Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Institute Linked to Climate Skeptics Criticizes Pa.’s Alternative Energy Law

A report published today by a Suffolk University institute linked to climate change skeptics criticizes Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act and finds it could cause economic harm to the state.

The 2004 law requires energy utilities to purchase eight percent of their power from alternative sources, like solar and wind, by the year 2021.

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The report is one of several produced by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk, which has criticized similar alternative energy laws in other states. The Pennsylvania study finds that electricity rates could be 11.9% higher in 2021 as a result of the law.

Michael Head is a research economist at the institute and co-author of the report.

“A lot of these policies are instituted and the costs on future ratepayers are rarely talked about. You are requiring that electricity is produced in less efficient ways, which I think needs to be brought more into light,” he says.

According to the Washington Post, the Beacon Hill Institute is supported by foundations funded by the Koch brothers. The controversial billionaires are known for supporting many conservative causes including denials of climate change.

The Huffington Post points out that the Beacon Hill Institute was an official sponsor this year at the Heartland Institute’s annual climate-skepticism conference.

Head acknowledges that Suffolk University receives funding from the Koch brothers but says that the sources of funding for each of the Beacon Hill Institute’s individual reports are not disclosed.

 

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