by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
As I did last week in discussing SB 3 and CWIP, I have frequently discussed how higher electricity prices disproportionately affect the poor. A state policy (which, alas, comes on the heels of a national policy) of deliberately raising energy prices on the poor runs counter to good economics and a former understanding that lower electricity prices were good for American society and especially the poor.
I’ve made a chart to illustrate how much powering and heating a home costs the poor as compared with everyone else. I created this chart from government statistics compiled by Eugene M. Trisko in his February 2012 study, “Energy Cost Impacts on American Families, 2001-2012,” for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity:
As you can see, for those households earning under $30,000 per year in after-tax income, the cost of residential energy takes one-tenth to one-third of their budgets. That isn’t something trivial to be toyed with by politicians bent on green cronyism and saving the planet by proxy.
Note: These are not just electricity prices, but they include other energy used in lieu of electricity. As listed in the report, “The principal residential energy expenses are for electricity and natural gas for heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances. Some homes also use propane fuel and other heating sources, such as home heating oil, kerosene, and wood.”