Katrina Currie is a guest blogger and works with the Commonwealth Foundation.
Increasingly, policies that are detrimental to the overall economy are shoved through the legislature in the name of “green jobs.” The evidence refuting environmentalists’ claims is mounting as countless studies show the promised benefits never come.
Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and other countries experimenting with green jobs are experiencing skyrocketing electricity prices and overall decreases in job creation. The reason is simple—taxpayers have to pay higher taxes to subsidize these renewables, and pay higher electricity prices as renewable energies drive up costs.
The facts are catching on, and Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich is even looking at repealing his state’s alternative energy mandates. But in Pennsylvania, legislators are going to face pressure from special interests groups to increase handouts for solar energy.
A recent solar industry sponsored study is touting Pennsylvania’s creation of 6,700 solar jobs, the second highest behind California. Environmental groups are not simply celebrating these numbers, but using them to call on the state legislature to increase solar subsidies and mandates—ignoring the ramifications on the rest of the economy.
Here are the facts about renewable energy in Pennsylvania.
- Green jobs created under Gov. Rendell leadership cost taxpayers more than $120,000 per job created.
- Gov. Rendell likes to cite a Pew Study showing Pennsylvania ranks third in the number of “green jobs.” However, Pew’s green jobs study also shows the Commonwealth ranks third in clean energy jobs lost and sixth in total jobs lost.
- According to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) solar energy in the Commonwealth is over 1000 percent more expensive than electricity from natural gas and 700 percent more expensive than coal.
- Pennsylvania’s alternative energy mandates, which require energy suppliers produce 18 percent of their electricity from alternative energy by 2021, costs electricity consumers over $30 million to meet in 2011, and costs will dramatically increase each year.
- Last year, state legislations repeatedly sought to increase the mandate to 33 percent by year 2024, full compliance with the proposal would increase Pennsylvania utility bills by $8 billion-$9 billion, costing the state over 51,000 jobs.
- And in case you’ve heard renewable energy is more expensive because it isn’t subsidized as much as fossil fuels, check out the table below.
Clearly, mandating the creation of “green jobs” will be at the expense of other jobs in the state.