The Reality behind Clean Energy Standards

Climate activists failed to achieve comprehensive greenhouse gas controls in the United States in the form of a cap-and-trade programme. And while they pursue incremental greenhouse gas regulation at both the federal and state level, they have not given up on their Holy Grail of a comprehensive national regime to control greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, they have rebranded their campaign, says Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

  • The current incarnation of the greenhouse gas agenda is hidden in the campaign for a national Clean Energy Standard, or CES.

  • Other terms for this approach are Renewable Energy Standards (RES), or, even more obliquely, Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).

  • While many states have already implemented such standards, the push now is for federalisation.

    What they all come down to, at the end of the day, is a governmental mandate that energy utilities must buy and distribute a certain percentage of energy that comes from so-called "clean" sources, such as wind power, solar power, nuclear power, "clean coal," and so on.

    Here's why Clean Energy Standards are a bad idea:

  • They are hidden energy taxes.

  • They are hidden subsidies.

  • They are hidden greenhouse gas controls.

  • They are hidden technology standards.

  • They decrease consumer choice.

    The new stealth approach to energy policy being pushed under the guise of a Clean Energy Standard is frankly dishonest, says Green.

    Source: Kenneth P. Green, Not Free to Choose: The Reality behind Clean Energy Standards, American Enterprise Institute, August 23, 2011.

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    First published by the National Center for Policy Analysis, United States

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 06 September 2011
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