By Kevin Mooney
With the demise of “cap and trade” legislation, the Obama Administration has shrewdly pivoted in the direction of renewable mandates that emphasize solar and wind technology as a sop to green groups. Looking ahead, in 2011, newly elected Republican lawmakers are well positioned to advance energy policies that better exploit America’s homegrown resources and lower consumer costs. They should also press the House leadership to highlight and expose federal initiatives that will most likely boost electricity prices.
The so-called “Solar Energy Development” program that targets six western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah), which was set in motion earlier this month, should be subjected to congressional scrutiny come January. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu both claim the program will create jobs over the long term.
“Our country has incredible renewable resources, innovative entrepreneurs, a skilled workforce, and manufacturing know-how,” Secretary Chu declared in a press release. “It’s time to harness these resources and lead in the global clean energy economy. Today’s announcement is part of an integrated strategy to cultivate the entire innovation chain to create the jobs of the 21st century economy and to put America on a sustainable energy path.”
However, an analysis of state level public policy measures that include renewable standards and other green schemes concludes that consumers will lose out under Team Obama’s solar energy program.
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