Another Energy Tax: The RES

by Daren Bakst on September 29, 2010

in Blog

Since cap and trade legislation looks like it is dead, many in Congress are still adamant about imposing an energy tax on Americans.

Senator Bingaman (D-NM), along with a bipartisan group of Senators, is pushing a renewable energy standard (RES).  This particular RES mandates that utility companies generate 11 percent of their electricity from high-cost and unreliable renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

Consumers, of course, pay for these higher energy costs on their electricity bills.

Since the massive subsidies for solar and wind power haven’t been enough to generate demand for renewable energy, Congress wants to mandate that Americans buy renewable electricity, not unlike individual health care mandates.

It is a bit troubling that Republicans, who for the most part, have been opposed to cap and trade, don’t seem to get that this also is a massive energy tax.

Some of the legislators may actually think that forcing Americans to buy renewable energy will help with energy independence.  However, this is a major fallacy and demonstrates an unfortunate lack of understanding regarding energy.

In 2008, electricity generation accounted for only about 1 percent of all petroleum consumption in the United States (Calculation: Petroleum used for electricity generation/total petroleum consumption in the U.S.).  In other words, changing our electricity mix will have no impact on energy independence.

The RES in many ways is like a cap and trade bill and the ObamaCare bill rolled into one.  There is an energy tax.  There are mandates to purchase a service.  Finally, the federal government is ignoring state rights and imposing its wishes on the states.

This issue needs to get on everyone’s radar screen who is interested in freedom.

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