Electricity Freedom Act – ALEC Model Legislation

ALEC headerElectricity Freedom Act

Summary: The Electricity Freedom Act repeals the State of {insert state}’s requirement that electric distribution utilities and electric services companies provide _____ percent of their electricity supplies from renewable energy sources by ____.

 WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and ratepayers to use renewable energy through a government mandate will increase the cost of doing business and push companies to do business with other states or nations, thereby decreasing American competitiveness;

WHEREAS, many renewable sources of power currently cost more than traditional electricity generation technologies, and are projected to do so for the foreseeable future;

WHEREAS, the costs of renewable energy will be borne by consumers regardless of income or circumstances;

WHEREAS, the costs of renewable energy that are not directly internalized are financed by taxpayers through numerous state and federal financial incentives;

WHEREAS, forcing renewable sources of power will impose the additional burden of integrating intermittent energy onto the electricity grid and threatening electricity reliability;

WHEREAS, the costs of such expensive transmission projects are also financed by ratepayers;

WHEREAS, no state or nation has enhanced economic opportunities for its citizens or increased Gross Domestic Product through renewable energy mandates;

WHEREAS, due to the renewable energy mandate a tremendous amount of economic growth is sacrificed for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of greenhouse gases;

WHEREAS, government mandates to produce renewable energy necessarily involve increasing costs for ratepayers while benefiting politically favored industries;

WHEREAS, primary emissions standards that leave to the marketplace the choice of compliance technologies can address air quality standards more efficiently than “technology forcing” mandates;

WHEREAS, technological advances continue to reduce the rate of air emissions from all fossil fuel sources where vibrant market economies are allowed to exist; and

WHEREAS, electric utilities may have invested in long-term renewable energy assets and/or purchase power agreements, as well as other infrastructure necessary to comply with current and future levels of renewable energy mandates;

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the legislature of the State of _____ understands that a renewable energy mandate is essentially a tax on consumers of electricity that forces the use of renewable energy sources beyond what would be called for by real market forces and under conditions of real competition in generation resources; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State of {insert state} does not wish to discourage the marketing of “green” power and “green” pricing such that willing buyers and sellers of renewable energy sources are free to negotiate the terms and conditions of such sales, and no technology or class of technologies is given an unfair competitive advantage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Act also recognizes the prudency and reasonableness of many of the renewable contracts and investments and allows for recovery of costs where appropriate; and

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED, that the State of {insert state} repeals the renewable energy mandate and as such, no electric distribution utilities and electric services companies will be forced to procure renewable energy resources as defined by the State of {insert state}’s renewable energy mandate.

 

Adopted by the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the 2012 Annual Meeting on

July 26, 2012. Approved by ALEC Board of State Legislators on October 18, 2012.