Energy, Environment, Issues

New York State Is Perfecting Its Taxpayer Repellent

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Government at all levels has been for a century-plus grossly over-involved in, well, everything. For this particular exercise, let us look at the energy sector. Behold the myth that is “green energy.”

“Green energy” is – nigh totally – neither green, nor energy. Most sources – wind, solar, ethanol and bio-,… – expend as much or more traditional energy to produce as they eventually provide. And their production and utilization are in many instances much more anti-planet than demonized traditional sources.

And unlike traditional sources, “green energy” requires government money. Lots and LOTS of government money. Subsidies to the tune of tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars over the last few decades.

Which violates several of life’s maxims.

1) If something is a good idea – no government money is necessary. No one needs to subsidize ice cream.

2) Government money doesn’t help – it warps. Our decades of tilting at ethanol windmills has done virtually nothing to improve either ethanol or the energy sector. It has dramatically increased the price we pay at the gas pump – and the price of food all over the planet. As we bizarrely burn food for fuel.

3) Government doesn’t pick winners and losers – it picks losers at the expense of winners. To get the huge subsidy coin for ethanol (and solar, and wind, and…), government takes it from energy companies that produce, you know, actual energy. And all the rest of us taxpayers. To hand to these energy losers.

Get all that? We are taxed ever more on the front end – to pay ever higher prices on the back end. Outstanding policy, is it not?

New York state has been involved in this “green energy” nonsense for years and years. And they are about to swan dive into the kiddie pool.

“The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods.…

“As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.

“The New York State mandate is a VERY expensive proposition – that will do great and lasting damage to its economy.”

It is such a bad idea – even some New York Democrats have questions.

“A Sept. 7 letter to PSC – signed by Assembly members James Brennan, Amy Paulin, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Steve Englebright and Charles Lavine – groused about the $965 million in state aid that will go to help maintain the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station outside Oswego and the R.E. Ginna plant east of Rochester. Exelon Corp. currently owns Nine Mile and R.E. Ginna; it is in the process of purchasing Fitzpatrick, which the current owner, Entergy, had flagged for closure last year before the state stepped in.

“The lawmakers called on the PSC to make public the full analysis of costs Exelon will face to run the plants, and ask the panel to re-determine the rate increases that downstate power consumers will have to pay to support the subsidies.”

Please note: This is not to say nuclear energy is a bad idea. This is to say government-funded nuclear energy is a bad idea. Especially so when that government money will warp the entire state sector – in typical loser-at-the-expense-of-winner fashion.

“Democratic state lawmakers…(argue) that downstate energy consumers bore a disproportionate burden of the cost of state subsidies that will support three upstate nuclear power plants under the state’s Clean Energy Standard Program.”

And this is where it gets bizarrely goofy – as only government really can.

“(S)tate Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman…made the case that the state’s carbon reduction plan was a statewide effort with a global goal of fighting climate change….’While none of us want to increase electric prices, compared to the cost of climate change that we have already experienced in the State, this is a very modest burden.’”

You want “very modest?” That would be this economic-suicide plan’s impact on the global climate. This is a single state. One of the fifty United States. Which is one of the three countries in North America. Which is one of the seven continents on the globe – made up of almost two hundred countries.

To put this ridiculousness into even more of its ridiculous perspective:

“The planet is home to some 7.4 billion people – who generated in 2014 a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $77.6 trillion. New York State’s population is 19.7 million – and their 2015 GDP was $1.4 trillion.

“So New York’s GDP – is 1.8% of the world’s. Which means its global carbon footprint – is microscopic. If everyone in New York stopped doing any and everything – the impact on the world’s climate would be, for all intents and purposes, NIL.”

The only thing “modest” about New York’s “green energy” inanity – is its impact on global warming climate change.

There’s absolutely nothing “modest” about the state trying to subsidize-and-mandate its way to a nigh fivefold increase in fake “green energy” marketshare.

And to do it, the state government is “modest-ing” its taxpayers, energy sector and entire economy to death.

Study Finds New York Losing the Most Tax Payers: “The drumbeat of people leaving New York state goes on, a new finding shows, with the equivalent of the populations of Columbia and Washington counties heading for warmer, less costly and lower-taxed Sunbelt states in 2014. Out-migration is nothing new, but two demographers recently updated the statistical portrait of the trend, and it’s eye-opening. The Empire State lost 126,000 tax filers in 2014 to other states, the largest number among all 50 states….”

I’m sure this new, all-encompassing government inanity will really help with that.

This is a guest post by Seton Motley Founder and President of Less Government

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