A couple of weeks ago, my think tank released a comprehensive report on the costs and benefits of adopting a 50% “green” power mandate in Minnesota, in place of the current 25% mandate. The costs would be staggering–$80 billion, a 40% increase in the price of electricity, $1,200 additional cost every year for each Minnesota family, a $3 billion annual decline in the state’s GDP, and destruction of 21,000 permanent jobs.
The benefits? Immeasurably small. Literally. If you accept the Obama administration’s global warming numbers, the reduced CO2 emissions resulting from the 50% mandate would, by 2100, reduce average global temperature by 0.0006 degree–an amount too small to be measured by even the most sophisticated equipment.
While the analysis we did was specific to Minnesota, its principles can easily be applied to other states that are facing similar “green” initiatives. In fact, we are working with policy groups in other states to apply our approach to their circumstances.
You can read the report here. It is 100% transparent: all assumptions, data and calculations are disclosed in the report and its 16 appendices. So far, no one has questioned the report’s calculations, except for the Manhattan Contrarian, who correctly pointed out that our assumptions are too favorable to wind energy. We did give “green” the benefit of the doubt whenever hard data were not available, so the costs of the mandate as described in our report should be taken as minimums.
Instead of reading the report, you can just watch this video, which was created by Mark Mathis of Clear Energy Alliance: