The Buckeye Institute Pushes Back Against RPS Standards and Stands Up for Lower Electricity Bills in New Policy Brief

Dec 15, 2016

COLUMBUS, OHIO--On Thursday, The Buckeye Institute released a brand new policy brief addressing one of the most important policies the legislature has debated in this "lame duck" session: the renewables portfolio standards (RPS).

As you would guess, these government mandates dictate to your electricity provider how much "renewable" or "green" (think wind and solar) energy sources they must use.  They seek to reduce overall energy usage, charge you higher rates, and use the proceeds to subsidize the true cost of those funny-looking spiraled energy efficient light bulbs.

The problem?  These RPS mandates--which of course sound nice and eco-friendly to many people--are costly, but provide little (if any) real health or environmental benefits.

You might be willing to pay a little more of your own green toward your electricity bill to support more green energy, and that should be your choice.  But forcing everyone to do it regardless of whether they can afford it--even, for example, big manufacturers that employ thousands of Ohioans and are fighting tooth-and-nail to compete in a tough global market--means that Ohio companies will create fewer jobs and lower income folks will struggle with the increase in their utility bills.

At The Buckeye Institute, we don't believe in killing jobs for regular Ohioans and increasing electricity bills on folks who are barely making it in order to make some people feel better about themselves.

That's why Buckeye applauded legislators' 2014 decision to freeze the mandates for two years and reconsider the policy.  A study committee recommended extending the freeze indefinitely.  Unfortunately, this recommendation was not followed.

The Buckeye Institute's Policy Brief explains further. The brief is an easier-to-read version of our new more comprehensive white paper that uses hard data and solid economics to demonstrate how exactly RPS policies raise prices.  And higher energy prices mean lower job creation.  Although our brief shows that eliminating the mandates altogether is the best policy, the legislation awaiting the governor's signature is certainly better than nothing at all.  The legislation delays the reinstatement of the RPS mandates and gives utility companies time to transition and find the best ways to comply, keeping costs lower for consumers.

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Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.