The Dishonest Debate Over Clean Energy

Beware of people who claim that forcing a shift to renewable energy will result in an economic boom. The technology boom of the last 30 years did not come as a function of forced change but rather efficiencies and cost advantages that were self-evident. If you want renewables for reasons other than economics then great, but don’t try to sell me on the notion that a massive and costly shift to a less efficient resource will result in an economic boom and millions of jobs… that’s just pissing on my leg and telling me it’s raining.

Then came the release of a scathing “peer review” of the scoping plan. Harvard’s Robert Stavins wrote that the ARB’s “economic analysis is terribly deficient in critical ways” and could not be relied on. Janet Peace and Liwayway Adkins of the Pew Center for Global Climate Change wrote that the analysis “gives the appearance of justifying the chosen package of regulatory measures rather than evaluating it.” Wesleyan University’s Gary Yohe wrote it was “almost beyond belief” that the agency could claim vast economic gains and decried the “spurious precision” of its forecasts. UCLA’s Matthew Kahn noted the considerable evidence contradicting the ARB’s claims that manufacturers, who employ 1.5 million Californians, would not be hurt by higher energy costs. Dallas Burtraw of the Resources for the Future group said the models used by the ARB underestimate costs, wrongly anticipate a “frictionless,” easy transition to new energy sources and are in troubling “harmony” about the economic upside of the scoping plan.

[From Dishonest debate | The San Diego Union-Tribune]