RELEASE: “Renewable energy” law forces higher electricity rates, job losses

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“Renewable energy” mandate will raise electricity prices by $145 million, cost Maine 1,000 jobs

RPS law burdens households, harms Maine’s economy 

Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation, which requires that some of the state’s electricity must be generated by expensive “renewable” sources, will increase the cost of electricity by $145 million within five years and will cost the state nearly 1,000 jobs.

According to the new study, “The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard,” the state’s electricity prices will surge eight percent by 2017, thanks to the RPS law.

That means homeowners will pay $85 more a year for electricity—and businesses will pay over $600 more a year—because proponents of “green energy” have mandated that a certain percentage of Maine’s electricity must come from wind power, solar and other “green” energy sources.

Hydropower is a clean, abundant, reliable and affordable form of “green” energy that is readily available to Maine. Using more hydropower could easily reduce electricity costs to consumers and businesses. But it is excluded as a source of “renewable energy” from RPS.

Owners of industrial businesses are hit the hardest by RPS, according to the study. Maine’s largest employers will see electricity costs increase by a staggering $14,350 per year because of the burdensome RPS law.

The study, published by The Maine Heritage Policy Center in partnership with The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, concludes that, “increased energy prices will hurt Maine’s households and businesses and, in turn, inflict significant harm on the state economy.”

Maine’s first RPS law was created in 1999 under former governor Angus King. The RPS law was then strengthened in 2006 under former governor John Baldacci. In 2007, King and Rob Gardiner, the former president of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, formed a wind-energy company, Independence Wind.

As a result of the RPS, the study found that in five years Maine will suffer from:

• Reduced employment by 995 jobs

• Reduced real disposable income by $85 million, potentially as much $100 million

• Decreased investment by $11 million

Scott Moody, a co-author of the report and CEO at The Maine Heritage Policy Center, said the study shows exactly why energy reforms are necessary.

“RPS was a mistake, and we see now that it’s a law that will cost Mainers jobs and real money,” Moody said. “It’s clear that when we let political and personal agendas drive policy-making instead of free-market principles, we end up with fewer jobs and less money in the pockets of hard working Mainers.”

Click here to see the report.

About the author

www.MainePolicy.org Advancing conservative public policies for "We the people of Maine." Follow us: @mainepolicy