Posts Tagged ‘climate’

TCPR to investigate governor’s solar investment

News Channel 5 interviews Tennessee Center for Policy Research president Justin Owen about the revelation that Governor Bredesen is an investor in a new solar company started by his former Revenue Commissioner. In his eight years in office, Bredesen has directed millions of taxpayer dollars into building solar energy in Tennessee.

“He used taxpayer money to lure these companies here, now they get the tax breaks and the tax benefits that taxpayers are paying for,” said Justin Owen, head of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “And now Bredesen’s company is going to be profiting off of those same companies. And eventually that money that came from taxpayers in the first place, is going to find its way into his back pocket.”

Watch the entire interview here.

November 6th, 2010 | Recent News

Free markets can best address environmental problems

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research’s Allyn Milojevich explains how free market environmentalism is a better solution than cap and trade in Sunday’s Tennessean. Allyn is the recent author of Cap & Trade: A (Lame) Duck Proposal, which shows the economic impact cap and trade would have on Tennessee. To read the study, click here.

by Allyn Milojevich

In June 2009, the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed “cap and trade,” aim­ing to reduce green­house gas emis­sions by 83 per­cent over the next four decades. While the bill is best known for enact­ing a sys­tem of car­bon cred­its that can be traded on a pseudo-market, it also cre­ates a series of reg­u­la­tions meant to sub­si­dize renew­able energy. Most of these renew­able sources of energy have been unprof­itable in the pri­vate sec­tor and their use will only increase con­sumer costs. The Sen­ate is expected to put sim­i­lar leg­is­la­tion to a vote after the Novem­ber election.

In Ten­nessee, it is esti­mated that the cap and trade sys­tem would cause gaso­line prices to rise by 27 per­cent, elec­tric­ity prices 64 per­cent and nat­ural gas prices 73 per­cent over the next two decades.

The aver­age house­hold energy bill could increase from $124 to $327 each month by 2030. The cap and trade scheme would dis­pro­por­tion­ately impact those on fixed incomes, such as the elderly.

Because they spend a larger per­cent­age of their income on energy, those with the low­est incomes would face a 5 per­cent jump in their energy costs.

Fur­ther, due to an increase in man­u­fac­tur­ing costs, up to 52,000 jobs could be lost in Ten­nessee alone. Tennessee’s schools, uni­ver­si­ties and hos­pi­tals could also expe­ri­ence a 20 to 30 per­cent increase in energy prices, forc­ing tuition and med­ical bills to rise.

Higher energy prices would have a large impact on Tennessee’s gross state prod­uct (GSP). It is esti­mated that Tennessee’s GSP could drop by $9.8 bil­lion annu­ally. Man­u­fac­tur­ing as a whole might fall as much as 6.6 per­cent while energy inten­sive sec­tors — like chem­i­cal pro­cess­ing and auto­mo­bile pro­duc­tion — could plum­met by as much as 14 percent.

The “other half” of the House-approved bill pro­poses a “renew­able port­fo­lio stan­dard” (RPS), requir­ing util­ity com­pa­nies to pro­vide 20 per­cent of their energy from “green” sources. These sources are expen­sive and inef­fi­cient, though Ten­nessee has already pledged tax­payer dol­lar towards this dif­fi­cult goal. The state, in con­junc­tion with the Uni­ver­sity of Ten­nessee, has allo­cated $32.5 mil­lion for a solar farm in Hay­wood County. While this project may cre­ate a few jobs, it is unlikely to raise the per­cent­age of Ten­nessee power from solar sources far above one percent.

The leg­is­la­tion also cements in place the use of ethanol as a fuel. Ten­nessee has sup­ported “ethanol hys­te­ria” by mak­ing an ini­tial invest­ment of $40.7 mil­lion, and promis­ing an addi­tional $5.3 mil­lion annu­ally, to build a plant for con­vert­ing switch­grass to ethanol. Before tax­pay­ers get too excited about this alter­na­tive energy they’re invest­ing in, it should be noted that accord­ing to the venture’s chief exec­u­tive, “tech­nol­ogy for con­vert­ing switch­grass into fuel is still in development.”

Ten­nesseans should turn to the free mar­ket, clearly defined prop­erty rights and tort law to effi­ciently address envi­ron­men­tal problems.

Pri­vate enter­prises have also attempted to address car­bon con­cerns with­out gov­ern­ment prod­ding, such as Calera, a California-based com­pany that devel­oped a method for trans­form­ing CO2 into cement.

Rather than fix our nation’s envi­ron­men­tal trou­bles, cap and trade leg­is­la­tion will do noth­ing more than harm Ten­nessee fam­i­lies already strug­gling to stay afloat.

Allyn K. Milo­je­vich is a research fel­low at the Ten­nessee Cen­ter for Pol­icy Research, the state’s free market think tank.

October 18th, 2010 | Commentary

TCPR warns against cap and trade’s impact on TN

TCPR warns against cap and trade’s impact on TN

October 4, 2010

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, the state’s premier free market think tank, released a policy report today demonstrating the impact that cap and trade legislation could have on Tennessee’s economy.

It is widely expected that Congress will attempt to pass some form of cap and trade in its lame-duck session after the November elections. The House of Representatives already passed one version of cap and trade in June 2009, and the Senate could pass the same legislation or take up a similar proposal when it reconvenes.

Using estimates released by the American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers, the policy report, titled Cap & Trade: A Lame (Duck) Proposal, details how the proposed legislation would impact Tennessee. Among the additional costs Tennesseans could face include:

  • By 2030, gas prices could rise as much as 27 percent, electricity as much as 64 percent, and natural gas as much as 73 percent;
  • The average Tennessee household’s disposable income could decline by more than $1,100 per year;
  • The legislation could cause Tennessee to lose as many as 52,000 jobs and lose $9.8 billion annually;
  • Schools, universities and hospitals could face a 20 to 30 percent increase in energy costs, causing tuition and healthcare costs to skyrocket.

“Not only would cap and trade fail to fix those environmental problems that actually do exist, it would wreak havoc on the Tennessee economy,” said TCPR president Justin Owen.

The policy report offers a more effective and efficient approach to address environmental concerns without devastating the national and state economies.

“The real solution is free market environmentalism,” said Allyn Milojevich, TCPR research fellow and author of the report. “A system of well-defined property rights and tort law can correct our environmental woes and actually improve, not hamper, the economy.”

The report can be downloaded in PDF format at:

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee by advancing free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.


October 11th, 2010 | Feature, Policy