March 25, 2019
This article was originally posted in the Journal Inquirer on March 22, 2019.
In the pursuit of a better world, politicians often let hysterics get in the way of sound policy. On March 11, the General Assembly environment committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 999, which would require the licensing of cats and establish a $15 licensing fee. In addition to the fee, municipalities would be allowed to charge prospective cat parents up-to-$150 for spray, neuter, and vaccination costs. » Read More
December 11, 2018
This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on November 26, 2018.
Over the last few months, lawmakers, regulators and consumer advocates have been fighting the good fight against forced, expensive solar energy. Advocates of “net metering,” or the cross-subsidization of residential solar power at the expense of the poor, have had a tough time persuading lawmakers to back their flawed policies. In New Hampshire, a bill expanding net metering was vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu, who called the policy a “handout” to developers. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Arizona Corporation Commission nixed net metering all together in September as the state implements its “Value of Solar” decision issued two years ago.
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October 29, 2018
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This article appeared in The American Spectator on October 26, 2018.
Imagine a 6,350-acre parcel close to your home filled with rows and rows of 1.8 million solar panels and the largest solar power farm of its kind east of the Rocky Mountains. Imagine wondering what effect that massive farm would have not only on the local environment, but also the microclimate, because such a project in a populated area is unprecedented. If you lived in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, you wouldn’t have to imagine it because such a farm could be built there in the next few years. A large group of concerned citizens are now fighting the plan, raising concerns and hoping for a scaled-back project.
October 22, 2018
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This article appeared in Inside Sources on October 16, 2018.
For those unable and unwilling to wait for Chicken Little’s coming sequel, the United Nations’ latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report provides a heavy helping of unnecessary alarmism and hysteria. The report’s authors warn that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are inevitable absent a radical, World War II-level effort to ratchet down fossil fuel usage to zero by 2050. At a U.S. taxpayer-funded level of $8 billion, the United Nations has an obligation to provide a levelheaded accounting of the facts, instead of jumping to fear mongering.
October 4, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on October 1, 2018.
The federal government can’t help but get wrapped up in the tech sector, placing ludicrously large bets on boondoggles that benefit few at the expense of many. Take, for example, electric vehicles and their associated tax credits. In 2008, then-President George W. Bush signed into law an up-to $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of the first 250,000 vehicles on the market. As a part of his massive, ill-advised stimulus package, then-President Barack Obama expanded this credit to include the first 200,000 vehicles sold by each manufacturer in the United States. » Read More
August 14, 2018
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on August 5, 2018.
According to green energy advocates, U.S. cities are on the cusp of large-scale electric bus purchases, paving the way for a greener and zero-emissions future. This year, for instance, San Francisco committed to a fully-electric vehicle fleet by 2035, before testing electric buses on the hilly routes of the city. San Francisco is hardly alone; Seattle signed onto an international pledge to only use electric buses starting in 2025. Dallas unveiled their own electric fleet, introducingseven vehicles for downtown services with the help of more than $7 million from the Federal Transit Administration (aka federal taxpayers).
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July 27, 2018
Summer time is for going outside, soaking up some sun, and, if you’ve been in Washington, DC for the past week, avoiding unpleasant, persistent lukewarm rain. But some lawmakers and policy gurus have been cooped up inside, busy scheming and counter-scheming onerous taxes and mandates to “save the environment.” Yes, we are referring to the brouhaha created by Rep. Curbelo’s (R-Fl.) scheme to heavily tax energy and electricity, raising prices for hundreds of millions of hard-working Americans. Shortly after the bill’s introduction, the Taxpayer’s Protection Alliance (TPA) and like-minded groups quickly got to work criticizing the scheme as costly and unworkable. » Read More
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.
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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