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PA GOP Rejects Shapiro’s PACER Cap-and-Trade ‘Tax’ on Ratepayers

When Gov. Josh Shapiro introduced a proposed cap-and-trade carbon credits system last week, he called it a “plan tailored for Pennsylvania.” According to the governor, The Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Act (PACER) proposal would replace the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and save consumers $252 million.

House Republicans, however, call it a tax on consumers.

“The governor is asking us to pass a tax increase on Pennsylvania without even knowing what that increase is,” said House Republican Whip Tim O’Neal (R-Washington). “I can say with confidence that this proposal as written is Dead on Arrival with the House Republican Caucus.”

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Josh Kail (R-Beaver) said PACER’s carbon fees would be passed along to residential and business consumers. “This a tax on our neighbors, on our parents, on our kids. This is a tax on our manufacturers.”

Republican Leader Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) compared the PACER proposal to a hostage exchange trading “a bad multi-state agreement [for] a single agreement just with ourselves that is equally high in terms of the tax rate,” he said. “That’s bad policy because we as ratepayers will all be paying that.”

Cutler argued that Pennsylvania’s energy production transition from coal to natural gas reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The state ranked second in the United States in natural gas production behind Texas.

“That’s why [RGGI] wants us in,” he said. “They’ve already adopted policies that limited production in their own states. They need a producer… You’ve got these states that mean well, but then they also say at the same time, ‘Let’s not develop energy in our own area. Let’s have someone else do it.’”

Virginia and New York are the only RGGI states listed in the country’s Top 25 energy producers. Almost half of the eleven RGGI member states are in the bottom five.

Shapiro vowed that PACER would create 14,500 jobs.

Republicans suggest that those added jobs won’t offset the amount of job losses that will happen if PACER becomes law.

“A Pennsylvania-specific cap and tax program will only further single us out amongst our neighbors,” predicted O’Neil. “Forcing energy producers out of state and taking thousands of family-sustaining jobs across our commonwealth with them.”

GOP caucus leadership added that they were extremely concerned that the focus on green energy could destabilize the electric grid and lead to blackouts.

“We had a pretty robust debate on the House floor on what happens with solar panels at the end of their useful life,” said Cutler. “What happens with wind turbines at the end of their useful life or when they fail like when they did in Texas during [the 2021 freeze]? Then you have a serious reliability problem.”

Kail was more sober in his analysis.

“PJM was actually commenting on this,” he said. “We are increasing demand for electricity while at the same time pushing policies like this that decrease our ability to generate electricity. So the more people are using electricity the less reliable the grid becomes. One day you’re going to turn on the lights and they won’t come on.”

A recent study by Quanta Technology warned that loss of “base load” power on the PJM grid as electricity demand continues to rise could put Pennsylvania at risk for blackouts starting in 2028. And that’s without the price pressures of a cap-and-trade system.

The report stated, “Maintaining adequate [electric] resources will be a challenge for the PJM system in the future when the grid is likely to be operating under abnormal conditions (e.g., extreme weather events).”

Why is Shapiro pushing the PACER program, rather than either simply joining RGGI or dropping the carbon credits policy?

O’Neil suggested that Shapiro isn’t focused on the Keystone State but more interested in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. “Once again, it seems like the governor is more interested in appealing to primary voters in California than making life better for the people right here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

The Governor’s Office did not return a request for comment.

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Biden’s Subsidies for Union Labor at Odds With Green Agenda, Experts Say

President Joe Biden told an audience of unionized workers in Philadelphia last month that his drive for green energy means jobs for them.

“A lot of my friends in organized labor know: When I think climate, I think jobs. I think union jobs,” Biden said.

But for climate activists, “union jobs” can mean “more carbon and less green energy.”

And that, economists say, is the contradiction at the center of the Biden administration’s policy of spending billions on green energy projects and paying incentives to meet higher “prevailing wage” mandates.

“It’s obviously a terrible strategy,” National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad told DVJournal. “They’re trying to shut down the vast majority of the workforce to help out Joe Biden’s union buddies who spend $2 million to get him elected.”

Just 6 percent of the private sector labor force belongs to a union.

Biden has acknowledged the Inflation Reduction Act was misnamed, saying it was really “the single-largest investment in climate action in American history.” The IRA spends some $370 billion in green energy subsidies on the production and sale of products like EVs and electric heat pumps.

One key element is the 500 percent “bonus” the IRA offers for renewable projects that pay what is called “prevailing wage.” That is wages set not by local market forces but by a federally mandated formula that even supporters acknowledge raises labor costs. The rule also applies to private companies accepting federal loan guarantees, The Wall Street Journal reported, such as Ford Motor Co.’s electric car battery plant.

“Folks on the left love these green subsidies,” said Scott Lincicome with the Cato Institute, who compared the labor-climate unity strategy to a ‘have your cake and eat it too’ situation. “These groups want to boost unions,” Lincicome said, so they “start larding down these subsidies with all sorts of mandates, restrictions, and cost-inflaters.

“At the end of the day, by doing everything, they end up doing nothing,” Lincicome added.

The math is difficult to dispute. According to a recent report by the Beacon Hill Institute, the “prevailing wage” formula used for federally-assisted infrastructure projects adds at least 7 percent to their cost. In other words, instead of 100 EV charging stations, the same spending will only build 93.

Worse, says Lincicome, that federal spending and its mandates are unnecessary.

“Investors were plowing cash into these technologies before the subsidies,” said Lincicome. Renewable energy investment hit $353 billion in the first half of 2023. Rather than demand, “the problem has long been supply-side stuff. We lack a sufficiently qualified workforce in some of these areas.”

And when the government does step in, it is rarely efficient, said Dr. Veronique de Rugy, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center. She pointed to examples like Solyndra, the Obama-administration-backed solar panel company whose failure cost taxpayers a half-billion dollars.

“Often, these subsidies attract companies that don’t have the right business money or would never be able to make a profit and make a go out of it. They also signal to investors that it’s worth investing in these bad products… It’s not a good deal,” de Rugy said.

“The actual solution is the free market,” Mourad said. “The federal government should get out of the way and, to the degree that green energy stuff works, it’ll work in places where the economics make it work. Union shops and non-union shops should be able to bid on that work and see who can produce the best bid.”

Higher prices remain another major concern. Electric vehicles cost more than gas vehicles, on average. The U.S. government has attempted to abate those costs with various tax credits and subsidies towards green products and the consumers who use them.

So far, it hasn’t worked. Electric vehicle sales are slumping and still just represent 7 percent of new car sales in the U.S. Manufacturers are cutting production, and dealers are canceling orders as inventory stacks up — more than a 100-day supply for some models. And that’s with generous federal and state subsidies for buyers.

“In Joe Biden’s mental world, cost isn’t a factor,” quipped Mourad. “They’ll just spend more government money on it.”

Biden’s Climate Policies Are Bad for Black America

If you think high energy costs are hard on the middle class, imagine how they affect those struggling to reach the middle class.

As the Biden administration marches on with its energy price-boosting climate agenda, it is disproportionately hurting the most economically vulnerable Americans and stifling their dreams of a better future.

In the current economy, people are doing worse than living paycheck to paycheck — they have to borrow to make it to that next payday! And the sad reality is that policies that raise energy prices have many of the same corrosive effects that the Jim Crow laws of America’s hurtful past had in keeping black families down.

Ironically, the administration fancies itself the champion of minorities. Instead of putting energy affordability first, as is recommended by Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” it has gone in the opposite direction by declaring war on domestic fossil fuels to fight climate change. Its answer for these communities is so-called “environmental justice” initiatives that assume struggling minorities want more environmental regulations rather than less.

Unaffordable energy costs can no longer be viewed as just an economic issue. It has become a human civil right issue. According to the latest Census Bureau data, the median income for Black families ranged from $48,297 nationally to $20,961 in Detroit. That means families are living off a monthly income of $1,700 to $3,000 at a time when gas prices in Michigan hit a high of $5.20 a gallon and winter heating bills are setting records. This is on top of the heavy effect on energy-dependent industries such as farming, transportation and manufacturing, which are evident in increased costs for food and other service industry offerings.

Despite the most recent inflation reduction numbers, most families across the country are experiencing year-over-year prices up at a minimum of 50 percent on all products at their grocery stores. This is self-inflicted pain unleashed on the American people by the administration, which even proudly announced America would feel some pain while transitioning to their green energy agenda. The only problem is that this pain includes human tragedies. Needless to say, the decline in the standard of living in so many low-income and minority communities can only be described as a Third World existence.

Environmentalists talk about a climate catastrophe, but what about the human one? Much is said about the environmental effects and the need to save the planet, but very little is said about the economic effects of government remedies on human beings.

According to a U.S. Energy Information Administration study, one-third of American households struggle to pay their energy bills. One in five households report having to reduce or forego necessities like food or medicine to pay for heat and light. Tragically, the statistics are nearly double for low-income and minority households.

To make matters worse, this study is several years old and needs to reflect the energy prices experienced by Americans today.

But what’s even more damaging than the immediate economic effect of high electric and natural gas bills and expensive fill-ups at the gas pump are the barriers created to upward mobility. In so many ways, plentiful and affordable domestic energy is part of the ticket out of poverty and dependence. For example, the entrepreneurial spirit of the Black community is evident in the proliferation of Black-owned small businesses during boom times. These businesses struggle and sometimes fail under the weight of expensive energy. 

Costly energy also means fewer industrial jobs that have historically led to the emergence of a vibrant Black middle class. Without these blue-collar gateway jobs, low-income and minority communities have fewer options to earn what is needed for homeownership and decrease the racial wealth gap.

The energy industry has long been a source of many well-paying jobs for Blacks looking to move up the socioeconomic ladder. In fact, the Department of Energy expanded job-training programs for more minorities to take advantage of the opportunities created by the fracking revolution. But these opportunities are now being reduced by a president promising to kill the American oil and natural gas sector and who spent the last two years doing all he can to make good on that promise. Yet he’s saying his concern for Black opportunity is the reason!

Worst of all, every extra penny poor families spend on expensive energy is a penny that cannot be saved for homeownership, educational advancement or other things that can help lift up the next generation.

It should be obvious that poverty — not pollution — is a greater threat. But the Biden agenda is willfully blind to this reality.

However, there may be some light on the horizon. Recently, I was invited to address members of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. There was remarkable engagement with this group of representatives. If this is a sign of where the new Congress is headed, we may have a bright future.

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ALPERT: For Electric Cars, Follow the Money

The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $340 billion in a complicated scheme of tax credits and rebates for electric vehicles (EVs). The administration plans for nationwide charging stations and an all-electric federal automotive fleet by 2030.

Further, it has set a target of making EVs to be half of all new vehicles sold in 2030, estimated by the Edison Electric Institute to be 5.6 million EVs.

Electricity must be generated to power these EVs. Putting aside the fantastic transition of electricity generation and transmission to renewables, how insane are EV aspirations given the cancellation or re-examination of domestic oil leases, rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the prohibition of drilling on federal lands, the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline, and the establishment of energy conservation standards for a variety of home appliances? Not to mention numerous other actions to curtail domestic energy production.

The point of this environmental spear is the EV business. That point is blunt, given the average electric car price (about $66,000) is out of reach of the typical car buyer. Another negative is that EV insurance costs are likely to be higher with more hefty premiums for damage coverage (battery repair costs) and product liability risks.

As if this is not enough, there are the batteries themselves. The major components of a typical battery  include: graphite (52 kg), aluminum (35 kg), nickel (29 kg), copper (20 kg), steel (20 kg), manganese (10 kg), cobalt (8 kg), lithium (6 kg) and iron (5 kg). The weighted average of these components’ price changes in the past year has been plus 249 percent.

The problem of cost is serious, but by taking the ridiculous EV route, there are much deeper difficulties for trade related to the battery input supply. For example, natural graphite is not produced in the United States; however, the U.S. consumes considerable amounts of graphite. With projected2030 EVs sold, U.S. imports of graphite (currently one-third from China) will have to increase by 732 percent to produce EV batteries alone.

Turning to nickel, the United States has one operating nickel mine scheduled to close in 2026. With 2030 anticipated EV production, imported nickel would increase by 94 percent. Such an increase will require America to turn to more problematic import sources.

Manganese has not been produced domestically since 1970. With EV production in 2030 as projected,  manganese imports will increase by19 percent. The United States imports 85 percent of its total consumption from such unreliable suppliers as Gabon and South Africa.

Turning to cobalt, the United States consumes 6,700 metric tons of cobalt annually and imports more than 75 percent of it. If forecast  EV sales in the United States come to pass, imports and/or production of American cobalt will have to increase 986 percent).

The most challenging component of EV batteries is lithium. The United States has a single lithium brine-producing operation in Nevada generating an unrevealed (“avoiding proprietary data”) amount. As of now, we use 2,000 tons of lithium per year; at least 25 percent in 2021 and no less than 50 percent in 2020 were imported. If the number of EVs are as anticipated, the imports of lithium for electric cars alone will need to increase by 2,211 percent, or more than 22 times current levels of consumption in 2030. 

Considering that lithium increased in price in the past year by more than 300 percent, lithium is very likely to become a critical bottleneck. The reliable availability of lithium is a concern of importers with more than 75 percent of the lithium coming from Australia and Chile. 

While lithium sources are under development, worldwide production increases are certainly far in the future.

Permitting for mining and related activities is a costly and lengthy process. Permitting for a mine takes 10 years or more, assuming low numbers of lawsuits and minimal legal wrangling. The Interagency Working Group on Mining Reform has been considering how to streamline the law, but any changes will need full legislative and executive approvals and will take a long time, even ignoring the inevitable litigation delays.

An additional obstacle to EV production is the Chinese domination of the EV market. China produces 51 percent of the EVs manufactured. The United States produced 9 percent, trailing Germany. The global market is growing, with the Chinese the biggest consumer giving it market power beyond that of other countries.

Summarizing American climate policy is absurd because it will collide with so many roadblocks from domestic power generation to procurement of EV inputs. It’s not too late to turn around to steer public policy in a reasonable direction rather than wasting resources in the EV dead-end.

PA Energy Sector Hopes to Work With EPA on Methane Emission Rules

An announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could hurt fossil fuel producers and consumers. EPA wants to expand a 2021 proposal that would secure what the agency calls “major climate and health benefits for all Americans” by reducing emissions of methane and other “harmful air pollution” from new and existing oil and gas operations.

The Biden EPA considers methane a major environmental problem. At the same time, methane is a byproduct of natural gas production, which has drastically lowered U.S. greenhouse gas emissions compared to generating power with coal and oil.

In terms of the fossil fuel industry, this could mean fewer wells drilled, which means fewer wells developed, fewer rigs running, and fewer people running those rigs. Previous EPA regulations have focused only on new wells, so what EPA wants to do here goes beyond the norm. EPA is also planning to look at all drilling sites, not just large operations.

Industry groups say they are already taking action.

“Industry-led innovation to detect and mitigate methane emissions in operations has contributed to significant reductions relative to production in the Appalachia region and every major basin in the U.S.,” said Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of American Petroleum Institute (API) Pennsylvania. “Our industry in Pennsylvania implements new technologies to accelerate methane emissions reductions while providing consumers with affordable, reliable natural gas, (and) we will continue to advance climate solutions and work with the EPA in support of a final rulemaking that is cost-efficient and fosters innovation and provides regulatory certainty.”

A PricewaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by API found Pennsylvania’s natural gas and oil industry supported 102,500 direct and 377,800 indirect jobs across the state’s economy in 2019. It also found the industry generated $78.4 billion toward the state’s gross domestic product.

Dan Weaver, president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), said Pennsylvania maintains one of the most rigorous environmental regulatory programs in the country.

“EPA and the Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s data shows that total methane emissions in the U.S. have fallen by seven percent since 2005, while natural gas production has increased 118 percent,” said Weaver. “Electricity production from natural gas has increased by 113 percent in that same period, providing significant public health and environmental benefits in the process.”

And because his industry makes money selling methane, Weaver said it makes no sense to allow it to dissipate into the atmosphere.

“That is why our producers maintain and update equipment, detect and repair leaks and use advanced technology to identify and control emissions,” said Weaver.

Still, the EPA believes more should be done to combat what President Joe Biden considers to be one of the greatest threats facing our nation today. “We are racing forward to do our part to avert the ‘climate hell’ that the U.N. Secretary-General so passionately warned about, Biden said in a speech to the COP27 global warming summit in Egypt last month.

“Natural gas is the very product our members produce and transport, and we have every environmental and economic incentive to ensure the product safely and efficiency reaches the market,” Marcellus Shale Coalition President David Callahan told Delaware Valley Journal. “This is America’s largest natural gas producing basin and it has the lowest methane intensity because companies here are monitoring and taking actions to minimize unwanted leaks.”

Like API and PIOGA, Marcellus Shale Coalition maintains that industry-led innovation and continuous improvement will drive further emission reduction gains.

“We look forward to engaging with EPA on a workable, commonsense final rule.”


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LOMBORG: Hypocrisy Abounds at Climate Summit

Every year, global climate summits feature a parade of hypocrisy as the world’s elite arrive on private jets to lecture humanity on cutting carbon emissions. The current U.N. climate summit in Egypt offers more breathtaking hypocrisy than usual because the world’s rich are zealously lecturing poor countries about the dangers of fossil fuels — after devouring massive amounts of new gas, coal and oil.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up energy prices, wealthy countries have been scouring the world for new energy sources. The United Kingdom vehemently denounced fossil fuels at the Glasgow climate summit just last year but now plans to keep coal-fired plants available this winter instead of shutting almost all of them as previously planned. 

Thermal coal imports by the European Union from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia increased more than 11-fold. Meanwhile, a new trans-Saharan gas pipeline will allow Europe to tap directly into gas from Niger, Algeria and Nigeria; Germany is reopening shuttered coal power plants; and Italy is planning to import 40 percent more gas from northern Africa. And the United States is going cap-in-hand to Saudi Arabia to grovel for more oil production.

At the climate summit in Egypt, the leaders from these countries will somehow declare with straight faces that poor countries must avoid fossil fuel exploitation for fear of worsening climate change. These rich countries will encourage the world’s poorest to focus instead on green energy alternatives like off-grid solar and wind energy. 

They’re already making the case. In a speech widely interpreted as being about Africa, the U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said it would be “delusional” for countries to invest more in gas and oil exploration.

The hypocrisy is simply breathtaking. Every rich country today became wealthy thanks to the exploitation of fossil fuels. The world’s major development organizations — at the behest of wealthy countries — refuse to fund fossil fuel exploitation that poor countries could use to lift themselves out of poverty. Moreover, the elite prescription for the world’s poor — green energy — is incapable of transforming lives.

That’s because sun and wind power are useless when it is cloudy, at night or there is no wind. Off-grid solar power can provide a nice solar light but typically can’t even power a family’s fridge or oven, let alone provide the power that communities need to run everything from farms to factories, the ultimate engines of growth.

A study in Tanzania found almost 90 percent of households given off-grid electricity just want to be hooked up to the national grid to receive fossil fuel access. The first rigorous test published on the effect of solar panels on the lives of poor people found they got a little bit more electricity — the ability to power a lamp during the day — but there was no measurable effect on their lives: they did not increase savings or spending, did not work more or start more businesses, and their children did not study more.

Moreover, solar panels and wind turbines are useless at tackling one of the primary energy problems of the world’s poor. Nearly 2.5 billion people continue to suffer from indoor air pollution, burning dirty fuels like wood and dung to cook and keep warm. Solar panels don’t solve that problem because they are too weak to power clean stoves and heaters.

In contrast, grid electrification — which nearly everywhere means mostly fossil fuels — significantly positively effects household income, expenditure and education. A study in Bangladesh showed that electrified households experienced a 21 percent average jump in income and a 1.5 percent reduction in poverty yearly.

The biggest deception is that rich world leaders have somehow managed to portray themselves as green evangelists, while more than three-quarters of their enormous primary energy production comes from fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. Less than 12 percent of their energy comes from renewables, mostly from wood and hydro. Just 2.4 percent is solar and wind.

Compare this to Africa, the most renewable continent in the world, with half of its energy produced by renewables. But these renewables are almost entirely wood, straws and dung, and they are really a testament to how little energy the continent has access to. Despite all the hype, the continent gets just 0.3 percent of its energy from solar and wind.

To solve global warming, rich countries must invest much more in research and development on better green technologies, from fusion, fission and second-generation biofuels to solar and wind with massive batteries. The crucial insight is to innovate their actual cost below fossil fuels. That way, everyone will eventually switch. But telling the poor to live with unreliable, expensive, weak power is an insult.

There is already pushback from the world’s developing countries, who see the hypocrisy for what it is: Egypt’s finance minister recently said that poor countries must not be “punished,” and warned that climate policy should not add to their suffering. That warning needs to be heard. Europe is scouring the world for more fossil fuels because the continent needs them for its growth and prosperity. That same opportunity should not be withheld from the world’s poorest.

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PA Pols Say Climate Bill Will Cut Energy Costs. Experts Say ‘No’

Most Americans know the “Inflation Reduction Act” President Joe Biden signed will have little impact on inflation. CBS News ran the headline, “One thing the Inflation Reduction Act may not do: Lower inflation” even before the bill had been signed.

And a new Morning Consult poll found just 15 percent of independent voters believe the legislation will live up to its name.

Which may explain why Democrats have suddenly shifted their language about the legislation to a “climate” bill, touting savings on energy costs it will bring American consumers. But will this new measure, with its $739 billion price tag, actually lower the cost of electricity, heating oil, or gas?

Sen. Bob Casey says yes. “This bill is going to lower… energy costs for American families while creating clean energy manufacturing jobs and tackling the climate crisis.”

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa) agrees. The Inflation Reduction Act will “lower energy costs, saving Pennsylvania families an average of $1000 per year on their energy bills.”

(Interestingly, the same study Scanlon cites also says these savings won’t arrive until 2030, and just $16 to $125 of that $1,000 will come from the new law.)

While the League of Conservation Voters may be right that the Inflation Reduction Act “is the largest investment ever to fight the climate crisis,” relatively little of the $369 billion in climate spending will lower energy costs in the short term.

That is because, energy experts say, the spending is mostly in the form of tax breaks on money businesses spend building green energy production or switching to green energy sources. Some of the money also goes to homeowners and residential customers; but once again, only after they spend their own money weatherproofing their homes, switching to heat pumps, or buying electric vehicles.

In other words, there are no savings until ratepayers do some spending.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) acknowledged that fact earlier this week. “The Inflation Reduction Act lowers energy costs for families by providing rebates and tax credits to make homes and vehicles more energy efficient.” [emphasis added].

The largest share of the money goes “to subsidize supply, specifically for low-carbon and zero-carbon energy sources,” said Nick Loris of the Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions (C3 Solutions). “All else being equal, increased supply will lower prices. But for that to happen, the energy sector needs the ability to build the necessary infrastructure in a timely fashion.”

Without the necessary regulatory modernizations, Loris says policymakers are failing to address the systemic problem that has frustrated investors and energy producers across the board.

“That’s particularly true in places like the northeast where heating oil has doubled in price since last year, but regulatory bottlenecks and NIMBYism has blocked the infrastructure for cost-effective alternatives,” Loris said. “Secondly, it’s important to remember that this isn’t $369 billion isn’t free money. Americans will have to pay for subsidies through more borrowing or higher taxes.”

However, if they spend part of that money buying new energy-efficient washing machines or heat pumps, won’t that reduce demand and, over time, lower prices? Not according to Kenny Stein, policy director for the Institute for Energy Research, a free-market think tank.

“For the heat pump or appliance example, the alleged cost savings are based on modeling that says renewables make electricity cheaper, therefore a new heat pump will save money,” Stein says. “But if renewables increase electricity prices (which they tend to do), then the modeled savings vanish.”

Why would renewables increase electric rates? Because moving large numbers of businesses and households from heating oil or natural gas to electricity (not to mention electric vehicles) means a massive increase in demand.

“Another wrinkle to the modeling is that supporters of the new law count improved efficiency from a new, greener appliance as savings. It’s true that a brand new heat pump is likely to run more efficiently than a 30-year-old furnace. But a brand new furnace would also run more efficiently. So a lot of the ‘heat pump efficiency’ savings are actually just ‘new appliance efficiency’ savings,” Stein said.

That may sound like common sense to some, but Anthony Watts of the Heartland Institute said many policy markers lack a basic understanding of basic math, physics, engineering, etc.

“Our electric grid was built by engineers, not by politicians,” says Watts, a senior fellow for environment and climate at Heartland. “These politicians are pushing a green agenda, insisting ‘this will be better, it will be cheaper, it will be economically feasible, it will save people money.’ They may or may not be sincere, but they are completely ignorant of the scientific reality behind these things.”

In the coming years, Watts predicted legislators who support the Inflation Reduction Act will try to fix its failures by making a push to nationalize energy.

“They will claim the government could manage it better and we’re not going to be hit with all these price increases, but it’s not going to be helpful,” said Watts. “Government can’t do anything better than private industry.”

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Mixed Reactions to $739B Spending Bill Signed by Biden

President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act — now being called the “Climate, Healthcare, and Taxes Act” by some — on Tuesday, drawing mixed reactions. Whether it would help or hurt Americans depended on party affiliation.

The mammoth $739 bill will impose a minimum of 15 percent in corporate taxes and a 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks. It will also unleash 87,000 new IRS agents, cap insulin costs for Medicare recipients, and shovel billions in tax subsidies to “green” projects.

“Hide your wallet! The left’s behemoth tax hike and spending law will do nothing to help struggling Americans,” said Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of America First Policy Institute. “It will only make a bad situation worse. Americans deserve prosperity, economic growth, and energy independence — and that’s exactly what they aren’t getting from the Biden administration. Now, out-of-touch liberals in Washington, D.C. are delivering tax hikes, more reckless spending, and an army of 87,000 IRS bureaucrats to grab more from families who have less. Recently, 369 economists signed a letter organized by AFPI that expresses how this bill will worsen inflation.”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) released this statement when the Senate passed the bill. “Last year, Democrats jammed through trillions of dollars in reckless spending that fueled the worst inflation in 40 years. Now, Democrats insist on pouring fuel on the fire with another partisan tax-and-spending spree that will only further exacerbate a recession we’re already likely in.

“To fund new ‘green’ corporate welfare and give Obamacare subsidies to wealthy Americans, this legislation forces short-sighted tax hikes on American businesses and imposes innovation-crippling price controls on life-saving medicines. And contrary to the bill’s name, non-partisan analysts have confirmed that it does nothing to alleviate the inflation tax Americans are feeling every day,” said Toomey.

Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) tweeted after the House approved the proposal, “We’ve passed the Inflation Reduction Act! For families, seniors, and our future. That’ll lower health care costs, cut prescription drug prices, including capping Medicare insulin at $35 — and the largest investment in our climate. We all should be proud of this work.”

After voting for the bill, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) said, “The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic victory for Pennsylvania families and for our planet: delivering the investments we need to keep down health care costs, reinvigorate American manufacturing, and drive our transition to a clean energy economy. Importantly, the bill is fully paid for by ensuring that corporations can’t dodge their taxes – while ensuring that not one middle-class Pennsylvanian or small business pays a cent more in taxes. This legislation is a monumental step forward in House Democrats’ fight to build a fairer, cleaner economy, as we remain committed to putting People Over Politics: lowering costs, creating better-paying jobs, and building safer communities for all.”

Dave Galluch, the Republican running against Scanlon, said, “Despite its name, the bill does little for working families. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has said the bill ‘will, in fact, have a minimal impact on inflation.’ That sentiment is confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). So, we must ask – how does spending an additional $700 billion, raising taxes on working families, and hiring more IRS agents bring down inflation? Without mentioning spiraling costs for families, my opponent Mary Gay Scanlon celebrates this bill as the ‘the largest-ever federal effort on climate change.’ The legislation primarily consists of subsidies for green technology like solar panels and electric vehicles. Yet the average cost of installation for solar panels is nearly $20,000. The $4,000 and $7,500 tax credits for used and new electric vehicles will do little to reduce a current average price of roughly $66,000.

“This bill does nothing to help those struggling in the Fifth Congressional District now. It is another example of failed, out-of-touch leadership we must move on from this November,” Galluch said.

Guy Ciarrocchi, the Republican running for Congress against Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) said, “The number one issue for everyone is Inflation. That’s why I would have been an emphatic “No” vote on Biden’s so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act.’ From Wharton to CBS, analysts have stated that the spending bill won’t lower inflation—in fact, it might make inflation worse.

“What we need is $2 gas; yet, Houlahan gives us 87,000 more IRS agents, who will harass small businesses and families. She won’t help us; so, I’m running to fix this mess,” he said.

But Democrat National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said, “President Biden and Democrats have delivered – and today, the American people won and the special interests lost. Today, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, taking the action the American people are looking for to lower the costs of prescription drugs, energy, and health care. It will also reduce the deficit — helping fight inflation. On top of that, this bill will take aggressive action to fight the climate crisis that will create jobs and increase our energy security.”

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) said on Facebook before the bill passing the House: “The reconciliation bill coming to the House floor tomorrow adds $80 billion to the Internal Revenue Service – nearly six times the agency’s current annual budget – and adds 87,000 new IRS enforcement personnel to pursue taxpayers, including the middle class.

“Wouldn’t we be better off hiring 87,000 new school resource officers and police officers to keep our schools and our communities safe?” Fitzpatrick asked.

American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers said, “While the Inflation Reduction Act takes important steps toward new oil and gas leasing and investments in carbon capture and storage, it falls well short of addressing America’s long-term energy needs and further discourages needed investment in oil and gas. API shares the goal of addressing climate change, as evidenced in the policies we support and in the actions that our industry is taking every day. However, the considerable tax increases are simply the wrong policies at the wrong time.

“From a new corporate minimum tax to an $11.7 billion tax on crude oil and petroleum products to a new natural gas tax, this legislation imposes additional costs on American families and businesses at a time when policymakers should be looking for solutions to provide relief.

“The bill also fails to address permitting reform, which is essential to effectively delivering affordable, reliable energy to consumers in a growing economy,” said Sommers.

“Without a comprehensive plan for critical investment in American oil and natural gas and associated infrastructure, which provide nearly 70 percent of our country’s energy needs, the American people will continue to bear the brunt of short-sighted policies in Washington,” he said.

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