Report: Pennsylvania electricity affordability middle of the pack

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(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania electricity costs are middle of the pack compared to other states, while the annual cost to consumers for gas is among the lowest and for diesel among the highest, a new report says.

The findings are in this month’s release of the Energy Affordability Report by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Pennsylvania was 26th highest in electricity prices at 9.97 cents per kilowatt hour. The average price in cents per kilowatt hour was 13.76 for residential, 8.91 for commercial, 6.54 for industrial and 6.84 for transportation. The report says the state has a renewable portfolio standard in 2022, joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and has state-mandated rules for certain utilities.

The report says, “This year’s data shows that the states with government-mandated RPS or cap-and-trade programs have higher electricity prices than those that do not. The overall data shows that states that have implemented an RPS or carbon tax can also be casual in leading to higher prices over time.”

It also says, “There is a strong correlation between big government policies and higher electricity costs.”

Based on average miles driven, the average consumer pays $1,641.21 for gasoline. Only five states are lower for average consumer cost per year. The report checked prices on April 4 (average $3.59, then the 11th-highest) and calculated with the average miles driven (11,445, sixth-fewest in the country).

The report noted six U.S. crude refineries closed in the last four years, and only one new one was built, with a second getting extensive upgrades.

“Between global instability, misguided domestic policies and a bleak outlook in terms of expanding the nation’s ability to refine more petroleum products, demand is high while the supply is being intentionally hamstrung by elected officials,” the report said.

Pennsylvania’s 74-cent tax rate is the nation’s highest on diesel. When price-checked on April 4, the statewide average was $4.68 – only five were higher. This put the average consumer cost per year at $32,400, which was the sixth highest.

The report said, “In general, states that are not hostile to fossil fuel manufacturers and have large agricultural sectors tend to have lower diesel prices. However, given that the trucking industry is by its very nature a multi-state industry, truckers must take a hard look at prices in various states and adjust their prices or make hard choices about where they are willing to transport goods.”

ALEC predicted diesel prices will rise during the winter.

ALEC says it publishes the Energy Affordability Report “as part of its mission to discuss, develop and disseminate model public politicies that expand free marketrs, promote economic growth, limit the size of government and preserve individual liberty.”

The Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, it says, “operates under the principles of free-market environmentalism, that is to promote the mutually beneficial link between a robust economy and a healthy environment, to unleash the creative powers of the free market for environmental stewardship and to enhance the quality and use of our natural and agricultural reesources for the benefit of human health and well-being.”

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