While many Americans are feeling the pinch of higher energy costs, a small but vocal minority has been assigning blame to renewable energy standards. Unfortunately for them, it’s just not true.
States as diverse as Texas, California, and New Jersey currently have renewable energy standards, requiring a certain amount of the electricity sold within a state to be produced by renewable sources. A total of 29 states currently hold standards. While claiming that the renewable energy standards are part of a vast conspiratorial plot to drive up energy prices, opponents of the standards ignore the myriad of benefits of renewable energy, including improvements in public health, investment and job creation opportunities for local businesses, and a more resilient electrical grid.
Comparing the average annual energy rate change in each state before and after implementation of renewable energy standards compared to the average for states without renewable energy standards, Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress has found no pattern of electric rate increases.