On Wednesday, the group PennFuture claimed that "far-right leaning groups are waging a war against state renewable portfolio standards" and said that Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard is in the crosshairs. The organization pointed to a study done by Suffolk University's Beacon Hill Institute as the culprit of this war. Here are the details.
* PennFuture announced that it was outlining "widespread inaccuracies" in the Beacon Hill study on Pennsylvania's renewable portfolio standard.
* The Beacon Hill Institute, which is the research arm of Suffolk University's economics department, released its study of the state's alternative energy portfolio standard in December, in which it stated that the standard will likely lead to an economic cost of $16.3 billion from 2013 to 2021.
* According to Beacon Hill, customers in Pennsylvania will likely see their power bills increase by nearly 12 percent because of the mandate and may even see increases of up to 15 percent.
* The costs, the institute economists say, will hit low income households the hardest.
* However, PennFuture Energy Center director Christina Simeone says that the institute "greatly exaggerates" the costs and undervalues the benefits of the standard, failing to take into account built-in consumer protections and estimates cost impacts that are higher than the alternative energy law will allow.
* Further, PennFuture asserts, the portfolio standard has driven the development of new wind and solar energy into the state since 2004 "with little impact on electric consumers."
* Earlier this week, the group GreenPeace also took issue with the Beacon Hill Institute over recent testimony before the legislature in Kansas.
* In February, Beacon Hill Institute research economist Michael Head testified that renewable energy generation was less efficient and more expensive than energy from traditional sources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear and that the increased costs were passed on to consumers.
* GreenPeace argues that Beacon Hill has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from a fund that is affiliated with the pro-fossil fuel Koch brothers and can not be trusted.
* GreenPeace alleges that the American Legislative Council is also funded by Koch and is using the Beacon Hill studies to lead "the nationally-coordinated attack on state renewable portfolio standards as part of an ambitious dirty energy agenda for the members of its anti-environmental task force, like Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, Duke Energy and other major oil, gas and coal interests."
- Nature & Environment
- Beacon Hill Institute
- Suffolk University