on their way, almost two decades before Mr. Obama’s clock for the nation runs out.

That does not mean these states are off the hook under the Obama plan unveiled this week — they will probably be expected to cut more to help achieve the overall national goal — but their strides so far have not brought economic ruin. In New England, a region that has made some of the biggest cuts in emissions, residential electricity bills fell 7 percent from 2005 to 2012, adjusted for inflation. And economic growth in the region ran slightly ahead of the national average.

(More here.)


Blogger Minnesota Central said...

Your readers may appreciate Friday's StarTribune OpEd that Minnesota was well positioned :

Key points :
• More jobs and lower electricity costs. New wind and solar energy industries have blossomed in Minnesota. Wind alone has created 2,000 jobs in the state and spawned 17 manufacturing facilities. Low-cost alternative energy generation is holding down electricity rates, saving the customers of just one utility, Xcel, an estimated $30 million to date.

• More Minnesota dollars are staying at home. Payments for electricity generated from coal, gas or oil flow to states and investors that extract those resources. Relying on wind, solar and biomass keeps those dollars here.

I hear Erik Paulsen and echoed by John Kline that the 2.3% Medical Device Excise Tax is costing jobs (it's a great claim but hardly supported by reviewing company employment data), yet they allowed the tax credit to expire on January 1st ... the result a lower rate of growth in renewable energy jobs.

6:58 AM  

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