In a recent Keene Sentinel letter to the editor, a resident suggests the new legislature stop giving any RGGI money back to ratepayers. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a broad-based tax on electricity consumers. It can rise or fall without any elected official ever casting a vote. And it makes electricity more expensive.
Its purpose, according to the author, is “to move the region towards using more renewable energy sources for power and to reduce the amount of energy customers use which in turn reduces their energy costs.” Her concern is that New Hampshire is using more energy, not less. Which means ratepayers are spending more on electricity. If we spent all of the RGGI money on renewable energy sources and (presumably) efficiency measures like we’d be using less, and spending less. And,
New Hampshire needs to move more quickly to reduce our energy usage overall and our reliance on fossil fuels in general.
There is no specific mention of CO2 or pollution. No Global warming scare. But the priority is replacing fossil fuels with so-called ‘renewable energy.’ And with that, we will use less and pay less.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
RGGI is a wealth redistribution scheme designed to give legislators a rising tax they would never have to vote for and a pot of money to milk for whatever they desire. Even in its current underperforming state, it raises unnecessarily rates that hurt the people its advocates claim to champion.
But then, the entire scheme does that.
Climate Sermons Delivered in a Vacuum
There are significant problems with RGGI, “renewable energy,” CO2 as a driver of so-called climate change, and the idea that we can abandon fossil fuels. There is also an issue with thinking policies addressing one or more of these could do anything the advocates promise. Or, that this will somehow reduce the overall consumption of electricity.
Can you create jobs, even green jobs, without using more electricity? Nope.
If you hadn’t noticed, New Hampshire is faring rather well. We’re adding jobs. Generating growth, GDP. Even under the most glorious green scenario, you can’t add jobs and the wealth to fund them in a vacuum. We have to use more energy, more electricity to do that. We convert that resource into opportunity, income, lifestyles. If RGGI was ever openly about preventing growth, I’m unaware of it. That’s not to say RGGI wasn’t designed for that purpose just that it was not advertised.
Who among you thinks average everyday citizens would buy in emotionally – we’re already forcing them to buy in fiscally – to a program whose stated purpose is to suppress economic growth?
And have they, at least passively, accepted it by not rising up every year to demand we stop making power cost more? None of this happens in a vacuum.
Cause and Effect
I asked Greg Moore, the Executive Director of AFP-NH for his thoughts.
“New Hampshire has the fastest growing economy in the Northeast, but that is despite, not because of our energy costs. Currently, we have the 5th highest electricity prices nationally, and the 3rd highest in the continental US, thanks to programs like RGGI, that drive up electricity costs.
That fast-growing economy does more than increase power needs for job creators. Growth creates demand. Housing more workers, even in crappy, globalist, workforce-housing, will drive up usage. Putting them in desirable single-family homes seems more appealing. But in either instance, people aren’t moving here for opportunities or higher wages to sit in the cold and the dark. They want to live!
Programs like the Renewable Portfolio Standard, RGGI raise the cost. And bills that force distributors to pay above market rates to keep biomass plants open raise them more. Greg continues on the effect of those politically mandate price increases.
This hammers the low-income and fixed-income individuals across our state and makes the Granite State less attractive to important employers in the manufacturing sector. It’s time to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and to begin to focus on make our state more competitive and easier to live in for our poor residents and seniors.”
The fastest way to make sure New Hampshire is not the fastest growing economy in the region is to drive up the cost of running a business and living in the Granite State.
A past Democrat legislature imposed RGGI on us in the first place. I expect they’ll do what they can this time to make it more of an imposition. Even when nothing it promises is possible, and the clean-energy future they imagine is expensive, inefficient, incapable of ever meeting demand, and dirty.
How Dirty? Very Dirty.
As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wildlands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.
It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fiberglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.
The green economy was never green. Just more expensive. A diversion of wealth from one set of pockets to another while punishing rate-payers -particularly small businesses and low-income folks – for the price of the game.
The government can’t fix any of the problems it imagines. Certainly not with the solutions they demand. But they won’t stop trying if you refuse to keep these climate mountebanks out of office.