E&E Legal Releases Tom Tanton State-by-State “Electrification” Costs Report
For Immediate Release:
September 22, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), released a state-by-state report on the capital cost associated with “electrification” for states and the nation. The report, and its accompanying data spreadsheet, was authored by Tom Tanton, E&E Legal’s Director of Science and Technology Assessment.
According to the report, electrifying the entire nation, with a goal of eliminating the direct consumption of fuel and reducing climate change emissions, would cost between $18 trillion and $29 trillion in first costs. Going all renewable will force costs to the high end of the range. Also, constructing and implementing an “all-electric” nation will include two other significant costs: stranded assets and deadweight losses. The bottom line is that electrification is not a cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions from commercial or residential buildings nor the transportation sector.
“Electrification of everything is a poor means to reduce greenhouse gasses and exposes customers to more frequent outages. Further, we’d just be substituting one set of environmental impacts for another,” said Tanton. “There are several other more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective means to accomplish this goal, and we simply can’t afford to electrify everything as the report clearly shows.”
Tanton adds that electrification will destroy decades of diversification by the market, tying consumers to a fragile yet monolithic electric grid. The electric grid is ill-equipped for extreme conditions, like extended heat waves or polar vortex cold snaps, without blackouts, like just happened in California. The likelihood of outages will increase with the considerable increase in demand associated with electric cars, removing natural gas from buildings, and other electrification moves. Building a more robust grid to handle such extremes would add perhaps $7 trillion to the costs.
The report notes that Texas would lead the way in terms of total electrification costs at $3.157 trillion, followed by California at $2.823 trillion. What’s even more frightening is the per capita costs of such an expensive and destructive experiment. For example, each resident of Louisiana can expect a bill of $166,065, while Wyoming citizens would be on the hook for $158,961 apiece, and those in North Dakota would face a tab of $133,847.
Tanton, who lives in California and formerly a Principal Policy Advisor with the CA Energy Commission (CEC), has witnessed first-hand the devastation wrought by attempts at complete electrification.
“California’s rolling blackouts and cataclysmic forest fires are not the results of climate change. They are the direct result of poor leadership and destructive energy policies that should be rolled back in my state and others before it’s too late,” Tanton concluded.
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization that champions responsible and balanced environmentalism, which seeks to conserve the nation’s natural resources while ensuring a stable and robust economy through energy dominance. Specifically, E&E Legal advocates responsible resource development, conservation, sound science, and respect for property rights.