When it comes to the Trump administration's effort to scale back former President Barack Obama's "Clean Power Plan," much of the media would have us believe the administration is behaving immorally.
The BBC, for example, comforts itself in the assertion that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt "may not be able to hold back the tide. Renewable energy is cheaper than ever, natural gas is in abundant supply, and the US judiciary is firmly on the side of regulating carbon dioxide."
Not so fast.
As I've explained, green energy projects remain economically infeasible absent massive government subsidies. If, as the left claims, these projects are so amazing at creating jobs and economic growth, why do they require constant inflows of hundreds of millions in new subsidies?
Why? Because green energy is an unrepentant special interests boondoggle. And when it comes the CPP, things are no different. The data proves that CPP supporting states have hit their residents with higher energy bills. In August 2016 I explored,
"the U.S. government's own statistics (report 5.3) on the average retail prices Americans paid for electricity in May 2016 - specifically the high prices that define pro-CPP states in the Northeast. The average price per kilowatt-hour was 17.74 cents in Connecticut, 15.89 cents in Massachusetts and 13.9 cents in New York. By contrast, the price of electricity in Kentucky was 7.95 cents per kilowatt-hour and 8.73 cents in Tennessee. In California (a key pro-CPP state) Californians paid nearly double (14.93 cents) what Nevadans paid (7.96 cents) just next door! The lesson is rendered across the map: states with heavy energy regulations are forcing their citizens to pay more."
Today, I went back to look at the government data for May 2017 and found a similar, if inflationary story!
Specifically, the data shows that the average May 2017 price per kilowatt-hour was 17.68 cents in Connecticut, 16.40 cents in Massachusetts, and 14.65 cents in New York. Note that aside from Connecticut's 8 cents reduced 2016-2017 average, both Massachusetts and New York saw significant increases. Again, by contrast, Kentucky's per kilowatt-hour price was just 8.23 cents and Tennessee's 9.30 cents. Yes, these prices represent increases over 2016, but energy prices in those states remain far lower than in CPP states. And once again, the distinction between California at 15.46 cents, and neighboring Nevada at 8.28 cents tells the tale!
These statistics matter and they speak to basic economics. Where energy companies are hit with the CPP's expensive regulatory burdens, they must pass on their costs to consumers. And because energy bills are shaped by consumption rather than income, the impact of high energy prices disproportionately affects the poor.
But Tom Steyer and his allies don't care, like any good leftists they know what's best for the less-equal masses.