[...]“There will always be people in this country who say that we’ve got to choose between clean air, clean water and growing the economy, between doing right by the environment and putting people back to work,” President Obama said a couple of years ago. “I’m here to tell you that is a false choice.” Well, actually, we already have cleaner air and water and we (typically) have a growing economy. The thing is there is consensus among economists that regulations do have a cost. Sometimes the price tag is worth it. Oftentimes it’s not.
We already have a test case for Obama’s proposition in California, the state with the most aggressive renewables portfolio standard. A mandated 33 percent of its power must be renewable energy by 2020. According to the Energy Department, residential electricity prices have already spiked 30 percent between 2006 and 2012 (when adjusted for inflation), and studies show that cost of electricity is likely to jump 47 percent over the next 16 years. Those are real-world costs that every Californian has to divert from their health care or groceries or education or investments to pay for artificially inflated energy prices.