Press Release: Minnesota?s Renewable Energy Mandate Will Damage State Economy with Little-to-No Benefit to Environment

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Paul Chesser,
Kim Crockett,
Frank Conte,

As the new state legislature scrutinizes Minnesota?s restrictive energy policies, a study commissioned by the American Tradition Institute and the Minnesota Free Market Institute provides several reasons for lawmakers and new Gov. Mark Dayton to reverse the state?s damaging Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The study found that Minnesotans would pay $15 billion more for electricity between 2016 and 2025 because of the state?s RPS, as alternative energy is more costly and unreliable than conventional sources such as coal or natural gas. Meanwhile there will be negligible environmental benefit, as it is unlikely that use of renewables ? especially wind, which the state mandates as a large percentage of its RPS ? actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The study was prepared by economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston.

?Minnesota?s renewables mandate is an invitation for business and industry to leave for states with lower-cost electricity,? said Paul Chesser, executive director of the American Tradition Institute. ?The heavy requirement upon Xcel Energy to derive 25 percent of sales from wind power will be a jobs killer.?

Other insights from the ATI/MNFMI report:

· Minnesota?s electricity prices will increase by 24 percent by 2025
· By 2025 the state will lose a net of 11,271 jobs
· In 2025 the RPS mandate will reduce annual wages by an average of $736 per worker
· Due to higher home energy costs, in 2025 annual real disposable income will fall by $1.36 billion

?In 2007, Minnesota embraced the proposition that tax subsidies for so-called ?clean? energy combined with forced quotas would magically create clean, abundant, and affordable energy,? said Kim Crockett, president of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. ?Our study demonstrates that the RPS mandate is an illusion.?

The report concludes that Minnesota?s RPS law, because of higher costs for doing business, will not reduce global greenhouse gas emissions but rather send jobs and capital investment outside the state.  As a first step Minnesota?s lawmakers should repeal the RPS before electricity costs spiral out of control.

See the two-page executive summary of ATI?s/MNFMI Study of the Effects of Minnesota?s Renewable Portfolio Standard on the State Economy. ( )

See the Full ATI/MNFMI Study of the Effects of Minnesota?s Renewable Portfolio Standard on the State Economy. ( )

For an interview with American Tradition Institute executive director Paul Chesser, call (202)670-2680 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202)670-2680 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email
For an interview with Minnesota Free Market Institute?s Kim Crockett, call (612) 388.2820 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (612) 388.2820 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email