Report: Biden’s Energy Plan Costs Jobs, Ratepayers

biden energy plan costs
The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By J.D. Davidson (The Center Square)

Using Ohio and California as a template for the rest of the country, a report released Wednesday shows President Joe Biden’s new energy approach will likely mean higher rates and cost tens of thousands of jobs.

The Buckeye Institute, an Ohio-based policy group, examined what it called Biden’s idea to revive the Clean Power Plan. This was initially an Environmental Protection Agency rule issued during the Obama administration, rolled back by former President Donald Trump and eventually vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022.

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The report says reasserting those environmental rules would have significant and challenging regulations on energy providers and the nation’s economy. The 80-year-old Biden has a stated goal to reduce carbon emissions to 52% below 2005 levels.

“With customers already getting hit with rising energy costs, imposing a new Clean Power Plan will make a difficult situation even worse and will have significant, negative economic consequences on households, businesses, and the economy,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute. “With customer rate hikes on the horizon and inflation high, it is time once and for all to pull the plug on federal government mandates that drive up energy costs.”

The report used the strong economies of Ohio and California, diverse geography and mixed population densities to show how the plan would likely impact the rest of the country.

Using a scoring model developed by economists at The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center, researchers looked at four scenarios to estimate the impact of the new power plan on jobs and the economies of the two states.

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“To achieve those respective results, both states will need to replace low-cost baseload coal and natural gas with higher cost wind and solar energy, which will raise electricity prices for businesses and families,” the report reads. “Higher utility costs will then have negative effects that will ripple through the Ohio and California economies. We anticipate those effects under four reasonable scenarios, which reveal economies hemorrhaging jobs, production and tax revenue over the next 10 years.”

The four scenarios, two each for Ohio and California, use discount rates, which convert a value received in a future time.

At a 7% discount rate by 2032, researchers calculated the new power plan would cost Ohio 10,000 jobs, and its gross domestic product would fall by $3.19 billion. They also believe consumption would decline by $550 million, investments would drop by $1.99 billion and tax revenue would tumble by $2.51 billion.

Ohio, at a 3% discount rate by 2032, would lose 14,000 jobs and $3.38 billion in tax revenue. Also, the gross domestic product would fall by $4.34 billion, investment would drop by $2.7 billion and consumption would fall by $750 million.

“Ohio is an energy-intensive state with a robust manufacturing sector, yet it does not have the geography or climate to make solar or wind power as cheaply as some states,” Hederman told The Center Square. “So, a power plan that forces people and businesses to use green energy over traditional energy sources means higher costs to businesses and families. While every state will pay more, Ohio will pay more compared to states that can more readily utilize green energy sources.”

In the 7% discount rate scenario, California would also lose 10,000 jobs, while its gross domestic product would fall by $5.11 billion, and consumption would dip by $1.87 billion. Investment would drop by $3.1 billion, and the state would lose $1.87 billion in tax revenue.

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At 3%, California would lose 13,000 jobs, $4.14 billion in investment and $2.34 billion in tax revenue. Also, gross domestic product would fall by $6.84 billion, and consumption would dip by $2.5 billion.

“California and Ohio both fare poorly under a new Clean Power Plan, and the rest of the country will not fare any better,” Hederman said.

The report also expressed concern the current EPA would repeat mistakes from the Obama administration. According to the report, the EPA used flawed metrics that should have been disqualified as a tool in federal rule making.

Ohioans receive nearly 79% percent of their total electricity from natural gas and coal. In California, 34% of the electricity comes from natural gas, while 27% comes from other renewable sources.

Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.

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