Report: California among most unaffordable states for energy



(The Center Square) – Heading into the holiday season, a new report says California has among the nation’s most unaffordable energy.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, which authored the “Affordable Energy Report” released on Wednesday, says “the analysis demonstrates the relationship between high energy costs and big government policies.”

California has the third-highest electricity prices, the highest gasoline prices, and the second-highest diesel prices in the country, according to ALEC’s report.

Those high prices are passed on to consumers, ALEC says.

“With Thanksgiving travel and holiday shopping right around the corner, it’s important for states to embrace the free market and shun over-regulation in order to provide their citizens with the best energy prices possible,” ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Manager Joe Trotter, author of the report, said in a statement. “Those choices, when coupled with the staggering rate of inflation, could mean the difference between happy holidays or finding nothing under the tree.”

ALEC notes that the states with the highest electricity prices, including California where it costs 19.65 cents per kilowatt an hour, use Renewable Portfolio Standards and cap-and-trade programs.

“Additionally, each of these states impose a mandated net metering policies on their utilities, which is where utility companies pay consumers who generate electricity from rooftop solar panels for any excess electricity these panels push back onto the electric grid,” the report said.

California’s average price for regular gas (as of April) is $4.85 per gallon, and the average cost for gas annually with taxes included is $2,427.65, according to ALEC.

“Arizona and California have regulatory regimes that are cautionary tales on how stiff regulation, both on the state and federal level, leads to higher gas prices for consumers,” the report says. “Both have very particular standards for fuel sold in the state, requiring custom refining processes and mixtures.”

When it comes to diesel, the average price in California is $5.37 a gallon and costs $37,176.92 annually with taxes.

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