Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) today released a report prepared by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy detailing the economic impacts of President Obama's proposal to mandate a national Clean Energy Standard (CES).
The report estimates electricity generation costs and economic conditions under various scenarios if Congress were to enact the President's CES proposal. The EIA's best estimate projection found that in 2035 a CES would increase electricity generation costs by almost 30 percent nationwide, and significantly higher than that in certain regions of the country. Household electricity bills would increase by $115 per year in 2025, and by $211 in 2035. Gross Domestic Product would be reduced by between $74 billion and $127 billion annually during that time period.
"This report--prepared by independent government experts--makes clear that the CES amounts to an expensive new electricity tax on the American people," Hall said. "With an anemic economy and unemployment stuck above nine percent, it is very troubling that the President continues to pursue an energy policy that would add billions to Americans' energy bills. The report estimates that electricity prices in my home state of Texas would increase by a whopping 42 percent. This is obviously the wrong policy for America. Now more than ever, the United States should be pursuing an all-of-the-above energy strategy that lowers prices through development of all energy resources, not raises them through technology mandates. Further, this independent report demonstrates that, even if Congress does not enact the President's CES, the Administration's regulatory attempts to drive fossil fuels from our energy mix are a surefire way to raise electricity prices and lose jobs."
Other notable findings from the report include:
* Nationwide expenditures on electricity would increase by $41 billion in 2025 and by $77 billion in 2035
* Nationwide manufacturing employment would decline by 1 million jobs in 2025
* Electricity prices in 2035 would increase by at least 40 percent in seven market regions, including those covering Texas (42 percent), Oklahoma (46 percent), Tennessee/Kentucky (47 percent), Colorado (48 percent), Eastern PA and New Jersey (50 percent), Long Island (51 percent) and Southern Illinois/Eastern Missouri (61 percent).
The report originated from Hall's questioning of Energy Secretary Steven Chu at a March SST Committee hearing. Asked at the hearing how much the CES would cost, Chu said "we don't really know," but offered to direct an EIA analysis to determine what the costs would be. Hall added, "It's troubling that the President's team didn't bother to estimate the costs of his proposal before pursuing it, but now that we know the answer I hope the President will reconsider his effort to require Americans to buy more expensive electricity."