June 22, 2018
Electric cars are one of the federal government’s favorite pet projects, with billions of dollars in various subsidies bestowed on producers, like Elon Musk, and high income buyers every single year. Increasingly, state and local governments have gotten on the subsidy bandwagon as well, offering lucrative production, purchase, parking, and charging benefits to everyone involved. Justifications ring a dime a dozen, ranging from miniscule impacts on global climate to thinly veiled protectionism. Too often, though, taxpayers and consumers are left out of the equation. Subsidies and “green” requirements, after all, inevitably trickle down to everyone else, resulting in higher prices and “accounts payable” to Uncle Sam and taxpayers. » Read More
February 21, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on February 14, 2018
To many on the environmental left, funding cuts to green energy amount to a war on “clean technology.” Revelations in December that President Trump was redirecting funding away from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program was met with dismay by steadfast backers of the program. » Read More
September 22, 2017
This article appeared in The Daily Caller on September 21, 2017.
Even in an age of hyper-partisanship, bad ideas seldom die with the presidential administration that spawned them. A smorgasbord of federal and state “green”subsidies and mandates continue to wreak havoc on the American energy markets, hiking costs for everyone. Despite the findings of the Department of Energy (DOE) and other authorities that green “investments” mean more volatility for the energy grid, lawmakers at all levels continue to push these failed policies to the detriment of consumers and taxpayers. » Read More
September 21, 2017
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This article appeared in Inside Sources on September 19, 2017.
In a September 12 opinion piece supporting the bailout of nuclear power plants, John Hangar and Marc Spitzer argued that “federal courts in New York and Illinois ruled that states have the authority to place an economic value on the zero-emission production of electricity. More important, these rulings establish a precedent for other states to achieve their own goals to use clean energy credits for sources of electricity that don’t emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” In fact, these two nuclear bailouts will cost taxpayers and ratepayers billions of dollars and establish an expensive and misguided precedent.
August 11, 2017
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This piece was published in the Washington Examiner on August 4, 2017.
The United States Congress continues to kowtow to the Department of Energy, giving it free rein to impose energy choices onto consumers across the country. Contrary to Congress' promise to advocate for the taxpayer, and despite the urging of numerous thought leaders, the current Congress has so far neglected to protect those who elected them. Despite continual failures by the solar industry to become a competitive source of energy, the department recently announced $65 million in solar subsidies through the SunShot Initiative designed to advance solar power technologies in America.
August 4, 2017
This piece was published in The Daily Caller on August 2, 2017.
On Friday, Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth” – “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” – arrives in movie theaters across the country. But there’s another inconvenient sequel worth noting and, like most sequels, this one is even worse than the original. Gore’s hypocritical home energy use and “do as I say not as I do” lifestyle has plunged to embarrassing new depths. Last September alone, Gore devoured 30,993 kWh of electricity. That’s enough to power 34 average American homes for a month. Over the last 12 months, Gore used more electricity just heating his outdoor swimming pool than six typical homes use in a year. » Read More
August 2, 2017
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This piece was published at Philly.com on July 24, 2017.
Exelon Corp., the billion-dollar global energy conglomerate, has threatened to shut down its Three Mile Island plant because it is in financial freefall. It has lost money five years running and recently failed to sell off its power at an electricity auction. Exelon says it will shutter the nuclear plant by 2019, several years ahead of schedule. Three Mile isn't suffering alone. The nuclear sector is flailing under mounting competition from the natural-gas industry. Incapable of competing on the open market, Exelon now wants a handout from Pennsylvania ratepayers and taxpayers.
July 5, 2017
The release of the President’s budget has ruffled many feathers, angering many that would lose funding for pet programs. In particular, the Administration has taken heat over their proposal to nix funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to fund basic research projects. Defenders of the program have engaged in their fair bit of exaggeration, hyping a study by program “consultants” that supposedly points to the usefulness of the program. Online stories readily declare that the program has been vindicated by “studies,” “contrary to political rhetoric.” But an examination of the study reveals large limitations and leaps in logic. Indeed, taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill for a program with little empirical justification. » Read More
June 20, 2017
To environmentalists across the country, withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is an unforgivable sin. In the green movement’s frustration, politicians critical of the international framework are branded as “traitors” and harbingers of the apocalypse. While eco-advocates have legitimate concerns about the climate, this great freak out is unwarranted. Most current proposals to address climate change are unnecessarily expensive, and unlikely to solve the problem. » Read More
June 2, 2017
Washington, D.C.- Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to the news that President Trump would proceed with withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement entered into by the Obama Administration in 2015. After heavy public, and private, debate with stakeholders and administration officials, the White House announced today that the U.S. would no longer be a part of the regulatory framework.
Click "Read Blog" below to see the full statement» Read More
May 31, 2017
This article appeared on JuneauEmpire.com on May 24, 2017
Alaska is in a budget crisis. The “gravest fiscal crisis in state history,” according to Gov. Bill Walker. But the crisis wasn’t caused by a lack of revenue; it was created by spending so irresponsible it would make drunken sailors blush. After years of acting like teenage girls on a shopping spree with daddy’s credit card, some state lawmakers still refuse to get their spending under control. Instead, they are hoping to fill Alaska’s cavernous $4 billion budget gap by pillaging the energy industry. While treating oil and natural gas companies like magical ATMs that dispenses money to make up for legislators’ budgetary sins might seem like a swell idea, it’s not. Legislation aimed at increasing tax revenues from the energy industry might be the single most short-sighted and damaging scheme ever to come out of the capitol.» Read More
May 23, 2017
After a dizzying array of state energy policy efforts over the past year, Indiana has shown that sensible reform is possible. New legislation, signed into law by Governor Holcomb two weeks ago, retools the state’s “net-metering” rules to minimize favoritism and better protect ratepayers. Indiana’s new law, SB 309, gradually changes the pricing system for energy produced via residential solar installations, giving solar panel owners a less generous deal for the “net energy” they produce. While current laws allow rooftop solar owners to sell excess energy back into the grid at the retail rate of electricity, SB309 would begin to phase out these privileges.» Read More
May 17, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) launched a new call campaign urging New York lawmakers to stand up and protect taxpayers from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nuclear bailout. TPA is encouraging its members and supporters to call State Senators Joe Griffo, Kemp Hannon, John Flanagan and Tom Croci to urge them to back a consensus plan to delay new taxes that would hit New Yorkers as a result of Cuomo’s nuclear bailout. The expensive and unnecessary plan to shift half of the Empire State’s energy consumption to renewables in the next 13 years will cost taxpayers and ratepayers billions of dollars. While electricity costs are increasing, the Governor is sending subsidies to select nuclear plants all owned by the same firm.» Read More
May 16, 2017
Washington continues to push on major issues like healthcare and tax reform, but there are other areas that could use attention too. One such issue is the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program that was expanded under President Obama. PACE loans provide financing to homeowners for solar panels through a lien that is paid back with property tax payments. TPA has been sounding the alarm about the PACE program and it is getting attention from some in Congress. Continuing to call attention to the dangers of the PACE loan program, TPA signed onto this letter from Americans for Prosperity to state legislators warning them about PACE.
Click "Read Blog" below to see the letter» Read More
May 15, 2017
This article originally appeared in The Washington Examiner on May 9, 2017
Bill Nye's new show on Netflix allows viewers to bask in all of the self-righteousness and goofy shouting that we missed from the 1990s. "Does the guy always shout this much?" asked an incredulous Redditor after seeing the Science Guy's show for the first time. Such questions, which have proliferated around the Web in recent days, show a fundamental disconnect between the "I love science" crowd and the rest of us. It's not that I'm trying to be "anti-intellectual"; I find the scientific method useful in tackling life's most pressing questions. But when propagandists such as Nye invoke "science" to the limited end of promoting dubious public policy, it's important that taxpayers know the truth.» Read More
May 8, 2017
This article originally appeared in The Hill on May 4, 2017, it was co-authored with Justin Sykes of Americans for Tax Reform
Washington seems to be getting in its own way on a number of potentially major reform initiatives in the first few months of 2017. But Congress is making progress on smaller pieces of legislation that promote better stewardship of taxpayer money and a more efficient and less intrusive bureaucracy. One area in need of heightened scrutiny and reform is the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program that was expanded under President Obama. PACE loans allow homeowners to finance solar panels (or other “energy efficient improvements”) through a lien that is then paid back with property tax payments. Homeowners should be able to improve their homes without government intervention. However, when homeowners are making a choice on whether to finance these new additions and are leveraging property tax do so, there has to be truth in advertising.» Read More
May 3, 2017
Fresh off his first deregulatory bout, President Trump may be aiming his firepower at the Paris Agreement next. The President pledged on the campaign trail to withdraw from the pact, and will further contemplate withdrawal over the next two weeks. In the meantime, lawmakers and pundits have rushed to the defense of the Obama-era agreement to clamp down on global carbon emissions. On the surface, the accord’s insistence that each nation do their fair share to reduce carbon emissions seems like a reasonable approach to tackle climate change. But despite the Paris Agreement’s lofty goals, the agreed-upon mechanisms in the agreement will harm nations rich and poor. While the agreed-upon reductions reached in the negotiations are nowhere near sufficient to reach the goal of zero net emissions by 2050, provisions ensure that countries will continue to up the ante on emission reductions. Every five years, nations are expected to “ratchet up” their rate of carbon reductions via more and more aggressive governmental actions. China’s announced cap-and-trade program and India’s large-scale solar deployments show just two approaches that signatories are willing to take to meet these reduction goals. This may all seem like a laudable “moonshot,” but advocates of continued involvement are ignoring the taxpayer and opportunity costs that come with a continued worldwide agreement.» Read More
May 1, 2017
The year is nearly halfway through, yet Congress still has plenty of work to get done in order to make 2017 a productive one. This week there is expected to be a vote on a spending bill that will miss the mark on any meaningful reductions in spending, but there also may be a vote on repeal and replace of Obamacare. The mixed bag from Congress and the White House so far is a bit disappointing but there are opportunities to cut wasteful programs and save taxpayers money. One such example is the SunShot Initiative. Right now taxpayers, through the Department of Energy (DOE), are paying for the program that spends $270 million per year to “induce companies to lower production and installation costs associated with photovoltaic solar panel systems and reducing the price of solar power.” This is a terrible program and that’s why TPA organized this coalition letter urging House Appropriators to eliminate funding for SunShot.
Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter» Read More
April 19, 2017
Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues to sound the alarm on Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (N.Y.) nuclear bailout (which took effect April 1) that imposes unreachable and expensive renewable energy mandates on the state. The plan requires half of New York State’s energy to come from carbon-neutral (renewable) sources by 2030 and it was approved by state regulators without the consent of state lawmakers. Ratepayers and taxpayers stand to pay billions of dollars for this crony bailout and the plan has come under consistent fire from a variety of officials and stakeholders. Last week, TPA spearheaded this coalition letter urging “fiscal conservatives” in the New York Senate to do more to speak up and offer ways to stop this bailout from continuing.Click "Read Blog" below to see the full letter » Read More
February 13, 2017
For pundits, lawmakers, and has-been presidential candidates, the phrase “green jobs” has long served as a magical mantra. Claims about the economic benefits of renewable subsidies are a dime-a-dozen, but do they hold up to scrutiny? The Solar Foundation’s 2016 Solar Jobs Census Report can shine some light on this question and help taxpayers see where all of their money is going. After combing through data collected by 91,000 energy establishments, the Foundation concludes that the number of solar jobs grew by 24.52 percent between 2015 and 2016. Absolute employment figures are low, however, meaning that some 50,000 new job positions will register as large percentage increases. Additionally, the concentration of job growth over the past year has more to do with congressional brinkmanship than actual market demand. Solar and wind companies feared throughout 2015 that the production and investment tax credit would expire at the end of the year, prompting a taxpayer-subsidized hiring and investment frenzy. As the result of a bipartisan agreement reached early last year, however, renewable tax subsidies will be phased out through the next decade. This extension will put a simmer on things for a while, but guarantees renewed market instability in a few years’ time. Even if private investment can partially fill the gap left by the phase-out, skills mismatches are bound to hold back the solar industry.» Read More