Heritage Foundation economist says California's green initiatives are not a roadmap for the nation

Nicolas Loris
Nicolas Loris
Nicolas Loris, an economist and fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, recently published an op-ed piece on what he sees as California’s failed green energy policies.

The Obama administration sees California as the gold standard for state energy policy, Loris said, lauding the state’s progressive green energy mandates and stringent energy efficiency requirements.

Loris, though, sees the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) as an economic drain for the state.

Proposition 39 raised corporate taxes to help pay for energy efficiency initiatives and green energy projects,  particularly in California’s schools. The plan was estimated to generate more than $550 million annually and create 11,000 green-sector jobs.

In the op-ed piece published on The Heritage Foundation website, Loris points to a recent study that says the California regulation has created just 1,700 jobs. Loris’ op-ed was highly critical of such green-energy initiatives and regulations.

“Such expensive failures prompt the question: Why does government do this?” Loris wrote. “If green power initiatives reduced energy costs and created jobs, these programs would not be necessary. They would sell themselves.”

Loris encouraged the Obama administration to go in the opposite direction with climate change regulations.

“Lawmakers and state officials should exercise leadership and reclaim their authority from the un-elected bureaucrats whose regulatory ambitions threaten economic growth and individual prosperity,” Loris wrote.

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