Reconciliation Bill Creates Massive Energy Program That Only the Far Left Could Love

Reconciliation Bill Creates Massive Energy Program That Only the Far Left Could Love

September 14, 2021

Democrats in Washington are hard at work ensuring that their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is chock full of Green New Deal policies, whether they make sense or not. One of these policies is the creation of a new clean electricity payment program (CEPP) that proponents boast will help transform the American electrical grid. And that’s true – if ‘transforming the grid’ means making electricity more expensive and less reliable.

As The Hill reports this week, “Under the $150 billion clean electricity payment program (CEPP), electricity providers would be required to increase the renewable energy distributed to consumers at a year-over-year rate of 4 percent. The program would financially penalize providers who fall short and provide grants to those who hit the goal.”

Democrats are seeking to inject these new and disruptive forces into the energy marketplace, putting a focus on electricity sourcing without caring about electricity reliability or affordability. Who is that making nervous? Many of the organizations tasked with providing our nation’s electricity. As author Robert Bryce wrote for Forbes last week:

Last month, Jim Matheson, the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, sent a letter to Congressional leaders saying that it is “imperative that Congress preserves access to reliable and affordable electricity” and that any “energy and climate policies that Congress considers must include realistic, reasonable, and achievable timelines.” Matheson also said that while the share of electricity generated from hydrocarbons will likely “continue to decline, it will remain a necessary source of reliable, affordable electricity due to the intermittency of renewable power generation resources and limitations of long-term energy storage options.” 

Last week, the Financial Times reported that members of the American Public Power Association, which represents about 1,400 municipal-owned utilities are also expressing “nervousness” about the CEPP and whether they will be able to “keep electricity affordable and reliable” for their customers.

Regardless of where one stands on environmental issues or tax policies, it should be alarming when electric cooperatives and utilities raise concerns about keeping electricity reliable and affordable. But instead of discussing and debating these issues, Democrats are poised to create this massive overhaul of our grid by shoving it into a budget bill larded up with liberal priorities. These are the policies and tactics people should keep in mind the next time their power goes out – which may be happening more regularly.