Out-of-State Right Wing Interests Release Bogus Report on Clean Energy in Keystone State

An out-of-state foundation funded by right wing interests has leaked a “report” replete with bad information on the impact of Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards on electricity prices. This is the most recent version of the same report by the Beacon Hill Institute that was previously issued for Missouri, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Oregon. These studies have been used in several of the states to bolster legislation developed by the American Legislative Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute to overturn state laws that support renewable energy.

“Accepting this dubious data and following the ALEC playbook will kill thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, and make our air and water dirtier and more dangerous,” said George Jugovic Jr., president and CEO of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture). “Our AEPS law, passed with bipartisan support and signed into law in 2004, has been a remarkable success in making our electricity grid safer and more reliable. It has also enabled Pennsylvania’s clean energy industry to grow exponentially, with the Keystone State now number three in the nation for solar energy companies, and home to 17 wind farms. And prices for both renewable and non-renewable energy have been dropping.

“A look at the facts in Pennsylvania and other states with renewable energy standards show that clean energy is a great buy for all citizens,” continued Jugovic. “In New York, a Summit Blue Consulting, LLC analysis of the market price impacts of renewable energy resources found that for each MWh of renewable energy added to the grid, electricity costs are lowered by $100/MWh. This is what we expected. Since renewable energy sources like wind and solar have no fuel costs, once they are constructed they have little to no operating costs. Therefore, wind and solar can bid into the wholesale electricity the market at a price close to zero, helping to push out more expensive generators like peaking plants that rely on expensive and variable fossil fuels, lowering the cost of power for everyone. And as other fuel prices continue to be unpredictable, there is one thing that is guaranteed: renewable energy will always have the same fuel cost – zero.

“The unholy alliance of fossil fuel funded organizations behind this so-called report, which includes the nation’s primary home for climate change skeptics, and the group that wrote Pennsylvania’s abysmal voter ID law, is attempting to hijack Pennsylvania’s government in the service of dirty energy,” said Jugovic. “But it won’t work. Pennsylvanians – and all our citizens – want more renewable power, not less. And they aren’t about to be fooled by these outsiders into thinking our law isn’t working to benefit all.”

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization, founded in 1998. PennFuture’s activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens in public advocacy.

PennFuture has staff throughout the state, in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the “state’s leading environmental advocacy organization;” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the organization “one of the 10 most influential groups on the issue of natural gas drilling;” and StateImpact Pennsylvania, an online collaboration of NPR stations across the state, called PennFuture “the commonwealth’s main environmental advocate.”