Multiple states have an RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) or an RES (Renewable Energy Standard). These are artificial political mandates that force state utility companies to use a certain percentage of “renewable” energy by a certain date. (For the specific U.S. rules see this.) Some Canadian provinces have similar mandates (e.g. Ontario’s so-called Green Act — see this for recent commentary).
Despite painfully contrived explanations, these edicts are solely about supporting well-connected special interest groups. Such mandates not only conflict with free market principles, but also with democracy itself.
What would you think if the government passed a law
mandating that 25% of your meals had to come from fast-food establishments?
Most people would start by asking: “what business is it of the government where I get my meals from?” The same applies to our electricity sources.
The government would probably try to distract us from this intrusion on our freedoms by saying that their fast-food mandate will provide some new jobs.
But that’s really three-card Monte. Although there would be an increase in fast-food jobs, there would be a decline in other food sector employment. What is the NET employment result? Just like in the energy mandates, they have no idea — but numerous independent assessments have concluded that there will be a net job loss.
The government would also likely respond that their fast-food mandate will promote “food diversity.”
Will we be fooled by clever phrasing? Where is the proof that this mandated diversity will be of any NET benefit to citizens — particularly when forcing lower quality options on us? Just like with the energy mandates, there is no scientific proof.
Still another excuse they would try out on us is the assertion that their mandate was necessary to assist the “relatively new fast-food industry” — asserting that the poor fast-food businesses need help in “leveling the playing field” to be able to compete with conventional food preparation (which has been around for thousands of years).
“Leveling the playing field” is code for providing taxpayer funding to special interest groups who have infiltrated the political process. Where is the proof that this citizen-provided assistance, will result in a societal NET benefit? Just like with the energy mandates, there is none.
Etc., etc. All of these fabricated justifications are intended to placate citizens, who are assumed to be uneducated on the issues, inattentive on technical policies, and too busy with other matters in their life to act on these freedom retractions. Is that you?
We are being brief here as ALL of the material on this site shows why these are poor policies. Some states are farther along in coming to the realization that these are a bad idea, and have introduced legislation to fix this lobbyist-driven error. The following two reports were written for such legislation in North Carolina. They are listed here as they apply to ALL energy mandate situations — and they are also an excellent summary why wind energy is an inferior choice whether or not there is a mandate.
Applying genuine Science to our energy and environmental policies is the best way out of this quagmire!